The rise of online reviews written by consumers makes possible an examination of how the content and style of these word-of-mouth messages contribute to their helpfulness. In this study, consumers are asked to judge the value of real online consumer reviews to their simulated shopping activities. The results suggest the benefits of moderate review length and of positive, but not negative, product evaluative statements. Non-evaluative product information and information about the reviewer were also found to be associated with review helpfulness. Stylistic elements that may impair clarity (such as spelling and grammatical errors) were associated with less valuable reviews, and elements that may make a review more entertaining (such as expressive slang and humor) were associated with more valuable reviews. These findings point to factors beyond product information that may affect the perceived helpfulness of an online consumer review.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology