The impact of online reviews on consumer behavior

The advent of the Internet and the availability of a multitude of online reviews from previous customers on e-commerce platforms are now part of everyday life. Consequently, the vast majority of nontrivial purchase decisions involves scanning and processing online reviews that were written by previous customers. Using automated text analysis, researchers have already investigated a number of characteristics of online reviews that might be related to the impact of the review including e.g. the length of the text, spelling errors, or the number of attributes mentioned. However, there is no robust evidence on the effects that emanate from the authors of the reviews.

Therefore, in this study, we examine the impact of reviewers’ perceived similarity and subjectivity on the purchase decision of a potential new customer seeking for an experience good (e.g. booking a hostel online).

The findings will help to understand which kind of review-author-combinations induce affective and/or rational reactions in customers’ minds.

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Prof. Dr. Christian Lüthje