Online Review Characteristics and Information Asymmetry

Is it easy to switch between Online Shopping sites? A Case Study of Reviews from Amazon and Flipkart


  • Pondicherry University, Department of Management Studies, Pondicherry, 605 014, India
  • Only Success Leadership Academy Private Limited, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 600 024, India
  • Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Department of Management Studies, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, 627 012, India


Consumer characteristics and store attributes decide the store choice decision of consumers. To facilitate the switching process, physical formats create identical layout structures, shelf designs, staffing and billing desk. In similar lines, online stores also create features like similar website characteristics like the menu, creating shopping basket options, comparing product and billing process. Similar to Word-of-Mouth (WOM), online stores encourage and facilitate electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) communications through Online Consumer Reviews (OCR) in their websites. Many online buyers use the reviews of others, social media content and blogs in their decision process. To understand the distribution characteristics of the online reviews, in this research work, we analyze the online review from Amazon and Flipkart for the masks and sanitizers. In a review, star rating, review length and helpfulness of a review are visual characteristics that communicate the content faster than words and no research works compare their variation between two online sellers. We prove that there are significant differences exist in the distribution of review characteristics between the online retailers’ reviews. Two websites reviews vary in terms of star rating, review length and helpfulness votes. There are variations between Amazon and Flipkart reviews in general, and differences are observed in their brands sold also. Since the review characteristics and their distributions are unknown, this information asymmetry creates constraints for store switching behavior of online consumers.


COVID19, eWOM, Information Asymmetry, Online Consumer Reviews, Online Store Choice

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