Online consumer reviews, a popular form of eWOM, have attracted increasing amounts of interest from both academics and practitioners (Ba and Pavlou 2002; Dholakia et al. 2004; Dellaracos 2003; Chevalier and Mayzlin 2006; Pavlou and Dimoka 2006). However, extant literature has overlooked two important aspects: 1) Much of the existing research focuses on transmission and impact of online reviews but sheds less light on the underlying processes that drive consumers’ reception of online reviews (to understand the basic qualities of reviews themselves, and how these qualities induce consumers’ trust.) As online reviews becomes more acceptable and widespread, it is more important to focus on the quality rather than the quantity of the reviews being presented to the consumer (Mudambi and Schuff 2010), and 2) Few studies have explored the recipients’ perspective in the context of services (Bansal and Voyer 2000). It is common knowledge that services do not have the ‘try before you buy’ or ‘return in case quality is below expectations’ features. Therefore more and more consumers are relying heavily on online reviews to assess services prior to purchase (Senecal and Nantel 2004). It is possible that the factors on the basis of which consumers evaluate online reviews will vary across service categories.
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- Perceived Credibility of Online Consumer Reviews: an Investigation Across Three Service Categories