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EMAC 2023 Annual

How digital devices shape online recommendations

Published: May 24, 2023


Lisa-Marie Klopfer, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg; Lukas Wolf, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg; Martina Steul-Fischer, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Digitalization and technological developments have led to a shift from face-to-face to online recommendations. To create and submit online recommendations, digital devices (smartphone, laptops/PCs) must be used. Current research has extensively shown that the creation of online reviews is influenced by the device used. However, research on the influence of the device used on online recommendations is scarce. Drawing on data from two experiments, this paper demonstrates how online recommendations are influenced by both the device used and the tie strength between sender and receiver. We show that recommendations are shorter in length, less diverse and less positive when written on smartphones compared to laptops/PCs. Surprisingly, we find neither interaction effects with tie strength nor differences in emotionality or self-disclosure. Our results advance the rapidly growing research on devices in an omnichannel environment and provide important insights for customer referral programs.