Online Consumer Reviews form a major part of the online buying experience. They do so for both the consumers that read and write them and the online platforms that use them. Reviews can have real impact and they can result in future sales or the prevention of them. The exact process through which reviews affect readers and interacts with the state of mind has been subject to discussion and was recently studied in the BMS lab. Researchers Carolina Herrando, Julio Jiménez-Martínez, María José Martín-De Hoyos, Efthymios Constantinides, Jan-Willem Van t’Klooster and Peter JH Slijkhuis conducted focus group and EEG (Electroencephalography) studies this year with aid of the BMS lab. The resulting paper – which is still a work in progress – won the best paper award on the ETIMM conference in Bucharest Romania.
The researchers conducted two studies in total. The first, a pre-test in the form of a focus group, was held to analyze how Online Consumer Reviews were used and which words indicated the nature (or valence) of the review the strongest. This data was then incorporated in the second study, which used an EEG recording to observe the participant’s brain activity in combination with questionnaires that measured the participant’s state of mind. Key in this study was the combination of state of mind, so whether the participants were bored, apathetic, anxious or in a flow, and the effect of positive, neutral or negative online consumer reviews. The data is currently in the process of being analyzed.
The research was presented at the ETIMM congress in Bucharest late this September. Afterwards the paper was awarded.