The Effects of Negative Online Reviews on Consumer Perception, Attitude and Purchase Intention: Experimental Investigation of the Amount, Quality, and Presentation Order of eWOM

Hsiu Li Liao, Zhen Yu Huang, Su Houn Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The quick growth and fast spread of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) have created a new threat to Internet merchants and marketers through paid online reviewers flooding sites with product and service reviews that could confuse and deter customers. This study examined the effects of the posts by paid reviewers-specifically, the negative reviews-on consumers' risk perception, product attitude, and purchase intention. While extant research examined negative eWOM as an information source, little attention has been paid to the role of a hired reviewer's post aimed at destroying the reputation of certain targets (Internet Water Army Attack [IWAA]). To gain a better understanding of this phenomenon, three experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of the amount, quality, and presentation order of negative eWOM on consumers' perception change and decision making. We tested the hypothesis using a test environment that mimicked a PTT online forum (https://www.ptt.cc/) in Taiwan. Three simulation cases (smartphone, digital camera, and tablet) based on real-world events were used. A total of 193 participants completed all three experiments and provided valid responses. The results of this study are mostly consistent with previous research findings that online marketing is greatly threatened by negative eWOM. Nevertheless, it was also found that the effects of the amount, quality, and presentation order of negative eWOM are more complicated than we have anticipated. The findings revealed that IWAA can effectively increase customers' risk perception toward a product and change their attitude and purchase intention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
JournalACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Information amount
  • information quality
  • negative reviews
  • presentation order
  • word-of-mouth

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