Purpose – The purpose of this study is to find the role of online informediaries on the perspective of price comparison and information aggregator. Specifically, the author wants to explain how the level of product involvement moderates the effect of price dispersion and product information quality on attitude toward product in online informediaries. Design/methodology/approach – The data for this study are obtained from a three‐way factorial experimental research design. Data were collected from 258 college students who have an experience with an online informediary. Combining ANCOVA and regression analysis enables the study of attitude formation and yields encouraging results. Findings – The study finds that high‐involvement consumers focus on systematic cues (e.g. product attributes) in evaluating product quality. However, when they feel that their initial search yields insufficient results, causing them to perceive more product performance risk, they search for additional cues (e.g. price dispersion). Low‐involvement consumers are mainly affected by price dispersion, which is a heuristic cue, and they evaluate the product more favorably under a high (vs low) level of price dispersion. Originality/value – This paper is one of the first to consider and empirically test a heuristic‐systematic model for attitude toward product in online informediaries. It also uniquely tests the level of price dispersion to discern the important motivating factors.
Internet Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 31, 2013
Keywords: Online informediary; Price dispersion; Internet; Price comparison; Prices; Consumers