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The Effects of Culture on Consumers' Consumption and Generation of Online Reviews

Jong Min Kim, Mina Jun and Chung K. Kim

Journal of Interactive Marketing, 2018, vol. 43, issue C, 134-150

Abstract: In the globalized industry of online travel agencies, it is well known that providing culturally customized reviews can attract more customers by sharing similarity-oriented experiences. Given the importance of culturally customized reviews, if national cultures lead to systematic differences in the review generating process, it is necessary to examine whether culturally customized information would be useful in customers' decision-making processes and whether customers prefer online travel agencies providing such information. The objective of this research is to investigate whether (1) culturally customized review information based on nationality might have an influence on consumers' intention to recommend an agency, and whether (2) cultural differences have differential impacts on review posting in terms of the valence and dispersion of review ratings and textual contents of reviews. We find that customers from Western societies, such as the U.K. and the U.S., tend to be positively predisposed and that the dispersion of their ratings is significantly less for hotels in Beijing where they stayed compared to that of Chinese customers. Furthermore, using two experimental surveys, we reveal that customers regard the average review rating from review posters with same cultural background as more useful than those from all reviewers in their decision-making process.

Keywords: Consumer online review; Review rating; Textual contents of review; Cultural difference; U.K. consumers; U.S. consumers; China consumers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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