Attitude Towards eWOM and Purchase Intention: Exploring the Effect of Central and Peripheral Cues

Xiang-Ying Ng, Yen-Nee Goh
Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia


This study aims to investigate the influence of eWOM factors in Facebook on attitude towards eWOM and purchase intentions of fitness membership in the emerging economy. In addition, the moderating effect of users’ expertise and involvement were also examined. A non-probability convenience sampling was employed, and an online survey questionnaire was posted on the Facebook pages of fitness clubs and fitness-related groups. There were a total of 388 questionnaires received in this study. The hypotheses were tested by Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM). Peripheral factors have a stronger effect than the central factor on the attitude of eWOM and purchase intention. Perceived eWOM quantity is the strongest predictor of purchase intention; however, perceived eWOM attractiveness has the most favourable impact on attitude toward eWOM. Perceived eWOM quality and credibility have a negative relationship with purchase intention. Users’ involvement moderates eWOM factors and purchase intention, while attitude towards eWOM fully mediates perceived eWOM quality and purchase intention. The findings gleaned from this study allow fitness clubs in the emerging economy to create effective social media campaigns, which will result in Facebook users spreading eWOM and changing their prospective consumers’ attitudes to influence their purchase intentions of fitness memberships.

Keywords: Facebook, electronic Word Of Mouth (eWOM), Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), Purchase intention, Fitness membership