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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 14, 2020

Influence of Images in Online Reviews for Search Goods on Helpfulness

  • Lars Osterbrink ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Paul Alpar and Alexander Seher


Reviewing and rating are important features of many social media websites, but they are found on many e-commerce sites too. The combination of social interaction and e-commerce is sometimes referred to as social commerce to indicate that people are supporting each other in the process of buying goods and services. Rgeviews of other consumers have a significant effect on consumer choice because they are usually considered authentic and more trustworthy than information presented by a vendor. The collaborative effort of consumers helps to make the right purchase decision (or prevent from a wrong one). The effect of reviews has often been researched in terms of helpfulness as indicated by their readers. Images are an important factor of helpfulness in reviews of experience goods where personal tastes and use play an important role. We extend this research to search goods where objective characteristics seem to prevail. In addition, we analyze potential interaction with other variables. The empirical study is performed with regression analyses on 3,483 search good reviews from followed by a matched pair analysis of 186 review pairs. We find that images have a significant positive effect on helpfulness of reviews of search goods too. This is especially true in case of short and ambiguous reviews.


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Published Online: 2020-03-14

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