Kwok Kee Wei
Electronic word-of-mouth (EWOM) systems have become an inalienable and indispensable part of electronic commerce and evolved into a rich information environment that contain a set of communication elements. Understanding how these communication elements operate simultaneously to shape consumers’ decision with the product in the EWOM context is a prerequisite for designing value-adding EWOM systems. Drawing on Elaboration Likelihood Model and the additivity and the bias hypotheses, we document the roles of multiple communication elements in EWOM systems, namely the product review, the informant profile, the peer rating indicator, and the informant status indicator, in affecting a consumer’s acceptance of the product in an EWOM system. Through an experimental study, we observe that the acceptance of the product is positively affected by the diagnosticity of the product review and the informant’s credibility. The diagnosticity of the review is in turn affected by the congruence between its coverage and the consumer’s personal consumption needs. Informant credibility is influenced by the concentration of the informant’s past information contribution on the focal product category and this relationship is moderated by the system artifact that displays the informant’s status.