Profile photos' impact in online reviews: the effect of cultural differences

P Broeder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


In the context of the continuous expansion of e-commerce worldwide, online consumer reviews have become the most accessible and influential form of electronic worth-of-mouth available to everyone on the internet. This raises a
challenge for companies with local as well as global customers. It is germane to know whether there are cultural differences reflected in online reviews, as consumers from distinctively different cultures might trust the evaluation of the same product or service differently. In the present study, Dutch and Japanese individuals (N = 166) were presented with two variations of an online excursion review on a holiday booking website. The review with a profile photo of the reviewer was perceived as more realistic. However, this did not directly influence consumers’ booking intention. Meanwhile, the degree of trust in the review affected the inclination to book the excursion. Some cultural differences were found. The Dutch group reported higher booking intentions and trust than the Japanese group, both with the photo-absent review as well as the photo-present review. The implications of these findings contribute to a better understanding of cultural specifics and global universals in e-commerce, enabling the development of more effective online marketing communications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalReview of marketing science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Consumer Behavior
  • Online Reviews
  • Cross-cultural
  • Europe
  • Asia


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