Inderscience Publishers

How perceived quality of online reviews affects consumer purchase intention

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The effect of online product reviews on product sales has become a central interest of marketing and information systems researchers because of the popularity of such type of reviews. However, most previous studies were conducted at the product level, rather than at the website level. Analysing the influence of online reviews on consumer intention to purchase on websites is necessary because websites are more concerned about the aggregate effect of online reviews on sales, rather than sales from individual products. Using word-of-mouth literature and information quality theory as bases, we examine whether and how online reviews affect consumer purchase intention on a specific website. We identify four online review attributes, namely, intrinsic quality of online reviews, number of online reviews, reviewer reputation, and review timeliness, and assess their effects on consumer purchase intention. The findings of this study reveal the positive effects of the first two factors on consumer purchase intention, whereas the remaining two attributes show no such influence.

Keywords: online reviews, word-of-mouth, WOM, information quality, purchase intention, review quality, consumer behaviour, perceived quality, product reviews, reviewer reputation, review timeliness, websites

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