WCAI Research Opportunity, Apr 24: He Said, She Bought – User-Generated Reviews and Purchase Behavior

The data collected by a UK-based big box retailer, with all website visits, page views, reviews read, and purchases made gives researchers an unprecedented opportunity to look at how customers shop for products. Register for the webinar on Apr 24.

WCAI He Said, She Bought: Analyzing the Impact of User-Generated Reviews on Purchase Behavior
A WCAI Research Opportunity Sponsored by Bazaarvoice
April 24, 2015
Noon-1pm Eastern Time

Register Here

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative is thrilled to announce a new and comprehensive dataset sponsored by Bazaarvoice, one of America's largest social marketing companies specializing in user-generated product reviews. The data are collected from a UK-based big box retailer, and contain all website visits, product page views, reviews read, and purchases made by tens of thousands of customers, giving researchers an unprecedented opportunity to look at how customers shop for products in several popular categories.

The dataset includes:
  • Complete clickstream data for customers shopping the retailer's website
  • Records of which product pages the customer viewed, including details such as the number of reviews and average rating
  • Information about any reviews the customer read, including the date and time when the review was seen, the ordinal position of the review on the page, the text of the review, and whether or not it was viewed on a mobile device
  • How the user engaged with the review, such as clicking "read more"
  • Purchases made by the customer, including the product identifier, date & time of the purchase, number of items, and total price paid for the order

Through this Research Opportunity, Bazaarvoice hopes to gain insight into the effect reviews have on a customer's online shopping and purchase behavior. Research questions might include:
  • How do customers consider product offerings (both individual products and the category as a whole) before coming to a purchase decision? How do reviews affect this?
  • Can reviews be categorized into types based on how they influence customers?
  • How does the volume or valence of reviews impact product consideration?
  • Does the volume or valence of reviews for one product have a "halo" effect on reviews for other products by the same manufacturer?
  • Which reviews should be prominently featured by the retailer in order to maximize conversion and/or attract the most valuable customers?

To learn more about the data and business context, interested faculty and doctoral students can attend a live webinar on Friday, April 24, 2015 at noon US Eastern. During the webinar, details of the data will be described and executives from the project sponsor will be available for Q&A. The webinar will also be archived for those who can't attend live.

After the webinar, interested researchers can submit proposals here by Monday, May 4, 2015 to receive access to the data. Proposals will be evaluated based on their potential for academic contribution and the researcher's ability to address issues of strategic importance to the program sponsor. You can register for this webinar here.