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The Research

Reviews created on a mobile device influence consumer perceptions and behaviors differently than those created on a nonmobile device. Consumer think that mobile devices require more physical efforts to write, so the review is more credible. This greater perceived credibility results in a rise in consumers’ purchase intentions for mobile versus nonmobile reviews. This pattern only holds when the review is positive and the beliefs surrounding this process are not interrupted by the presence of other pieces of information that are more easily accessible indicators of review effort or credibility (e.g., review length, written by a top contributor, etc.).

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What You Need to Know

On some popular review platforms, consumers are explicitly made aware if a review was posted from a mobile device. This knowledge can positively influence customers’ evaluations of a review. And can result in stronger sales.



In the context of user-generated content (UGC), mobile devices have made it easier for consumers to review products and services in a timely manner. In practice, some UGC sites indicate if a review was posted from a mobile device. For example, TripAdvisor uses a “via mobile” label to denote reviews from mobile devices. However, the extent to which such information affects consumers is unknown. To address this gap, the authors use TripAdvisor data and five experiments to examine how mobile devices influence consumers’ perceptions of online reviews and their purchase intentions. They find that knowing a review was posted from a mobile device can lead consumers to have higher purchase intentions. Interestingly, this is due to a process in which consumers assume mobile reviews are more physically effortful to craft and subsequently equate this greater perceived effort with the credibility of the review.

Grewal, Lauren, and Andrew T. Stephen. “In Mobile We Trust: The Effects of Mobile Versus Nonmobile Reviews on Consumer Purchase Intentions.” Journal of Marketing Research 56, no. 5 (October 2019): 791–808. doi:10.1177/0022243719834514.