Title

Too Popular to Ignore: The Influence of Online Reviews on Purchase Intentions of Search and Experience Products

Publication Date

7-10-2013

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Consumers assess the credibility of online product reviews to guide their purchase decisions. However, little is known about how consumers determine the credibility of online product reviews. This article examines the effect of the level of detail in a product review and the level of reviewer agreement with it on the credibility of a review and consumers' purchase intentions for search and experience products. Overall, the results indicate that more credible reviews lead to higher purchase intentions. Interestingly, the findings also demonstrate that consumers determine the credibility of a review differently for search and experience products. For search products, consumers deem online reviews to be more credible when the reviews contain detailed information about the product. However, for experience products, consumers determine the credibility of a review by assessing the level of reviewer agreement with a review. The lack of diagnosticity of detailed information in online reviews of experience products is attributed to the idiosyncratic nature of experiences. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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