Online Customer Reviews Within Business-to-Business: Exploring Elements That Affect Customer Reliance On Online Customer Reviews
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential importance of online customer reviews within business-to-business and identify the significant elements of online customer reviews within the sector. Managerial Implications: The findings from this research can assist decision-makers in a busi- ness-to-business setting to better understand and navigate through online channels. It will assist business entities in better gauging what customers look for when they research online channels before arriving at their decision to buy or not to buy. Methodology: A qualitative research design has been employed in writing this research paper. The primary material has been collected from two interviews with business-to-business com- pany representatives. Primary data combined with secondary research and theoretical frame- works are the basis of analysis and conclusions drawn in this research. Findings: Overlapping factors influencing customers reliance on online customer reviews in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer sectors are outlined, such as: customer characteristics, valence, number of reviews, and reviewer credibility. Factors only relevant in the business-to-business context are also highlighted, which are: the online customer reviews appeal to customer needs; and amount of information in the review Research Limitations: Lack of prior research in the area of business-to-business with a focus on online customer reviews served as a limitation. Moreover, the limited number of interviews conducted is another limitation. Originality/Value: Research based on business-to-business relating to online customer reviews has been lacking. The overlapping influencing factors of business-to-consumer and business- to-business areas as well as new findings from the interviews can facilitate further research in this field.
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