Research Highlights

Shoppers, retailers, and manufacturers all feel the effects of online customer reviews. Researchers at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business looked at the influence of the first review after they noticed that the exact same products were getting positive reviews on one retailer’s website but negative reviews on others. The question is, “Why would a product receive a 4.7-star rating with 100 reviews on Amazon, but only four or five reviews with a two-star rating on Walmart or BestBuy?”. To find out, they analyzed what might cause the variation. By comparing identical vacuum cleaners, toasters, and digital cameras on Amazon and Best Buy, they were able to isolate the first review as the key variable in how the...

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