2022 (19), №4

Impact of Opinion Leaders on Consumer Behaviour in Russian and Chinese markets

For citation: 

Volodin, A. A. (2022). Impact of Opinion Leaders on Consumer Behaviour in Russian and Chinese markets. AlterEconomics, 19(4), 663-684. https://doi.org/10.31063/AlterEconomics/2022.19-4.6


When a company enters a foreign market, it needs to pay attention to the peculiarities of the local economic culture and the differences in the ways opinion leaders are perceived by the target audiences. This article focuses on the influence of opinion leaders on consumer behavior in the Russian and Chinese perfume­ry and cosmetic markets. Analysis of the research literature has shown that opinion leaders may influence consumer behaviour through the following: the quality of their argumentation, reputation, and attractiveness. Empirical analysis was based on the survey of the Russian company L’Etoile and its customers and the structural equation modeling method. It was found that the influence of all the above-mentioned factors on the consumer’s attitude to the brand and intention to make a purchase can be manifested differently through the intermediary factor of involvement. Regarding the Russian market, it was found that the main modeling factors are the attractiveness and reputation of a given opinion leader. Therefore, to influence consumers more effectively, it is necessary to target the intention to make a purchase through being involved in the processes of forming the company’s brand. In the Asian market, the opinion leader’s reputation and the quality of his or her argumentation are more important. The research findings can be useful to economists and practitioners interested in the optimization of applied models of consumer impact and selection of opinion leaders.

Arseny A. Volodin — PhD Student, Department of Marketing, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7399-7177 (20, Myasnitskaya St., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation; e-mail: hsearseniy@gmail.com).

Al-Zyoud, M. F. (2018). Does Social Media Marketing Enhance Impulse Purchasing among Female Customers Case Study of Jordanian Female Shoppers.  Journal of Business and Retail Management Research, 13(2),  135–151.

Belousova, V. & Chichkanov, N. (2015). Mobile Banking Adoption in Russia: What Incentives Matter?  Basic Research Program. Working Papers, 48/STI,  1–25.

Bergström, A. & Jervelycke Belfrage, M. (2018). News in Social Media: Incidental Consumption and the Role of Opinion Leaders.  Digital journalism, 6(5),  583–598. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2018.1423625.

Casaló, L. V., Flavián, C. & Ibáñez-Sánchez, S. (2020). Influencers on Instagram: Antecedents and Consequences of Opinion Leadership.  Journal of business research, 117,  510–519. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.07.005.

Dubois, E. et al. (2020). Who to Trust on Social Media: How Opinion Leaders and Seekers Avoid Disinformation and Echo Chambers.  Social media + society, 6(2),  1–13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305120913993.

Farivar, S., Wang, F. & Yuan, Y. (2021). Opinion Leadership vs. Para-Social Relationship: Key Factors in Influencer Marketing.  Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 59,  1–11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2020.102371.

Fedorenko, V. I. (2021). Osobennosti upravleniya potrebitel’skim povedeniem s ispol’zovaniem sotsial’nykh setey: mezhdunarodnyy i rossiyskiy opyt [Features of Consumer Behavior Management Using Social Networks: International and Russian Experience].  Finansovye rynki i banki [Financial Markets and Banks], 5,  58–64. (In Russ.)

Fedorenko, V. I. (2021). Vozdeystvie liderov mnenii na mnenie potrebiteley, uznavaemost’ brenda i potrebitel’’skoe povedenie [The Impact of Opinion Leaders on Customer Attitude, Brand Awareness and Consumer Behavior]. Upravlencheskie nauki v sovremennom mire. Sbornik dokladov studencheskikh sektsiy Vos’moy mezhdunarodnoy nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii. [Management Sciences in the Modern World. Collection of Reports of Student Sections of the Eighth International Scientific and Practical Conference]. Saint-Petersburg, Russia: Publishing House “Real Economy”, 139–141. (In Russ.)

Fedorenko, V. I. (2022). Upravlenie faktorami, formiruyushchimi potrebitel’skoe povedenie [Managing Factors that Shape Consumer Behavior].  Finansovye rynki i banki [Financial Markets and Banks], 1,  41–48. (In Russ.)

Hsu, C. L., Chuan-Chuan Lin, J. & Chiang, H. S. (2013). The Effects of Blogger Recommendations on Customers’ Online Shopping Intentions.  Internet Research, 23(1),  69–88. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/10662241311295782.

Jiménez-Castillo, D. & Sánchez-Fernández, R. (2019). The Role of Digital Influencers in Brand Recommendation: Examining their Impact on Engagement, Expected Value and Purchase Intention.  International Journal of Information Management, 49,  366–376. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2019.07.009.

Kazakov, S. P. & Babintseva, E. S. (2019). Prichiny, vzaimosvyaz’ i posledstviya deviantnogo povedeniya personala i klientov organizatsiy v sfere uslug [Deviant Behavior of Staff and Customers in Service Organizations: Causes and Effects]. Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 6. Ekonomika [Moscow University Economics Bulletin], 1, 157–181. DOI: https://doi.org/10.38050/01300105201919. (In Russ.)

Le, T. D., Dobele, A. R. & Robinson, L. J. (2018). WOM Source Characteristics and Message Quality: The Receiver Perspective.  Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 36(4),  440–454. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-10–2017-0249.

Lin, C. A. et al. (2021). Effects of Parasocial Interaction with an Instafamous Influencer on Brand Attitudes and Purchase Intentions.  The Journal of Social Media in Society, 10(1),  55–78.

Lou, C. & Yuan, S. (2019). Influencer Marketing: How Message Value and Credibility Affect Consumer trust of Branded Content on social media.  Journal of Interactive Advertising, 19(1),  58–73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15252019.2018.1533501.

Marjerison, R. K., Huang, Y. & Chen, R. (2020). The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Purchase Intention towards Cosmetic Products in China.  Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, 12,  1–18.

Nunes, R. H. et al. (2018). The Effects of Social Media Opinion Leaders’ Recommendations on Followers’ Intention to Buy.  Revista Brasileira de Gestão de Negócios, 20(1),  57–73. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7819/rbgn.v20i1.3678.

Teng, S., Wei Khong, K., Wei Goh, W., & Yee Loong Chong, A. (2014). Examining the Antecedents of Persuasive eWOM Messages in Social Media. Online Information Review, 38(6),  746–768. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-04-2014-0089.

Vander Schee, B. A., Peltier, J. & Dahl, A. J. (2020). Antecedent Consumer Factors, Consequential Branding Outcomes and Measures of Online Consumer Engagement: Current Research and Future Directions.  Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 14(2),  239–268. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-01-2020-0010.

Weismueller, J. et al. (2020). Influencer endorsements: How Advertising Disclosure and Source Credibility Affect Consumer Purchase Intention on Social Media.  Australasian marketing journal, 28(4),  1–11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ausmj.2020.03.00.