Do customer reviews drive purchase decisions? The moderating roles of review exposure and price

Ewa Maslowska, Edward C. Malthouse, Vijay Viswanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Customers read reviews to reduce the risk associated with a purchase decision. While prior studies have focused on the valence and volume of reviews, this study provides a more comprehensive understanding of how reviews influence customers by considering two additional factors—exposure to reviews and price relative to other products in the category. Data provided by two online retailers are used for the analysis. The results reveal a four-way interaction with the effect of valence on purchase probability strongest when (1) there are many reviews, (2) the customer reads reviews, and (3) the product is higher priced. The effects of valence are smaller, but still positive, in the other conditions. We develop theoretical explanations for the effects based on dual processing models and prospect theory, and provide a sensitivity analysis. We discuss implications for academics, manufacturers and online retailers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalDecision Support Systems
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-creation
  • Customer reviews
  • Elaboration likelihood model
  • Heuristic systematic model
  • Price
  • Reflective mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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