Customers rely substantially on online reviews to make informed decisions. Despite the rich body of literature on online reviews, little is known about the role of online reviews in business-to-business (B2B) markets. In particular, it is unclear how providing past customers with incentives in exchange for their reviews (that is, review elicitation) affects the resulting reviews in such markets. Using a comprehensive data set from a large B2B online review platform, we investigate different types of elicitation that include email invitations, donations to charity, and gift cards. In contrast to previous research, we also observe review elicitation from both the third-party platform and individual sellers. In line with our hypotheses derived from relationship marketing and theory on intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, we find that seller-initiated elicitation is associated with an increase in review ratings, whereas elicitation initiated by the third-party platform is associated with a decrease in ratings. In addition, the correlation between any type of elicitation and review text length is negative except for gift cards given by the seller. Our results come with substantial managerial implications for B2B re-view platforms, sellers, and customers.
Neumann, Jürgen and Gutt, Dominik, (2019). "HE WHO PAYS THE PIPER CALLS THE TUNE: ONLINE REVIEW ELICITATION BY SELLERS AND THIRD-PARTY PLATFORMS IN B2B MARKETS". In Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm & Uppsala, Sweden, June 8-14, 2019. ISBN 978-1-7336325-0-8 Research-in-Progress Papers.