How Electronic Word of Mouth Matters in Peer-to-Peer Accommodation: The Role of Price and Responsiveness
Fuzhen Liu, Kee-hung Lai, Jiang Wu, and Xin (Robert) Luo
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 26, Number 2, 2022, pp. 174-199.
Under information asymmetry, electronic word of mouth (eWOM) is crucial to understanding customer experience in peer-to-peer (P2P) accommodation. However, the topics of what dimensions are included in eWOM and how these dimensions determine sales performance from a contingency perspective remain starkly underinvestigated. Drawing upon trust transfer theory and signaling theory, we identify two eWOM dimensions (i.e., listing-based eWOM and host-based eWOM) and examine their interactions with price and responsiveness on sales performance. Using objective data from Xiaozhu.com, a leading accommodation-sharing platform in China, we apply machine learning algorithms and economic analysis to illustrate customer behavior. Our results indicate that the valence of listing-based eWOM and that of host-based eWOM are positively associated with sales performance. Compared with listing-based eWOM, host-based eWOM exerts a more decisive influence on sales performance. Notably, the relationship between the valence of listing-based eWOM (host-based eWOM) and sales performance is weakened (strengthened) by listing price (host’s responsiveness). These findings provide helpful managerial insights for service strategies and policy actions to improve the accommodation-sharing economy.