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The power of numbers: an examination of the relationship between numerical cues in online review comments and perceived review helpfulness

Hongliu Li (School of Management, Shandong University, Jinan, China)
Xingyuan Wang (School of Management, Shandong University, Jinan, China)
Shuyang Wang (School of Management, Shandong University, Jinan, China)
Wenkai Zhou (College of Business, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA)
Zhilin Yang (College of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 23 February 2022

161

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the effects of the numerical cues (NC) used in online review comments on perceived review helpfulness and the underlying psychological mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental design approach was employed to investigate the proposed research questions. Two experiments were conducted to test the hypotheses. Mplus 7 and Stata 14.0 were used for data analysis.

Findings

Empirical findings support the positive correlation between the presence of NC in online review comments and perceived review helpfulness across different product categories. This relationship is mediated by two psychological responses of consumers: cognitive elaboration and credibility perception.

Research limitations/implications

This research adds to the existing literature by focusing on the value of NC in online review comments and how they can enhance perceived review helpfulness. Some practical implications are also addressed. For example, marketers can encourage consumers to post reviews that contain quantitative information to facilitate their target markets' comprehension of a product or brand.

Originality/value

Building on the previous literature, the work adds incremental knowledge on the role NC in online review comments play in affecting consumers' perceptions. In addition, the research uncovers the underlying psychological responses that mediate the relationship between NC in review comments and perceived review helpfulness.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers: NSFC 71272121 and 72072152) and Research Grant Council of Hong Kong SAR (CityU 11502218) for financial support.

Citation

Li, H., Wang, X., Wang, S., Zhou, W. and Yang, Z. (2022), "The power of numbers: an examination of the relationship between numerical cues in online review comments and perceived review helpfulness", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-09-2021-0239

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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