The Impact of Online Product Reviews on Purchase Intent : Risk Perception Differences Between Men and Women
Pisto, Antonio J.
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As more consumers look to make purchases through online retailers, companies will need to modify their marketing strategies to drive more sales. There has never been a more important time for marketers to learn about the power of online word of mouth. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase after reading a product review that sounds credible, since this would reduce the amount of perceived risk (Larson, 2001). There are several characteristics that can be implemented into a product review that will decrease consumer risk perception and increase purchase intent. This study focuses on finding the essential characteristics in product reviews that increase or decrease consumers' purchase intention. More specifically, comparing the risk perceptions of males and females. Study results have identified that the "pros and cons," "well-written," and "uses product like me' characteristics decrease risk perception and increase purchase intent. Study results show that the "manipulative," "unprofessional," and "use of text slang" characteristics increase risk perception and decrease purchase intent. Findings show that a male's risk perception is reduced with a "high-quality" review more than a female's. The study also demonstrated that females were more likely than males to make a purchase after reading a product review of "low-quality" suggesting that females' risk perceptions are less affected by the quality of reviews than males’.