An Exploration into the Use of Consumer Power in the Information Age
(2014) An Exploration into the Use of Consumer Power in the Information Age, no. 71.
Purpose: The aim of the research is to understand how consumers use their power against businesses through the use of new and social media. This will include the benefits and drawbacks of businesses adapting their strategies to include social media, consumer's motivation to complain online and whether or not regulation should be imposed in the market. Design/Methodology: 100 questionnaires were distributed and administered containing both qualitative and quantitative questions. The sample involved fellow students as well employees from a wide range of occupations to gain a consumer's perspective. The questions were based on the literature research and were built around the aims and objectives of this study. Findings: The results of this survey showed that 90% of the respondents log onto social media sites every day. The main purpose for this is interaction with friends. Interaction with business is currently less of a motivation. The respondents were most likely to complain using social media if they felt their expectations hadn't been met, and felt they should share their experiences with others. However, 50-75% of respondents do not believe all the reviews they read to be objectively true yet feel there is no requirement in the market for regulation. Limitations: Due to time and word count limitations, data was only collected from consumers. In future studies, it would be interesting to uncover how businesses feel about online reviews and the lack of regulations to protect their reputation.