Culture online 网络文化: How to persuade customers? 如何说服消费者?

Peter Broeder*, Mia Stokmans

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientificpeer-review


    Effective marketing-communication is of the utmost importance for online webshops. It is through (successful) communication that consumers, all over the world, are persuaded to initiate the buying-process. However, consumers differ in their perception of and associations with both the design and the contents of the website. Dual-processing models, such as the ELM- and MAO-models, were used as a general framework to unravel the effect that specific features of webshops have on prospective customers. On the basis of this general framework, we expected both webshop variables and consumer variables to affect the buying intention of online consumers. With respect to the webshop, we made a distinction between source variables on the one hand (online store image, ‘safety’, convenience and (hedonic) pleasure), and message variables on the other (content of the communication, modality, recommendations). With regard to the consumers, a distinction was made between socio-demographic variables (cultural background, gender) and processing variables (motivation, ability and opportunity).

    In order to explore the effects of these variables in more depth, we conducted several cross-sectional studies in which culturally diverse groups of online consumers (Chinese, Dutch, Polish, Costa Rico, Moroccan) in different countries (China, Netherlands, Poland and Costa Rico) participated. (N total = more them 1000). They were invited to buy electronic equipment, fashion clothes, or books in simulated online web-shops.

    Analyses indicated differences in purchasing behaviour between the online-consumers that can only partly be traced back to cultural differences between their societies. Repeatedly, the assumed cultural effect on the perceived store image is overruled by source-related characteristics such as modality (images, texts) and detailedness of content. Moreover, it turned out that the fact whether the customer was a man or a woman played a more important role in the intention to purchase than the cultural background of the consumer.

    This cross-cultural comparisons of online consumer behaviour not only enables us to establish the diverse preferences as such, but also to explain the dynamic changes through the underlying causal factors. In the full paper, implications of these findings for designing webshops will be explored as well.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event16th World Congress of Applied Linguistics: Harmony in diversity: language, culture, society - Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China
    Duration: 23 Aug 201128 Aug 2011


    Conference16th World Congress of Applied Linguistics
    Abbreviated titleAILA 2011
    Internet address


    Dive into the research topics of 'Culture online 网络文化: How to persuade customers? 如何说服消费者?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this