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How Online Product Reviews Affect Retail Sales: A Meta-analysis

Kristopher Floyd, Ryan Freling, Saad Alhoqail, Hyun Young Cho and Traci Freling

Journal of Retailing, 2014, vol. 90, issue 2, 217-232

Abstract: A growing body of research has emerged on online product reviews and their ability to elicit performance outcomes desired by retailers; yet, a common understanding of the performance implications of online product reviews has eluded us. Scholars continue to navigate an array of studies assessing different design elements of online product reviews, and various research settings and data sources. We undertake a meta-analysis of 26 empirical studies yielding 443 sales elasticities to examine how these variables relate to retail sales. Building on well-established meta-analytical methods, we address the following questions: How does review valence influence the elasticity of retailer sales? What about review volume? For which product types and usage situations do online product reviews have a greater impact on retailer sales elasticity? Which types of online reviewers and websites exert the greatest influence on retailer sales elasticity? Our study answers these important questions and provides a much needed quantitative synthesis of this burgeoning stream of research.

Keywords: Online word-of-mouth; Electronic word-of-mouth; Online consumer reviews; Online feedback mechanisms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jouret:v:90:y:2014:i:2:p:217-232

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