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Do online reviews still matter post-purchase?

Do online reviews still matter post-purchase?
Do online reviews still matter post-purchase?
Purpose
The influence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) information, such as online reviews, on consumers’ decision making is well documented, but it is unclear if online reviews still matter in post-purchase evaluation and behaviours. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which online reviews (aggregate rating (AR) and individual reviews (IR)) influence consumers’ evaluation and post-purchase behaviour by considering the valence congruence of online reviews and consumption experience (CE).

Design/methodology/approach
Following social comparison theory and relevant literature, the authors conduct an online experiment (pre-test: n=180; main study: n=347). The authors rely on a 2 (CE valence) ×2 (AR valence) ×2 (IR valence) between-subjects design.

Findings
Congruence/incongruence between the valences of CE, AR and IR affects consumers’ post-purchase evaluation at the emotional, brand and media levels and review-writing behaviour. In comparison to aggregated rating, IR are more important in the post-purchase stage. Similarly, consumers have a higher eWOM-writing intention when there is congruence between the valences of CE, AR and IR.

Practical implications
The authors demonstrate the importance of service providers continually monitoring their business profiles on review sites to ensure consistency of review information, as these influence consumers’ post-purchase evaluation and behaviours. For this reason, the authors illustrate the utility of why media owners of review sites should support the monitoring process to facilitate the engagement of both businesses and customers.

Originality/value
The authors break new ground by empirically testing the impact of online review information post-purchase seen through the theoretical lens of social comparison. The approach is novel in breaking down and testing the dimensions of post-purchase evaluation and behavioural intentions in understanding the social comparison elicited by online reviews in the post-purchase phase.
eWOM, Online reviews, Social comparison, Post-purchase
1066-2243
109-139
Liu, Hongfei
7d65edcf-20c9-452a-83c2-8b545b12f68c
Jayawardhena, Chanaka
4784a35a-cbc4-47df-ad75-2bf654463b76
Osburg, Victoria Sophie
81b05eb9-cc14-4b0d-b883-f6a2ae258469
Babu, Mujahid Mohiuddin
402b56aa-6cd4-48c4-ac9c-6ff919a22021
Liu, Hongfei
7d65edcf-20c9-452a-83c2-8b545b12f68c
Jayawardhena, Chanaka
4784a35a-cbc4-47df-ad75-2bf654463b76
Osburg, Victoria Sophie
81b05eb9-cc14-4b0d-b883-f6a2ae258469
Babu, Mujahid Mohiuddin
402b56aa-6cd4-48c4-ac9c-6ff919a22021

Liu, Hongfei, Jayawardhena, Chanaka, Osburg, Victoria Sophie and Babu, Mujahid Mohiuddin (2019) Do online reviews still matter post-purchase? Internet Research, 30 (1), 109-139. (doi:10.1108/INTR-07-2018-0331).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose
The influence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) information, such as online reviews, on consumers’ decision making is well documented, but it is unclear if online reviews still matter in post-purchase evaluation and behaviours. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which online reviews (aggregate rating (AR) and individual reviews (IR)) influence consumers’ evaluation and post-purchase behaviour by considering the valence congruence of online reviews and consumption experience (CE).

Design/methodology/approach
Following social comparison theory and relevant literature, the authors conduct an online experiment (pre-test: n=180; main study: n=347). The authors rely on a 2 (CE valence) ×2 (AR valence) ×2 (IR valence) between-subjects design.

Findings
Congruence/incongruence between the valences of CE, AR and IR affects consumers’ post-purchase evaluation at the emotional, brand and media levels and review-writing behaviour. In comparison to aggregated rating, IR are more important in the post-purchase stage. Similarly, consumers have a higher eWOM-writing intention when there is congruence between the valences of CE, AR and IR.

Practical implications
The authors demonstrate the importance of service providers continually monitoring their business profiles on review sites to ensure consistency of review information, as these influence consumers’ post-purchase evaluation and behaviours. For this reason, the authors illustrate the utility of why media owners of review sites should support the monitoring process to facilitate the engagement of both businesses and customers.

Originality/value
The authors break new ground by empirically testing the impact of online review information post-purchase seen through the theoretical lens of social comparison. The approach is novel in breaking down and testing the dimensions of post-purchase evaluation and behavioural intentions in understanding the social comparison elicited by online reviews in the post-purchase phase.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 25 August 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 September 2019
Published date: 2019
Keywords: eWOM, Online reviews, Social comparison, Post-purchase

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441068
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441068
ISSN: 1066-2243
PURE UUID: b359702f-b25c-482a-9df3-4292dcfa567e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 May 2020 16:30
Last modified: 29 May 2020 16:30

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Contributors

Author: Hongfei Liu
Author: Chanaka Jayawardhena
Author: Victoria Sophie Osburg
Author: Mujahid Mohiuddin Babu

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