University of Twente Student Theses


The social influence factor: Impact of online product review characteristics on consumer purchasing decisions

Holleschovsky, N.I. (2015) The social influence factor: Impact of online product review characteristics on consumer purchasing decisions.

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Abstract:Consumers no longer base their purchasing decisions only on advertisements or professional advices but instead primarily rely on online consumer opinions in the form of reviews as future consumers search for reviews across various online consumer review platforms. The various review platforms differ in their function characteristics; hence reviews are displayed differently across platforms. No literature until this point has further analyzed review function characteristics and viewed those as a moderating variable of reviews and consumer purchasing decisions. The impact of online consumer reviews on consumer purchasing decisions was validated and is of high importance for a company’s profitability. Monitoring and quick responding to high numbers of reviews which one single product can attract in a short time on various platforms are challenging for companies but essential for reputation management and product sales. Therefore, to do so effectively, companies need to understand consumer reviews platforms and its review content. The research challenge therefore entails review function characteristics and its impact on consumer purchasing decisions. The research identifies four main categories of review online platforms which are retail websites, independent reviewing platforms, video-sharing platforms and personal blogs. All of them display reviews in different formats with various review function characteristics. An online survey, conducted by the author, with a population of 211 respondents, analyzed consumer opinions about the diverse platforms and review mechanisms and the impact of those on consumer buying behavior. The results show an impact of credibility and usability characteristics on consumer reliance in reviews. Finally, it can be concluded that consumers make use of various platforms and are thereby influenced in their purchasing decision through credibility and usability review function characteristics.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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