The Effect of on-Line Consumer Reviews on Consumer Purchasing Intention: the Moderating Role of Involvement

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Do-Hyung Park, Jumin Lee, and Ingoo Han. “The Effect of On-line Consumer Reviews on Consumer Purchasing Intention: The Moderating Role of Involvement.” International Journal of Electronic Commerce. Vol. 11, pg 125-148. Summer 2007.


Recent research has reinforced the importance of product reviews in e-commerce.

Since posting and maintaining on-line reviews is quite inexpensive, most e-business sites keep them for the entire duration of a product offering. Customer Reviews serve several functions on company's Website; they serve as both informants and recommenders in helping customers make purchasing decisions. Online customer reviews are a trusted source of product information for consumers and therefore a potentially valuable sales asset. A major disadvantage for Internet based commerce is that the online consumer frequently does not have sufficient information to judge quality, value and usefulness of online products due to the fact that shoppers can’t physically touch or feel them. Thus, online shoppers are severely limited in their ability to judge a products value. Online consumers have to rely solely on brand recognition, product information and word of mouth before making a buying decision. Online sellers seek to overcome this limitation by giving consumers the opportunity to share product evaluations online. Online customer reviews serve two purposes, functioning as an informant and a recommender. An informant provides user oriented product information while a recommender provides electronic word of mouth (eWOM). Many sites do not implement these tools effectively. This report’s purpose was to study how online reviews effect consumer purchasing behavior.

The study collected data from three hundred fifty-two college students who participated voluntarily. Their average age was 23, and 72 percent of them were male. The subjects were given a portable multimedia player that displayed digital music and video. This PMP(portable...