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Home arrow Engineering arrow Measuring Electronic Word-of-Mouth Effectiveness: Developing and Applying the eWOM Trust Scale

Sampling Frame and Data Collection

In the main study, a total of 558 completed questionnaires were collected by means of a well- known online consumer panel, Research Now ( The company offers a variety of consumer and industrial panels characterized all by consistency, responsiveness and reliability. Its members are geographically as well as demographically diverse. Research Now provides access to consumer panels in various countries, including Austria, Germany, and the United States. The unit of analysis for the main study was the individual online consumer. Research Now grants access to a consumer sample that is representative of the Internet population in respect to various characteristics. Earlier studies have investigated consumers’ behaviour of persons aged 16 and older. Because of this fact, this study deems people above the age of 16 as proper respondents. Furthermore, in Central Europe, most Internet users are less than 75 years old (Statistik Austria, 2014; Statistisches Bundesamt, 2014). Therefore, consumers between the ages of 16 to 75 were sampled through Research Now.

The aim of the main study was to draw a sample that is representative for online consumers (i.e., persons who use the Internet for shopping purposes such as information seeking and purchasing) in terms of gender and age. Additionally, this study intended to ensure that psychometrics of the new scale are not biased by cultural aspects. The fact that Research Now offers an international online consumer panel, individuals from Austria and Germany were recruited. In both countries, the majority of individuals use the Internet for shopping (2013: Austria - 54% (Statistik Austria, 2013); Germany - 65% (Bitkom, 2013)) or product research. Quota sampling for these two countries was applied (Table 17 presents information on the Austrian and German Internet population taken from Statistik Austria (2012) and Statistisches

Bundesamt (2014). The main study took place at the end of July 2013, when the questionnaire was available for five days (July 30th, 2013 - August 3rd, 2013). Research Now solicited respondents based on this research’s demographic requirements. Only qualified panellists received an invitation to participate and a link to the questionnaire from the panel provider. After the introductory page, qualified respondents further found several filter questions regarding their former review usage behaviour, as well as their demographic profile. These filter questions were used in order to screen out disqualified panellists who did not have recent contact with the trust object, as well as those who showed improper demographic characteristics. Additionally, this section allowed the selection of respondents who complied with the study’s quotas. Hereafter, appropriate respondents were directed to the questionnaire described above.

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