New article out on who doesn’t read online reviews, and why

I am very pleased to announce the publication of my new paper, “Who doesn’t read online consumer reviews, and why?” in the journal, Personality and Individual Differences.

A few years ago, I worked with the Consumer Policy Research Centre to better understand Australian’s attitudes towards and usage of online consumer reviews (OCRs). There were a number of interesting findings. One that really stood out to me was the number of people who didn’t read OCRs. As someone who relies heavily on OCRs, I was really curious to find out more about these people. Thus was born the idea of this paper. Here is the abstract:

Consumers increasingly rely on online consumer review (OCRs) to help them make purchase decisions. However, in a nationally representative sample of 1400 Australians, our survey revealed that 17.6% of consumers had never looked at an OCR in the past 12 months. We investigated the demographic, psychographic, and attitudinal variables that predicted being a non-user of OCRs. Non-users tended to be male, older, less educated, less digitally literate, less extraverted, open, and neurotic, and find OCRs relatively untrustworthy and unhelpful. Additionally, we investigated the reasons for why these non-users avoided OCRs. The two most common reasons were a lack of trust in OCRs and a preference to rely on other sources, particularly personal experience. We discuss the implications of these findings for businesses, review platforms, and consumer advocates.

This is the third article I have published as a sole author and the experience is always different. This paper got a lot of rejection from top marketing journals because it did not contribute enough new theory. In some ways, that’s fair enough. Nonetheless, I think the paper makes up for it in substantive contribution. In particular, by very clearly articulating the type of people who do not look at OCRs on a range of individual difference attributes. I am very glad to have persevered with the paper and that it has found a perfect spot in this journal.

I look forward to continuing with my other projects focused on how consumers use and are influenced by online reviews. Stay tuned!