What makes an online review credible? A systematic review of the literature and future research directions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Online reviews of products and services are strategic tools for e-commerce platforms, as they aid in consumers’ pre-purchase decisions. Past research studies indicate online reviews impact brand image and consumer behaviour. With several instances of fake reviews and review manipulations, review credibility has become a concern for consumers and service providers. In recent years, due to growing webcare attitude among managers, the need for maintaining credible online reviews on the e-commerce platforms has gained attention. Though, there are several empirical studies on review credibility, the findings are diverse and contradicting. Therefore, in this paper, we systematically review the literature to provide a holistic view of antecedents of online review credibility. We examine variables, methods, and theoretical perspective of online review credibility research using 69 empirical research papers shortlisted through multi-stage selection process. We identify five broad groups of antecedents: source characteristics, review characteristics, consumer characteristics, interpersonal determinants in the social media platform and product type. Further, we identify research issues and propose directions for future research. This study contributes to existing knowledge in management research by providing the holistic understanding of the “online review credibility” construct and helps understand what factors lead to consumers’ belief in the credibility of online review. The insights gained would provide managers adequate cues to design effective online review systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Review Quarterly
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management

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