Since the early days of the Internet, gender gap has existed in using the Internet, and it is particularly evident for online shopping. Females perceive higher level of risk for online shopping, and as a result, they tend to hesitate to make purchase online. Online consumer reviews can effectively mitigate such perceived risk by females and thereby attract them to buy online. This study investigates the effect of online consumer reviews on consumer’s purchase intention. In particular, we examine whether there are gender differences in responding to online consumer reviews. The results show that the effect of online consumer reviews on purchase intention is stronger for females than males. The negativity effect, that consumers are influenced by a negative review more than by a positive review, is also found to be more evident for females. These findings have practical implications for online sellers to guide them to effectively use online consumer reviews to engage females in online shopping.
Electronic Commerce Research – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 17, 2010