Be careful! Consumers’ Purchase Intentions are being affected by the Statistical Format of Online Reviews
Fengpei Hu, Qingzhou Sun, Jiarui Wang, Kaiming Li, Qian Zheng

It is common for daily online shopping platforms to use different statistical formats (e.g., frequency vs. percentage, positive vs. negative frames) to present online reviews. We designed two studies to test whether the recently proposed "love of large numbers" theory always exists and whether consumers have biases in the processing of online review information. The results revealed that the frequency format induced higher purchase intentions than the percentage format with a small quantity of reviews, a negative review valence, or a positive review frame, whereas the percentage format induced higher purchase intentions than the frequency format with a large quantity of reviews, a positive review valence, or a negative review frame. These findings suggest consumers’ behaviors sometimes violate the "love of large numbers" theory and show that single presentation format of online reviews used by current platforms may result in consumers’ perceptual bias. Therefore, the platform should present multi-dimensional information about the number of reviews in a standard way to reduce this bias.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jmm.v9n2a3