Power of eWOM

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Power of eWOM

The Impact of eWOM Message Characteristics on the Perceived Effectiveness of Online Consumer Reviews

Researchers at the University of Texas (Austin) conducted a study on how various factors of eWOM messages impact consumers’ attitudes of the reviewer, the product, and their intent to purchase. Specifically, the study measures how message type and tone, or “valence,” (negative, positive) can influence consumer opinions about products.

Research Methodology:
Participants were presented 1 of 6 anonymous reviews connected to Amazon.com via an email link. After reading through the online product review, subjects were asked to indicate their attitude toward the review, attitude toward the product, attitude toward reviewer, and purchase intention.

Implications:
Understanding which types of online reviews (attributes or benefits) and the tone of the reviewer (positive, negative, mixed) most influence consumer attitudes and purchase intentions can bolster online marketers’ advertising strategies. Marketing teams can find ways to promote and direct customers to online reviews that maximize positive impact on their brands.

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Article Insights:

  • Message Characteristics (type and valence) influence consumer attitudes toward products and reviewer credibility.
  • Message valence interacts with type.
  • Benefit-centric reviews result in higher recall than attribute-centric reviews.

Access The Study Here

Editor’s Note:
Citation:  Wang, S., Cunningham, N. R., & Eastin, M. S. (2015). The impact of eWOM message characteristics on the perceived effectiveness of online consumer reviews. Journal of Interactive Advertising,15(2).
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