Does national culture explain consumers’ reliance on online reviews? Cross-cultural variations in the effect of online review ratings on consumer choice

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Abstract

Can national culture affect consumers’ reliance on online reviews? 82% of American adults said that they saw online reviews for new purchases (Smith and Anderson, 2016). This paper takes a cultural approach to study how consumers engage in online reviews when they make purchase decisions. This study examined more than ten million transactions made on an online hotel-booking website by consumers’ nationality and five cultural dimensions. The results suggest that collectivism, femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and indulgence are positively associated with consumers’ reliance on online review ratings, while power distance tended to reduce the effect. Consumers’ reliance on online reviews was influenced by multivariate cultural values, and no single cultural value had a significant univariate effect. Consumers in Spain and Australia were most likely to rely on review ratings, and consumers in Germany and China were least dependent on online reviews.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100878
JournalElectronic Commerce Research and Applications
Volume37
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural study
  • Cultural dimensions
  • Online review
  • Online Word of Mouth

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