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The impact research of online reviews’ sentiment polarity presentation on consumer purchase decision

Qi Wang (Economics and Management School, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing, China)
Lin Wang (Economics and Management School, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing, China)
Xiaohang Zhang (Economics and Management School, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing, China)
Yunxia Mao (Economics and Management School, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing, China)
Peng Wang (Economics and Management School, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing, China)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Because online shopping is risky, there is a strong need to develop better presentation of online reviews, which may reduce the perceived risk and create more pleasurable shopping experiences. To test the impact of online reviews’ sentiment polarity presentation, the purpose of this paper is to adopt a scenario experiment to study consumers’ decision-making process under the two scenarios of mixed presentation and classified presentation of online reviews collected from Jingdong.com in China: focusing on the comparative analysis on the differences of the consumers’ perceived risk, purchase intention and purchase delay, and further studying the interaction effect of involvement and online reviews’ sentiment polarity presentation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper employed a 2×2 factorial experiment to test the hypothesis. The experimental design is divided into four groups: 2 (online reviews’ sentiment polarity presentation: mixed presentation vs classified presentation) × 2 (involvement: low vs high), each of which contains 90 samples. Through the data analysis, the main effect, mediation effect and moderating effect were examined.

Findings

The results show that compared with mixed presentation, classified presentation can reduce purchase intention and increase purchase delay due to the existence of loss aversion and availability heuristic. Furthermore, the paper also confirms that there is a significant interaction effect between involvement and online reviews’ sentiment polarity presentation.

Originality/value

The existing research pays less attention to the impact of online reviews presentation on consumers’ decision making, especially the lack of discussion on the interaction effect between involvement and online reviews presentation. For this reason, this paper proposes a problem, which concerns whether mixed presentation and classified presentation of online reviews will affect consumers’ decision making differently.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos 71372194 and 71371034).

Citation

Wang, Q., Wang, L., Zhang, X., Mao, Y. and Wang, P. (2017), "The impact research of online reviews’ sentiment polarity presentation on consumer purchase decision", Information Technology & People, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 522-541. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-06-2014-0116

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited