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Title: Product rating statistics as consumer search aids
Authors: Guan, Chong
Lam, Shun Yin
Keywords: Business::Marketing
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Guan, C., & Lam, S. Y. (2019). Product rating statistics as consumer search aids. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 48, 51-70. doi:10.1016/j.intmar.2019.02.003
Journal: Journal of Interactive Marketing
Abstract: Online product review forums commonly provide consumers with averages of product ratings given by reviewers. Some also provide frequency distribution of ratings in the form of a histogram. The authors argue that consumers use these statistics as search aids when reading reviews. Provision of the average rating statistic affects consumers' reading of reviews through confirmation or disconfirmation of their expectancies about the product in question. However, provision of the distribution statistics attenuates this effect because it alerts consumers to divergent opinions. An eye-tracking experiment that simulated a forum visit demonstrates these effects. The experiment also shows that as a result of these effects, average rating provision causes consumer attitude toward the product to be more extreme, whereas rating distribution provision reduces this polarization. Further, supporting the expectancy confirmation account, results show that consumers with a high need for cognition exhibit a greater response to average rating provision than those with a low need. The findings suggest the benefits to marketers of tracking the number of negative reviews read by consumers and displaying positive reviews and negative reviews separately. The findings also identify circumstances that call for greater effort by marketers when responding to reviews.
ISSN: 1094-9968
DOI: 10.1016/j.intmar.2019.02.003
Schools: Nanyang Business School 
Organisations: Division of Marketing and International Business
Institute on Asian Consumer Insight
Rights: © 2019 Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, Inc. dba Marketing EDGE. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Journal of Interactive Marketing and is made available with permission of Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, Inc. dba Marketing EDGE.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:NBS Journal Articles

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