Prior research has focused on the impact of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) on consumers’ pre-purchase and post-purchase behaviors. This article, however, focuses on the impact of eWOM on the consumer-retailer relationship through the examination of consumer satisfaction. Across three experiments, the authors show that the exposure to positive (negative) eWOM prior to purchase increases (decreases) consumer satisfaction. Such impact of eWOM is stronger when consumers are less motivated to process information with effort. These findings are consistent with the anchoring effect where consumers overly rely on an initial anchor (eWOM) to simplify the decision-making process due to unwillingness to process information cognitively.
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