Analyzing Online Customer Reviews - An Interdisciplinary Literature Review And Research Agenda

Trenz Manuel, Berger Benedikt

Online customer reviews increasingly exert influence on customers' purchase decisions when shopping online and give new importance to the concept of word-of -mouth. This is reflected in agrowing body of academic literature across varying disciplines that draws on online customer reviews as source of information. However, these studies apply varying methods and obtain contradictingresults. We conduct a systematic and interdisciplinary literature review to examine how online customer review data is used in academic research and which insights these studies provide.Analyzing 49 journal articles we find that the most studies investigate online customer reviews' effect on sales, review helpfulness or review manipulation. Furthermore, the variety of product categoriesand review websites these studies receive their information from is rather limited. The results reveal that previous research can only provide an imperfect understanding of the impact of electronic word-of-mouth on business . We therefore develop a twofold research agenda with regards to (a) studies investigating customer reviews and its effects and (b) issues with respect to the use of customerreviews as a data source in academic research.

e-commerce; social media; eWOM; online customer reviews; literature review; research agenda

Publication type
Research article in proceedings (conference)

Peer reviewed

Publication status


21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)

Utrecht, Netherlands


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