Recent changes in web technologies have given a voice to consumers in online discussion of products and services. While the web has long been a source of information about products and services, web content was controlled by those who knew how to develop for the web, or those who could hire web developers. The trend toward web software that permits novice users to contribute to conversations about products has been embraced by online retailers, who facilitate and encourage online user reviews of products. Researchers are just starting to understand the relationship between online user reviews and purchase intention, however have determined that trust is central to the development of purchase intention. In this study, we report the results of a simulation based web purchase experiment that included subjects in Colombia, the People’s Republic of China and the United States. The experiment included manipulations for both information quality and a social component of the review, and espoused culture scores of subjects where measured. We find that information quality, the social component and espoused uncertainty avoidance influence trust in the review. We were not able to support an interaction effect between information quality and uncertainty avoidance and trust, nor an interaction effect between the social component and collectivism.
Furner, Christopher P.; Racherla, Pradeep; and Zhen, Zhu, "Cultural and review characteristics in the formation of trust in online product reviews: A multinational investigation" (2013). WHICEB 2013 Proceedings. 90.