The dynamic effects of online product reviews on purchase decisions
Previous studies have demonstrated that online reviews play an important role in the purchase decision process. Though the effects of positive and negative reviews to consumers’ purchase decisions have been analyzed, they were examined statically and separately. In reality, online review community allows everyone to express and receive opinions and individuals can reexamine their opinions after receiving messages from others. The goal of this paper is to study how potential customers form their opinions dynamically under the effects of both positive and negative reviews using a numerical simulation. The results show that consumers with different membership levels have different information sensitivities to online reviews. Consumers at low and medium membership levels are often persuaded by online reviews, regardless of their initial opinion about a product. On the other hand, online reviews have less effect on consumers at higher membership levels, who often make purchase decisions based on their initial impressions of a product.
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