Communications of the IIMA


The purpose of this study is to contrast individualist culture (e.g., United States) with collectivist culture (e.g., China) in regards to the Internet-involved customer purchase process (IICPP), specifically the customer’s involvement before purchase, the cognitive dissonance after purchase and the post-purchase behavior in terms of the online world of mouth (eWOM) and online negative word of mouth (eNWOM). This study also explores the influences of culture on product attributes that are associated in IICPP. Based on the related literature, this study applies the existing concepts to the Internet context. The study adopts 40 cases of online customer reviewers regarding their vehicle purchase to illustrate similarities and differences between individualist culture and collectivist culture. Findings show that culture does affect the customer’s involvement, their cognitive dissonance, eWOM/eNWOM, and a product’s attributes that are more important in the purchase process. Collectivist customers are relationship and social oriented. They take the advices from family and friends seriously. Collectivists are also influenced by the public opinions regarding their social status as well. On the other hand, individualistic customers would do research by reading online reviews, and then they compare the possible alternatives to make a purchase decision. Individualists tend to overweight a product’s attributes that are related to the personal priority. At the point of purchase, collectivist customers are sensitive to price and efficiency while Individualist appreciates a product’s long-term value.