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An Empirical Comparison of the Credibility on Customer Online Reviews and Product Tester Reviews

Especially when buying products online, the only information available is either from the manufacturer or from customers in the form of online reviews. Due to the increasing importance of online reviews, Amazon has a product tester program that writes product tester reviews in addition to previous customer online reviews. This study investigates the credibility of product tester reviews in the three core dimensions of credibility – competence, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. The authors compare customer reviews with product tester reviews in terms of their perceived credibility. Also, it is investigated whether the valence of the online reviews influences the credibility assessment. Based on an online experiment, a 2x2 between-subject-design is developed in an empirical analysis to gain empirical insights into the credibility of online reviews. The empirical analysis suggests the following main findings. Customers as authors of online reviews are rated as more credible. The authors of customer online reviews are perceived more competent, trustworthy and attractive by recipients compared to product testers. The valence of online reviews has no influence, except for the credibility dimension trustworthiness. The findings of this study enrich previous literature by showing online platforms with rating systems how customer reviews and product tester reviews are perceived by customers.

Online Review, Credibility Dimensions, Product Tester Review, Customer Review, Source Credibility Model, Valence

Nadine Ampler, Nina Lehmann-Zschunke. (2023). An Empirical Comparison of the Credibility on Customer Online Reviews and Product Tester Reviews. Journal of Business and Economic Development, 8(2), 56-68.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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