Factors Affecting Millennial Consumers' Perceived Credibility of Online Product Review for Search and Experience Products

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Media Studies


Brad Gorham


experience product, Online product review, perceived credibility, search product

Subject Categories



The Internet makes people stay online and enjoy shopping in the virtual world. Online shoppers do not need to visit hundreds of retail stores to compare products and prices anymore. However, because the online shoppers cannot have tangible experiences like touching products and meeting sales people, they have come to rely on product reviews. Especially among the online shoppers, Millennials, who were born between 1977 and 1995, are voracious users of the review.

Despite increased interest in online product reviews and their effects on e-commerce business, there have recently been only a few empirical studies on how online shoppers are influenced differently by product type. Thus, the purpose of this thesis study was to investigate perceived credibility of online product reviews for search and experience products, as affected by different types of review features including evidence type (statistical vs. narrative), reviewer type (expert vs. consumer), and review website type (marketer-developed site vs. consumer-developed site). Data were collected through a survey with 10 questions, which were answered by 201 participants.

Results of his thesis showed that search product shoppers are more likely to perceive credibility when they read expert reviews with statistical evidence from marketer-developed websites. For experience product, this study also found that online customers tend to trust product reviews with narrative evidence than those with statistical review.

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