Online consumer ratings and reviews have become very popular among online retailers and are found to influence the sales of experience goods. However, their effects on the sales of search or quasi-experience goods remain unknown. Using data collected from Amazon.com, we examine how the impacts of consumer ratings and reviews differ across product categories. Our results suggest that the sales of experience goods such as books are affected by consumer ratings and reviews, but the sales of quasi-experience and search goods such as digital cameras and USB flash drives are not. In addition, as the price of an experience item increases, consumer ratings and reviews become more influential on sales.
Wang, Bin and Jiang, Bao-Jun, "A Cross-Category Analysis of the Effects of Consumer Reviews and Ratings" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. 113.