University of Twente Student Theses


The effects of ratio of reviews and product type

Ros, M. (2016) The effects of ratio of reviews and product type.

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Abstract:On the internet, consumers can share their experiences with products with other consumers. This is called eWOM (electronic word-of-mouth). For consumers, eWOM is one of the main sources of information with regards to purchasing a product online. While previous studies mainly researched the effects of a single positive or negative review. This study will elaborate on Doh and Hwang’s (2009) study on ratio of positive and negative reviews. Doh and Hwang (2009) used the following ratios of positive to negative reviews: 10:0, 9:1, 8:2, 7:3 and 6:4. The present study will focus on the same amount of reviews (10) and roughly the same ratios (10:0, 8:2 and 6:4). Those ratios were chosen because they showed the most significant results in Doh and Hwang’s study. The present study attempted to find new theoretical insights by elaborating on the study by Doh and Hwang (2009) and investigating if the effects differentiate for different product types, namely search and experience goods. Therefore, the following research question was formulated: To what extent do the ratio of positive and negative reviews and the type of product have an effect on purchase intention, attitude towards the product, attitude towards the website and the credibility of the reviews? This research employed a 3 (Ratio of positive and negative reviews: 10:0, 8:2 and 6:4) x 2 (Product type: Search good and Experience good) experimental design. The data was collected through an online questionnaire. Analysis of the results showed that although positive reviews are definitely needed to create a positive attitude towards the product and to increase the purchase intention, a few negative reviews in a set of positive reviews are not necessarily disadvantageous. Furthermore, two negative reviews in a set of ten reviews can even be advantageous because it has a positive influence on the perceived credibility of the reviews. Finally, in an online context, reviews have a more positive effect on the purchase intention and attitude towards the product of search goods than of experience goods.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Unknown organization, Nederland
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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