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Unveiling user-generated content: Designing websites to best present customer reviews

  • Liu, Qianqian (Ben)
  • Karahanna, Elena
  • Watson, Richard T.
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    Online customer reviews are an important type of user-generated content, through which consumers share their experiences with products and services in order to help others make informed purchasing decisions. In this article, we discuss the goals of online customer reviews and develop practical, actionable principles that can be used to improve the presentations of customer reviews. We identify four goals--two ultimate, and two intermediate--of online customer reviews. The two ultimate goals are: (1) to assist consumers in making accurate choices, and (2) to reduce the cognitive costs of making such choices. The two intermediate goals are: (1) to help consumers form an unbiased understanding of the product, and (2) to construct a set of evaluative criteria. Drawing on the constructive view of consumer judgment and choice, we present a conceptual model of online-review based consumer judgment and choice. We report principles that will improve the presentation of reviews, and discuss the benefits of the new design over the traditional presentation of online reviews.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W45-523KHBP-1/2/065ac5487fb3d0fbbabfb5f571fc80ae
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Business Horizons.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 231-240

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:54:y:2011:i:3:p:231-240
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/bushor

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    1. Bettman, James R & Luce, Mary Frances & Payne, John W, 1998. " Constructive Consumer Choice Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(3), pages 187-217, December.
    2. Payne, John W & Bettman, James R & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Measuring Constructed Preferences: Towards a Building Code," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 243-70, December.
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