Online product review networks play an important role in Internet commerce by transmitting information that customers can use to evaluate physical products in a digitally mediated marketplace. These networks frequently include an explicit social component allowing consumers to view both how community members have rated individual product reviews and the social status of individual reviewers. Moreover, the prior literature has not analyzed the impact of these social cues on consumer behavior, focusing instead on the impact of aggregate review ratings. This work extends this prior work by analyzing how these social factors impact consumer responses to disaggregate review information. To do this, a new dataset collected from Amazon.com’s customer reviews of books is used. This dataset allows to control for the degree to which other community members found the review helpful, and the reputation of the reviewer in the community.
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