Analyzing Online Reviews in E-retailer Platforms: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Stuart School of Business research presentation by: Zheng Zhou (Stuart Ph.D. Management Science ’20) and Harold L. Stuart Endowed Chair in Business Siva K. Balasubramanian

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Locations

Virtual—Online

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Analyzing Online Reviews in E-retailer Platforms: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

  • Zheng Zhou (Stuart Ph.D. Management Science ’20)
  • Harold L. Stuart Endowed Chair in Business Siva K. Balasubramanian

Abstract:

In recent years, the role of online shoppers has transformed from being passive information receivers into active shopping experience sharers, which makes the online reviews from peer shoppers a very important factor in consumer purchase decisions. However, fake online reviews are flooding websites and consumers are becoming aware of that. This encourages consumers’ skepticism toward the credibility of online reviews. Using a structural equation modeling approach, this study analyzes the effect of consumers’ perceptions of shopping platform characteristics and online review trustworthiness on their purchase intention. Using conditional process analysis, we study the moderation effect of consumers’ skepticism during their shopping experience. A total of 1,004 valid responses were collected through an online survey administered by Qualtrics.

Results indicate that consumers’ perceived platform trustworthiness contributes to the trustworthiness of its online reviews, which in turn both directly and indirectly increases purchase intention. Results also show that all three dimensions of consumers’ skepticism negatively moderate the direct effect of the review’s trustworthiness on purchase intention. From a research perspective, this study contributes to our understanding of how consumers absorb information from online reviews to develop appropriate responses. From a practice perspective, this study provides insights on how both the platform and the seller should respond to, and manage, consumers’ perceptions and skepticism toward online reviews.

 

All Illinois Tech faculty, students, and staff are invited to attend.

The Friday Research Presentations series showcases ongoing academic research projects conducted by Stuart School of Business faculty and students, as well as guest presentations by Illinois Tech colleagues, business professionals, and faculty from other leading business schools.

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