The Effects of Controversial Reviews on Product Sales Performance: The Mediating Role of the Volume of Word of Mouth

KungHsin Shao


The influence of word of mouth (WOM) is increasing even with today’s advanced Internet environment.Although previous studies indicate no consensus on the impact of the valence of WOM on product sales, manufacturers often make use of a variety of ways to correct the direction of the valence of WOM because they want to have a good reputation on the Internet.The question that arises is whether negative WOM has a completely negative impact on product sales. This study usesthe beta distribution to capture the variety of review structures, especially controversial review structures. By verifying the mediation effect of the volume of WOM, we found that products with controversial reviews could arouse a huge amount of discussion among consumers that eventually translates into product sales. The study therefore suggests that manufacturers need not aim to eliminate the spread of negative WOM but should aim to keep it at a moderate level.

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International Journal of Marketing Studies  ISSN 1918-719X(Print) ISSN 1918-7203(Online) E-mail:

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