NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of Word of Mouth on Sales: Online Book Reviews

Judith A. Chevalier, Dina Mayzlin

NBER Working Paper No. 10148
Issued in December 2003
NBER Program(s):   IO

We examine the effect of consumer reviews on relative sales of books on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. We find that 1) reviews are overwhelmingly positive at both sites, but there are more reviews and longer reviews at Amazon.com, 2) an improvement in a book's reviews leads to an increase in relative sales at that site, and 3) the impact of 1-star reviews is greater than the impact of 5-star reviews. The results suggest that new forms of customer communication on the Internet have an important impact on customer behavior.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10148

Published: Chevalier, Judith and Dina Mayzlin. “The Effect of Word of Mouth on Sales: Online Book Reviews." Journal of Marketing Research (August 2006).

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