The Effect of Word of Mouth on Sales: Online Book Reviews

40 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2003 Last revised: 9 Jun 2014

See all articles by Judith A. Chevalier

Judith A. Chevalier

Yale School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dina Mayzlin

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2003

Abstract

We examine the effect of consumer reviews on relative sales of books on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. We find that 1) reviews are overwhelmingly positive at both sites, but there are more reviews and longer reviews at Amazon.com, 2) an improvement in a book's reviews leads to an increase in relative sales at that site, and 3) the impact of 1-star reviews is greater than the impact of 5-star reviews. The results suggest that new forms of customer communication on the Internet have an important impact on customer behavior.

Suggested Citation

Chevalier, Judith A. and Mayzlin, Dina, The Effect of Word of Mouth on Sales: Online Book Reviews (December 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w10148. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=476105

Judith A. Chevalier (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Dina Mayzlin

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-3360 (Phone)

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