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In stars we trust – A note on reputation portability between digital platforms

Hesse, Maik; Teubner, Timm; Adam, Marc T. P.

Complementors accumulate reputation on an ever-increasing number of online platforms. While the effects of reputation within individual platforms are well-understood, its potential effectiveness across platform boundaries has received much less attention. This research note considers complementors’ ability to increase their trustworthiness in the eyes of prospective consumers by importing reputational data from another platform. The study evaluates this potential lever by means of an online experiment, during which specific combinations of on-site and imported rating scores are tested. Results reveal that importing reputation can be advantageous – but also detrimental, depending on ratings’ values. Implications for complementors, platform operators, and regulatory bodies concerned with online reputation are considered.
Published in: Business & Information Systems Engineering, 10.1007/s12599-021-00717-9, Springer Nature