Willemsen, L. M., Neijens, P. C., & Bronner, F. E. (2010). Not all created equal? The content characteristics and usefulness of online consumer reviews. (No. 2). SWOCC working paper series.

Abstract: The aim of the present study was to gain a better understanding of the content characteristics that engender online consumer reviews to be a useful source of information. To this end, we content analyzed reviews on experience and search products from Amazon.com (N=400). The insights deriving from this content analysis were linked with the proportion of helpfulness votes that reviews received from fellow consumers. The results showed that review content characteristics are paramount to understanding the perceived usefulness of reviews. Specifically, argumentation (density and diversity) served as a significant predictor of perceived usefulness, as did review valence although this latter effect was contingent on the type of product (search or experience) being evaluated in reviews. The presence of expertise claims was found to have a positive effect on perceived usefulness through review length. The broader theoretical, methodological and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.

Link: http://dare.uva.nl/record/441881