n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - The review credibility of electronic word-of-mouth communication on e-commerce platforms

Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



The primary purpose of the study was to investigate the role of electronic word-of-mouth, conceptualised as book reviews, in an online marketing environment. A theoretical model was constructed to assess the relationship between the dependent variable review credibility (as measured by the total percentage of readers who rated reviews as 'helpful') and several electronic word-of-mouth (EWOM) factors regarded as independent variables (stars, ex-stars, sentiment, ex-sentiment, text length, time and platform). The data were collected from online retailers and .

The unit of analysis was reviews from an entire product category (best-seller books), as opposed to a few selected products.
The empirical results suggest that the following review factors influence the credibility of and book reviews: Platform, Text Length, Time and Star Rating. When and 's reviews were compared with each other, the results indicated that had more reviews than and that the reviews posted at had, on average, longer text lengths, and they had a higher review credibility than the reviews posted at . Furthermore, the overall credibility of reviews increased over time (elapsed time between collection date and publish date) as more and more online users were able to access what, in effect, is electronic word-of-mouth.

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