The authors examine the impact of word-of-mouth communication on innovation use. Hypotheses are developed linking both personal and virtual word of mouth (vWOM) directly to innovation use. The authors also examine the mediating role of two additional variables that link word of mouth and innovation use. Existing research suggests that personal word of mouth (pWOM) indirectly influences intensity of innovation use through its impact on consumer perceptions of the size of local adopter population. In addition, both personal and virtual word-of-mouth influence should be positively associated with consumer perceptions of the availability of complementary products, which prior studies have linked to variety of innovation use. The authors test these hypotheses using data collected from 247 Japanese adopters of new-generation portable gaming devices. Findings indicate that both personal and virtual word of mouth are directly related with variety of innovation use, which is in turn related with intensity of use. In addition, pWOM is positively related with both intensity of use and variety of use through its impact on consumer perceptions of (1) the perceived size of the local adopter population and (2) the availability of complementary products. In contrast, through these same two paths, vWOM is negatively related with both intensity of use and variety of use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation