Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2014

Abstract

It is generally assumed that ratings are a numeric representation of text sentiments and their valences are consistent. This however may not always be true. Using a panel of data on over 4000 books from Amazon.com, we develop a multiple equation model to examine the inter-relationships between ratings, sentiments, and sales. We find that ratings do not have a significant direct impact on sales but have an indirect impact through sentiments. Sentiments, however, have a direct significant impact on sales. Our findings also indicate that the two most accessible types of reviews - most helpful and most recent - play a significant role in determining sales. This suggests that information that is easily accessible and cognitive effort-reducing heuristics play a role in online purchase decisions. This study advances our understanding on the inter-relationship between ratings, sentiments, and sales and sheds insight on the relevance of ratings and sentiments over a sequential decision making process.

Keywords

User-generated content, Online consumer reviews, Sentiments, Ratings, Interplay, Search and choice

Discipline

E-Commerce | Marketing | Sales and Merchandising

Research Areas

Marketing

Publication

Decision Support Systems

Volume

57

First Page

42

Last Page

53

ISSN

0167-9236

Identifier

10.1016/j.dss.2013.07.009

Publisher

Elsevier

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2013.07.009

Share

COinS