Assessing The Helpfulness Of Online Product Review: A Progressive Experimental Approach

Meng-Xiang Li*, Liqiang Huang, Chuan-Hoo Tan, Kwok-Kee Wei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The online product review has been advocated as an important determinant of a consumer's purchase decision. Although prior research has been instrumental in articulating the benefits of the online product review, there remains a dearth of investigation on what kind of product review will be perceived to be helpful to a consumer. Through two sequential experiments, we investigate the endogenous features of a product review that influence the helpfulness of the perceived product review. Product review helpfulness is manifested by the review's source credibility and the review's diagnosticity. Results from the first experiment reveal that a consumer review is more credible than the expert review. Leading from this, we conduct the second experiment and focus on examining the influence of the type of consumer review (reflected the level of review abstractness). The results indicate that subjects perceive the concrete consumer review (i.e., of low abstractness) as more diagnostic than the abstract consumer review. Examining the two experimental results holistically, we deduce that consumer reviews with low levels of abstractness (i.e., are highly concrete) could yield higher degrees of perceived helpfulness compared with highly abstract consumer reviews and expert reviews. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPACIS 2011 Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781864356441
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2011
Event15th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2011 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 7 Jul 201111 Jul 2011

Publication series

NamePacific Asia Conference on Information Systems


Conference15th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2011
Internet address

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Information Systems

User-Defined Keywords

  • Product review diagnosticity
  • Source credibility
  • Product review helpfulness


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