Online product reviews are a significant component affecting transactions in business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. The sheer volume of online reviews makes it virtually impossible for buyers to systematically process all reviews available. Drawing on the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) and web assurance seals (AS) literature, we investigate the association between two trust-building proxies included in reviews: verified buyer flag (VBF) and reviewer’s technical understanding (TU), and topics discussed in online product reviews. Our results indicate that both VBF and TU affect review content. From a practical perspective, we provide a means of content filtering that can be implemented at a recommender system level to reduce information overload prospective buyers are subjected to. From a theoretical perspective our results indicate there is an identifiable shift that has occurred in the e-commerce environment. More specifically, the evolution of the web has brought elements of consumer-to-consumer (C2C) interactions into the space typically reserved for B2C landscape, where sellers also act as intermediaries facilitating information exchange between buyers.
Hanus, Bartlomiej and George, Benjamin, "Trust-based content filtering: Investigating the association between assurance seals, source expertise, and topics of online product reviews" (2019). WISP 2019 Proceedings. 15.