Navigating By the Stars: What Do Online User Ratings Reveal About Product Quality?

Bart de Langhe, Unversity of Colorado at Boulder
Philip Fernbach, Unversity of Colorado at Boulder
Donald Lichtenstein, Unversity of Colorado at Boulder
We show that user ratings are only weakly related to product quality and far less diagnostic than price. Yet, consumers mostly rely on user ratings and much less on price. Consumer trust in user ratings is largely misplaced because these ratings are biased by brand reputation and price.
[ to cite ]:
Bart de Langhe, Philip Fernbach, and Donald Lichtenstein (2014) ,"Navigating By the Stars: What Do Online User Ratings Reveal About Product Quality? ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 42, eds. June Cotte and Stacy Wood, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 453-453.