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Simpler online ratings formats increase consumer trust

Simpler online ratings formats increase consumer trust PurposeOnline customer ratings are ubiquitous in e-commerce. However, in presenting these ratings to consumers, e-commerce websites utilize different formats. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of customer ratings formats on consumer trust and processing fluency.Design/methodology/approachDrawing on the latest behavioral research, two empirical experimental studies test whether the format of online customer ratings affects consumer trust and processing fluency.FindingsThe studies offer converging evidence that a simpler ratings format (i.e. mean format) elicits higher processing fluency and, in turn, higher consumer trust than does a more complex ratings format (i.e. distribution format).Research limitations/implicationsFuture research could include additional factors that might influence the ease of online ratings processing for consumers. Investigation of possible moderators, such as need for cognition, numeracy and consumer involvement, may also be of value.Practical implicationsThese findings have timely practical implications for the design and presentation of customer ratings to enhance e-commerce outcomes.Originality/valueThis paper extends the effects of processing fluency on consumer trust to the increasingly important context of e-commerce. In doing so, it highlights important interactions between the evolving information environment and consumer judgment. The key takeaway for managers is that simpler online customer ratings formats help to enhance consumer trust. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing Emerald Publishing

Simpler online ratings formats increase consumer trust

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References (56)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-7122
DOI
10.1108/JRIM-06-2016-0062
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeOnline customer ratings are ubiquitous in e-commerce. However, in presenting these ratings to consumers, e-commerce websites utilize different formats. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of customer ratings formats on consumer trust and processing fluency.Design/methodology/approachDrawing on the latest behavioral research, two empirical experimental studies test whether the format of online customer ratings affects consumer trust and processing fluency.FindingsThe studies offer converging evidence that a simpler ratings format (i.e. mean format) elicits higher processing fluency and, in turn, higher consumer trust than does a more complex ratings format (i.e. distribution format).Research limitations/implicationsFuture research could include additional factors that might influence the ease of online ratings processing for consumers. Investigation of possible moderators, such as need for cognition, numeracy and consumer involvement, may also be of value.Practical implicationsThese findings have timely practical implications for the design and presentation of customer ratings to enhance e-commerce outcomes.Originality/valueThis paper extends the effects of processing fluency on consumer trust to the increasingly important context of e-commerce. In doing so, it highlights important interactions between the evolving information environment and consumer judgment. The key takeaway for managers is that simpler online customer ratings formats help to enhance consumer trust.

Journal

Journal of Research in Interactive MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 12, 2017

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