Online consumer reviews can help customers decrease uncertainty and risk faced in online shopping. However, information overload and conflicting comments in online reviews can get consumers confused. Therefore, it is important for both researchers and practitioners to understand the characteristics of helpful reviews. But studies examining the determinants of perceived review helpfulness produce mixed findings. We review extant research about the determinant factors of perceived helpfulness. Conflicting findings exist for six review related factors, namely review extremity, review readability, review total votes, linear review rating, quadratic review rating, and review sentiment. We conduct a meta-analysis to reconcile the contradictory findings on the influence of review related factors over perceived review helpfulness. The meta-analysis results confirm that review extremity, readability, total votes, and positive sentiment have a negative influence on helpfulness, but review rating is positively related to helpfulness. We also examine those studies whose findings are contradictive with the meta-analysis results. Measure discrepancy and reviewed product type are the two main reasons why mixed findings exist in extant research.
Hong, Hong; Xu, Di; Xu, Dapeng; Wang, G. Alan; and Fan, Weiguo, "A Meta-Analysis on the Determinants of Online Review Helpfulness" (2017). WHICEB 2017 Proceedings. 34.