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Negative online consumer reviews: effects of different responses

Ullrich, S. and Brunner, C. B. (2015) Negative online consumer reviews: effects of different responses. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 24 (1). ISSN 1061-0421

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1108/JPBM-05-2014-0611


Purpose When consumers buy online, they are often confronted with consumer reviews. A negative consumer review on an online shopping website may keep consumers from buying the product. Therefore, negative online consumer reviews are a serious problem for brands. This paper aims to investigate the effects of different response options to a negative consumer review. Design/methodology/approach In an online experiment of 446 participants different response options towards a negative consumer review on an online shopping website are examined. The experimental data is analysed with simple linear regression models using product purchase intentions as the outcome variable. Findings The results indicate that a positive customer review counteracts a negative consumer review more effectively than a positive brand response, whereas brand strength moderates this relationship. Including a reference to an independent, trusted source in a brand or a customer response is only a limited strategy for increasing the effectiveness of a response. Research limitations/implications Additional research in other product categories and with other subjects than students is suggested to validate the findings. In future research, multiple degrees of the phrasing’s strength of the reference could be used. Practical implications Assuming high quality products, brands should encourage their customers to write reviews. Strong brands can also reassure consumers by responding whereas weak brands cannot. Originality/value This research contributes to the online consumer reviews literature with new insights about the role of brand strength and referencing to an independent, trusted source.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:39147

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