The Effects of Perceived Quality and Usefulness of Consumer Reviews on Review Reading and Purchase Intention
Online customer reviews are peer-generated product evaluations posted on company or third party websites. Many retailers offer consumers opportunities to participate in product reviews and share their experiences and opinions with other consumers on their online store websites. This study identifies factors that generate negative perceptions of information quality in online reviews. In addition, the influential role of negative perceptions of consumer reviews and perceived usefulness of online reviews on reading of online reviews and purchase intentions in online stores hosting the reviews are examined. Using a survey, data were collected from 312 male and female university undergraduate students with experience purchasing products online and reading reviews online. Hypotheses were tested using measurement and structural equation models. Four information quality elements (irrelevancy, incredibility, exaggeration, and untimeliness) were developed as measures of negative perceptions of review quality. Based on the results of the research model, researchers found consumers’ negative perceptions of review quality decreased online purchase intentions by deterring the reading behavior of reviews while consumers’ positive perceptions of the usefulness of reviews increased reading activity. This study highlights the importance of consumer review reading behavior and its effect on purchase intention in online stores. Creating supportive systems to enhance the quality of online reviews will allow consumers to make better purchase decisions.
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