The Effects of Online Product Reviews on Sales Performance: Focusing on Number, Extremity, and Length

  • Received : 2019.03.27
  • Accepted : 2019.05.05
  • Published : 2019.05.30


Purpose - The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of customer's communication on sales performance in the online market. Research design, data, and methodology - This study uses linear regression analysis to examine the effects of product review characteristics which are the result of customer's communication, on sales performance by using product reviews of online marketplace Amazon. Result - The increase in the number of product reviews positively affected sales performance. An increase in extreme opinions in the product review has a positive effect on sales performance. The product review length has a negative effect on sales performance. Conclusions - This study has shown the online marketplace customers' communication can influence sales performance using product review big data. This study contributed to the theoretical completeness by analyzing all the products of the book category in Amazon online market. This research will complement the theories regard to the customer behavior affecting sales performance. We expect the empirical analysis result will provide empirical help to sellers, online marketplace operators, and customers. In particular, the number of letters in the product may negatively affect sales performance, so sellers need to consider this effect carefully when exposing product reviews.


  1. Abernethy, A. M., & Franke, G. R. (1996). The information content of advertising: A meta-analysis. Journal of advertising, 25(2), 1-17.
  2. Ahn, T., Ryu, S., & Han, I. (2004). The impact of the online and offline features on the user acceptance of Internet shopping malls. Electronic commerce research and applications, 3(4), 405-420.
  3. Amblee, N., & Bui, T. (2011). Harnessing the influence of social proof in online shopping: The effect of electronic word of mouth on sales of digital microproducts. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 16(2), 91-114.
  4. Ba, S., & Pavlou, P. (2002). Evidence of the Effect of Trust Building Technology in Electronic Markets: Price Premiums and Buyer Behavior. MS Quarterly, 26(3), 243-268.
  5. Bassok, M., & Trope, Y. (1984). People's strategies for testing hypotheses about another's per-sonality: Confirmatory or diagnostic?. Social Cognition, 2(3), 199-216.
  6. Bei, L-T, Chen, E. Y. I., & Widdows, R. (2004). Consumers’ Online Information Search Behavior and the Phenomenon of Search and Experience Products. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 25(4), 449-467.
  7. Benlian, A., Titah, R., & Hess, T. (2012). Differential effects of provider recommendations and consumer reviews in e-commerce transactions: An experimental study. Journal of Management Information Systems, 29(1), 237-272.
  8. Bhattacharjee, S., Gopal, R. D., Lertwachara, K., & Marsden, J. R. (2006). Consumer Search and Retailer Strategies in the Presence of Online Music Sharing, Journal of Management Information Systems, 23(1), 129-159.
  9. Brister, J. M. (1991). Word of Mouth Communication and Their Effects in Consumer Network. Advances in Consumer Research, 18, 155-169.
  10. Byun, S. (2018). Evaluating Information Technology Systems Using Consumer Surveys: The Role of Personal Product Knowledge. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business (JAFEB), 5(4), 117-125.
  11. Chatterjee P. (2001). Online Reviews: Do Consumers Use Them?. Advances in consumer research, 28, 129-134.
  12. Chen, P., Wu, S., & Yoon, J. (2004). The Impact of Online Recommendations and Consumer Feedback on Sales, in Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Information Systems, R. Agarwal, L. Kirsch, and J. I. DeGross (eds.), Washington, DC, December 12-14, 711-724.
  13. Chen, Y., & Xie, J. (2005). Third-Party Product Review and Firm Marketing Strategy. Marketing Science, 24(2), 218-240.
  14. Chevalier, J. A., & Mayzlin, D. (2006). The effect of word of mouth on sales: Online book reviews. Journal of marketing research, 43(3), 345-354.
  15. Childers, T. L., Carr, C. L., Peck, J., & Carson, S. (2001). Hedonic and utilitarian motivations for online retail shopping behavior. Journal of retailing, 77(4), 511-535.
  16. Condit, P. M. (1994). Focusing on the customer: How Boeing does it. Research-Technology Management, 37(1), 33-37.
  17. Coovert, M. D., & Reeder, G. D. (1990). Negativity effects in impression formation: The role of unit formation and schematic expectations. Journal of experimental social psychology, 26(1), 49-62.
  18. Cormode, G., & Krishnamurthy, B. (2008). Key differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. First Monday, 13(6).
  19. Cui, G., Lui, H. K., & Guo, X. (2012). The effect of online consumer reviews on new product sales. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 17(1), 39-58.
  20. DiMaggio, P., Evans, J., & Bryson, B. (1996). Have American's social attitudes become more polarized?. American journal of Sociology, 102(3), 690-755.
  21. Eisend, M. (2006). Two-sided advertising: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 23(2), 187-198.
  22. Fiske, S. T. (1980). Attention and weight in person perception: The impact of negative and extreme behavior. Journal of personality and Social Psychology, 38(6), 889.
  23. Gretzel, U, & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2006). Persuasion in Recom mendation Systems. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 11(2), 81-100.
  24. Gronroos, C. (1997). From marketing mix to relationship marketing-towards a paradigm shift in marketing. Management decision, 35(3-4), 322-340.
  25. Guo, S., Wang, M., & Leskovec, J. (2011). The role of social networks in online shopping: Information passing, price of trust, and consumer choice. In Proceedings of the 12th ACM conference on Electronic commerce, 157-166.
  26. Ha, Y. (2018). Online Brand Community and Its Outcomes. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business (JAFEB), 5(4), 107-116.
  27. He, R., & McAuley, J. (2016). Ups and downs: Modeling the visual evolution of fashion trends with one-class collaborative filtering. In proceedings of the 25th international conference on world wide web, 507-517, International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee.
  28. Henning-Thurau, T. (2004). Motive des lesens von kundenartikulationen im internet: Theoretische und empirische analyse. In Konsumentenverhalten im Internet, 171-193, Gabler Verlag.
  29. Herr, P. M., Kardes, F. R., & Kim, J. (1991). Effects of word-of-mouth and product-attribute information on persuasion: An accessibility-diagnosticity perspective. Journal of consumer research, 17(4), 454-462.
  30. Higgins, E. T., & Lurie, L. (1983). Context, categorization, and recall: The "change-of-standard" effect. Cognitive Psychology, 15(4), 525-547.
  31. Hu, N., Pavlou, P. A., & Zhang, J. (2006). Can online reviews reveal a product's true quality?: Empirical findings and analytical modeling of Online word-of-mouth communication. In Proceedings of the 7th ACM conference on Electronic commerce, 324-330, ACM.
  32. Huang, P., Lurie, N. H., & Mitra, S. (2009). Searching for experience on the web: An empirical examination of consumer behavior for search and experience goods. Journal of marketing, 73(2), 55-69.
  33. Isenberg, D. J. (1986). Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Journal of personality and social psychology, 50(6), 1141.
  34. Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
  35. Kollock, P. (1999). The production of trust in online markets. Advances in group processes, 16(1), 99-123.
  36. Koo, D. M., & Ju, S. H. (2010). The interactional effects of atmospherics and perceptual curiosity on emotions and online shopping intention. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(3), 377-388.
  37. Laughlin, P. R., & Earley, P. C. (1982). Social combination models, persuasive arguments theory, social comparison theory, and choice shift. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42(2), 273.
  38. Lea, M., & Spears, R. (1991). Computer-mediated communication, de-individuation and group decision-making. International journal of man-machine studies, 34(2), 283-301.
  39. Lee, E. J. (2007). Deindividuation effects on group polarization in computer-mediated communication: The role of group identification, public-self-awareness, and perceived argument quality. Journal of communication, 57(2), 385-403.
  40. Lee, G. G., & Lin, H. F. (2005). Customer perceptions of e-service quality in online shopping. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 33(2), 161-176.
  41. Lee, J. W., & Kwag, M. (2017). Corporate marketing strategy using social media: A case study of the Ritz-Carlton Seoul. Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 4(1), 79-86.
  42. Lee, J., Park, D. H., & Han, I. (2011). The different effects of online consumer reviews on consumers' purchase intentions depending on trust in online shopping malls: An advertising perspective. Internet research, 21(2), 187-206.
  43. Lee, M., Rodgers, S., & Kim, M. (2009). Effects of valence and extremity of eWOM on attitude toward the brand and website. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 31(2), 1-11.
  44. Liu, Y. (2006). Word of mouth for movies: Its dynamics and impact on box office revenue. Journal of marketing, 70(3), 74-89.
  45. Lu, H. P., & Yu-Jen Su, P. (2009). Factors affecting purchase intention on mobile shopping web sites. Internet Research, 19(4), 442-458.
  46. Lust, K. D., Brown, J., & Thomas, W. (1996). Maternal intake of cruciferous vegetables and other foods and colic symptoms in exclusively breast-fed infants. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 96(1), 46-48.
  47. Meyvis, T., & Janiszewski, C. (2002). Consumers' beliefs about product benefits: The effect of obviously irrelevant product information. Journal of Consumer Research, 28(4), 618-635.
  48. Miao, L., & Mattila, A. S. (2007). How and how much to reveal? The effects of price transparency on consumers' price perceptions. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 31(4), 530-545.
  49. Milgrom, P., & Roberts, J. (1986). Price and advertising signals of product quality. Journal of political economy, 94(4), 796-821.
  50. Mudambi, S. M., & Schuff, D. (2010). Research note: What makes a helpful online review? A study of customer reviews on Amazon. com. MIS quarterly, 34(1), 185-200.
  51. Park, C. H., & Kim, Y. G. (2003). Identifying key factors affecting consumer purchase behavior in an online shopping context. International journal of retail & distribution management, 31(1), 16-29.
  52. Pavlou, P., & Gefen, D. (2004). Building Effective Online Marketplaces with Institution-Based Trust. Information Systems Research, 15(1), 37-59.
  53. Perea y Monsuwe, T., Dellaert, B. G., & De Ruyter, K. (2004). What drives consumers to shop online? A literature review. International journal of service industry management, 15(1), 102-121.
  54. Postmes, T., & Spears, R. (1998). Deindividuation and antinormative behavior: A meta-analysis. Psychological bulletin, 123(3), 238.
  55. Reicher, S. D., Spears, R., & Postmes, T. (1995). A social identity model of deindividuation phenomena. European review of social psychology, 6(1), 161-198.
  56. Rheingold, Howard. (1993). The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. New York: Addison-Wesley
  57. Rime, B., Philippot, P., Boca, S., & Mesquita, B. (1992). Long-lasting cognitive and social consequences of emotion: Social sharing and rumination. European review of social psychology, 3(1), 225-258.
  58. Robertson, T. S., Zielinski, J., & Ward, S. (1984). Customer Behavior. Foresman and Company, Glenview, IL.
  59. Ryan, R. M. (2006). A special issue on approach and avoidance motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 30(2), 103-104.
  60. Schindler, R. M., & Bickart, B. (2012). Perceived helpfulness of online consumer reviews: The role of message content and style. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 11(3), 234-243.
  61. Schwenk, C. H. (1986). Information, cognitive biases, and commitment to a course of action. Academy of Management Review, 11(2), 298-310.
  62. Shogren, J. F. (2018). Experiments in Environmental Economics, Volumes I and II. Routledge.
  63. Skowronski, J. J., & Carlston, D. E. (1989). Negativity and extremity biases in impression formation: A review of explanations. Psychological bulletin, 105(1), 131.
  64. Spears, R., & Lea, M. (1992). Social influence and the influence of the social in computer mediated communication In: Context of computer mediated communication. Ed: Martin Lea, Bodmin, Great Brittain.
  65. Spears, R., Lea, M., & Lee, S. (1990). De-individuation and group polarization in computer-mediated communication. British Journal of Social Psychology, 29(2), 121-134.
  66. Spears, R., Postmes, T., Lea, M., & Wolbert, A. (2002). When are net effects gross products? Communication. Journal of Social Issues, 58(1), 91-107.
  67. Turner, J. C., Wetherell, M. S., & Hogg, M. A. (1989). Referent informational influence and group polarization. British Journal of Social Psychology, 28(2), 135-147.
  68. Varian, H. R. (1980). A model of sales. The American Economic Review, 70(4), 651-659.
  69. von Hippel, Eric. (1988). The Sources of Innovation. Oxford University Press, New York.
  70. Wallace, P. (1999). The psychology of the Internet. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, USA.
  71. Wang, S., & Archer, N. P. (2007). Electronic marketplace definition and classification: literature review and clarifications. Enterprise Information Systems, 1(1), 89-112.
  72. Weathers, D., Sharma, S., & Wood, S. L. (2007). Effects of Online Communication Practices on Consumer Perceptions of Performance Uncertainty for Search and Experience Goods. Journal of Retailing, 83(4), 393-401.
  73. Webster Jr, F. E. (1992). The changing role of marketing in the corporation. The Journal of Marketing, 56(4), 1-17.
  74. Xiao, B., & Benbasat, I. (2011). Product-related deception in e-commerce: A theoretical perspective. Mis Quarterly, 35(1), 169-196.
  75. Zeelenberg, M., & Pieters, R. (2004). Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction: A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services. Journal of business Research, 57(4), 445-455.