Customer reviews are essential to online marketplaces. However, reviews typically vary; ratings of a product or service are rarely the same. In many service marketplaces, including the ones for solar panel installations, supply-side participants are active. That is, a seller must make a proposal to serve each customer. In such marketplaces, it is not clear how (or if) the dispersion in customer reviews affects the seller activity level and number of matches in the marketplace. Our paper examines this by considering both ratings and text reviews. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that empirically studies how the review dispersion affects a seller’s activity level and the number of matches in an online marketplace with active sellers. Distinct from literature, we examine the relationship between the review dispersion and supply-side activities in an online service marketplace.
Note: Research papers posted on SSRN, including any findings, may differ from the final version chosen for publication in academic journals.