Online consumer reviews: A marketing tool to improve the perceived informativeness and perceived value

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Vali, Hessamedin
Yildirim, Mehmet Bayram
Xu, David Jingjun

Consumer reviews as an important source of product information are becoming popular in online markets. Due to lack of physical access to the product and variation among buyer preferences, there is always the risk of selecting an inappropriate product that doesn’t meet a customer’s needs. If this happens, not only does the buyer face an uncomfortable situation, but also the seller will be in jeopardy of losing potential customers as well as paying warrantyrelated costs and expenses. In the second chapter, the focus is on different types of conflicting information among reviews as factors that affect their informativeness and accuracy of a purchasing decision. Cognitive load theory explains that when a type of review conflict is easy to capture but cannot be related to a product, like a conflicting star rating, the cognitive load is too low, and the product information cannot be captured. Conflicting attributes can be easily related to a product and they are easy to capture; therefore, the cognitive load is medium and the delivered information is high. In the third chapter, the focus is on the effect of a review’s repeating purchase cues on the overall perceived value of the product. In summary, when a positive review includes repeating purchase cues, positive reviews are perceived more helpful than negative reviews. Finally, the value of review dimensions and review format on the review’s perceived value is studied. In general, comparison reviews are perceived to be more valuable than noncomparison reviews. However, in the field of consumer reviews, comparing reviews provides too much information and overwhelms the potential buyer. By categorizing information in a table format, the overwhelming issue can be managed so, comparing reviews in a table format is perceived more valuable than existing traditional reviews.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering