Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 24 Number 4 2008 pp. 101-121

Establishing Trust in Electronic Commerce Through Online Word of Mouth: An Examination Across Genders

Awad, Neveen F and Ragowsky, Arik

ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the cultural effect of gender on the relationship of online word of mouth and trust in e-commerce. To encourage online commerce, many online retailers use online word-of-mouth systems, where consumers can rate products offered for sale. To date, how such ratings affect trust and adoption of e-commerce across genders has been relatively unexplored. We assess whether the effect of online trust on intention to shop online is moderated by gender. Our results show that the effect of trust on intention to shop online is stronger for women than for men. In addition, we find that men value their ability to post content online, whereas women value the responsive participation of other consumers to the content they have posted. Finally, we find that online word-of-mouth quality affects online trust differently across genders.

Key words and phrases: consumer-generated content, electronic commerce, gender, online trust, online word of mouth, sociolinguistic theory