When does electronic word-of-mouth matter? A study of consumer product reviews
Online consumer product reviews, a form of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), have attracted increased attention from researchers. This paper examines the persuasiveness of eWOM. Drawing on regulatory focus theory, the authors propose that the consumption goals that consumers associate with the reviewed product moderate the effect of review valence on persuasiveness. Data from lab experiments and actual online retailers suggest that consumers who evaluate products associated with promotion consumption goals perceive positive reviews to be more persuasive than negative ones (i.e., a positivity bias). Conversely, consumers who evaluate products associated with prevention consumption goals perceive negative reviews to be more persuasive than positive ones (i.e., a negativity bias).
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