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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

To post or not to post – Understanding differences in online review posting behavior

Published: May 28, 2019


Sabrina Gottschalk, Cass Business School, City, University of London; Alexander Mafael, Freie Universität Berlin; Jana Möller, Freie Universität Berlin


online review posting frequency; opinion minority; identity relevance


Consumers vary strongly in terms of how frequently they post online reviews. Yet, systematic differences between frequent and infrequent posters are not well understood. We propose and show that those two types of posters react very differently when perceiving that their opinion belongs to the minority of previously posted ratings. Furthermore, this effect seems to be conditional on identity-relevance of the product domain. Frequent posters reacted with increased intention to post a review, when they perceived their opinion to be in the minority of existing ratings. Infrequent posters, in contrast, seemed to shy away from posting in such a situation, in particular when the product was identity-relevant and seemed to prefer a situation of majority opinion. We add to prior literature on opinion voicing in social settings and relate this to online review posting frequency and identity-relevance of products.