The Effects of Online User Reviews' on the Consumer's Choice of Cosmetic Surgery Clinic

Aliyah Nazia Khan

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose in this thesis has been to research how consumers’ choice of cosmetic surgery clinic has been affected by the online Electronic word of mouth (eWom) that they read on social media sites. In particular, with focus on how respectively positive and negative online user reviews affects the individual consumer ́s decision and loyalty toward cosmetic clinics. Therefore, this thesis illustrates whether consumers prefer to read and let their choice be affected by positive reviews instead of the negative reviews or the contrary. In addition, research will also be concentrated on whether consumers prefer word of mouth or eWom when exploring reviews on cosmetic clinics and why.
The methodology used. The analysis is made on the basis of four qualitative interviews of consumers who based on online user reviews have made a decision on where they should go through with a cosmetic surgery. Three of the four consumers did go through with their cosmetic surgery, whilst the fourth refused to go through with the surgery due to the knowledge he had gained through online user reviews. During the interviews ,emphasis was put on how the consumers ‘social norms and attitudes affected their choice, in terms of the type of review that they took into account during their decision process.
Findings. The results in this thesis exemplify that consumers` subjective norms and attitudes are strongly considered in determining whether they choose eWom or Wom. The results show that eWom is used by all of the consumers either because they evaluate that the social norm in their social environment taboos cosmetic surgery, whilst others chose to seek eWom, written by their aspirational reference group. The results show that consumer loyalty is challenged by the online user reviews that they read on social media sites, as two out of three consumers give clear expression that despite being satisfied by the result of the cosmetic surgery, the service they received and having confidence in their first choice of cosmetic clinic, they do not intend to be limited to their first choice of clinic. Conclusively, the knowledge they have acquired through the new online user reviews impacts their decision and thus their choice of cosmetic clinic. At the same time, I saw indications that the consumers’ level of involvement helped secure them from ending up in situation of cognitive dissonance

EducationsMSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages93
SupervisorsJesper Clement