The Effect of Word of Mouth on Sales: Online Book Reviews
40 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2003 Last revised: 9 Jun 2014
Date Written: December 2003
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.
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