How the “fateful” first online consumer review can have an impact lasting three years

A “first-review effect” on e-commerce sites suggests that the first piece of user-generated feedback about a product can have an impact on word of mouth for up to 36 months.

The first customer review – and corresponding star rating – posted on an e-commerce site like can positively or negatively impact the digital conversation for up to three years.

Such findings came from a study, entitled “The Fateful First Consumer Review”, that was published in the journal Marketing Science, and analyzed 177 vacuum cleaners sold on the online platforms run by Amazon and Best Buy over a 12-month period.

Why it matters

E-commerce is growing in importance for brands in almost every sector, and reviews from real-life buyers on these platforms are viewed as a...

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