How do consumers process online hotel reviews? The effects of eWOM consensus and sequence
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology
Article publication date: 17 August 2015
The purpose of this paper is to examine how consensus and sequence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) presented on online hotel review Web sites affect consumers’ attitudes toward the company and intention to stay at a hotel.
This experiment used a 2 (consensus: high/low) × 3 (sequence: positive-negative, neutral, negative-positive) between-subjects design. A total of 165 usable data samples were gathered. Both consensus and sequence were manipulated.
The study revealed that the review consensus overrides the impact of the review sequence such that when review ratings are substantially consistent, consumers’ attitudes and intentions to stay at a hotel are not influenced by the sequence of reviews.
Other variables such as prior experience with the hotel or biases toward the hotel can affect consumer reactions to such online reviews. Future studies need to reflect on such variables that can moderate or mediate the impact of eWOM consensus and sequence.
Our findings suggest that the online consumer review summary information should be used to control the customer message process and when consumer reviews conflict, managers should take note of the sequence in which consumers read the reviews.
This paper adds to the body of scholarly research related to consumer information processing and further demonstrates how individuals integrate opinions from several reviews, especially in the online context.
Kim, E.E.K. and Lee, C.H. (2015), "How do consumers process online hotel reviews? The effects of eWOM consensus and sequence", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 113-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTT-09-2014-0045
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