The experiential and body-involving nature of apparel makes consumers’ product evaluation in the virtual shopping environment a lasting problem. With the newly emerging online pictorial reviews, consumers are more informed about the product. However, how pictorial reviews would influence consumers’ psychological evaluation process and their purchase intention remains unclear. Drawing on the Self-Congruity Theory, we hypothesized that the attractiveness of peer consumer within a pictorial review will positively affect consumers’ perceived peer-self image congruity (i.e., a positive “beauty” effect), and this effect will be moderated by the orientation of textual reviews (i.e., valueexpressive oriented vs. utilitarian oriented) alongside. Moreover, consumers’ perceived peer-self image congruity will positively influence consumers’ purchase intention, and this effect will be moderated by consumers’ public self-consciousness. The results of a lab experiment supported most of the hypotheses. This study contributes to the emerging literature of pictorial review by highlighting the importance of peer-self image congruity in determining consumers’ purchase intention. It also contributes to the general literature of customer review by unraveling the contingent effect of pictorial reviews depending on textual reviews. These results provide important managerial implications for online retailers.
Yang, Lu; Chen, Jin; and Tan, Bernard C.Y., "PEER IN THE PICTURE: AN EXPLORATIVE STUDY OF ONLINE PICTORIAL REVIEWS" (2014). PACIS 2014 Proceedings. 388.