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Effects of app pricing structures on product evaluations

Marcus Renatus Johannes Wolkenfelt (Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Frederik Bungaran Ishak Situmeang (Centre for Market Insights, Amsterdam School of International Business, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 27 April 2020

Issue publication date: 22 April 2020




The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the marketing literature and practice by examining the effect of product pricing on consumer behaviours with regard to the assertiveness and the sentiments expressed in their product reviews. In addition, the paper uses new data collection and machine learning tools that can also be extended for other research of online consumer reviewing behaviours.


Using web crawling techniques, a large data set was extracted from the Google Play Store. Following this, the authors created machine learning algorithms to identify topics from product reviews and to quantify assertiveness and sentiments from the review texts.


The results indicate that product pricing models affect consumer review sentiment, assertiveness and topics. Removing upfront payment obligations positively impacts the overall and pricing specific consumer sentiment and reduces assertiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The results reveal new effects of pricing models on the nature of consumer reviews of products and form a basis for future research. The study was conducted in the gaming category of the Google Play Store and the generalisability of the findings for other app segments or marketplaces should be further tested.


The findings can help companies that create digital products in choosing a pricing strategy for their apps. The paper is the first to investigate how pricing modes affect the nature of online reviews written by consumers.



Wolkenfelt, M.R.J. and Situmeang, F.B.I. (2020), "Effects of app pricing structures on product evaluations", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 89-110.



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