Intentions to Use the Yelp Review Website and Purchase Behavior after Reading Reviews
Yelp is a popular online consumer review website. The limited scholarly literature on Yelp indicates that under certain conditions consumers will value the review and recommend the reviewed vendor to others. We study a number of variables to determine associations with intentions to use Yelp and also behavior of use of a service or purchase of a product after reading Yelp reviews. College students (n=617) were surveyed about demographics, trust, knowledge about online review fraud, and Internet experience. Our results found that increased brand trust and increased number of reviews read were each associated with both increased intentions and behavior. Correct knowledge of online review fraud and those who previously wrote Yelp reviews were each associated with increased behavior. We recommend that companies can benefit by claiming the website of their company on Yelp. Brand managers or e-commerce managers should respond to the negative reviews posted on Yelp in order to reassure those who read the reviews about the trustworthiness of the company. Companies should consider trust-building approaches when responding to negative comments to reassure the consumer that the company is a reputable company and would not engage in fraudulent practices of posting fraudulent positive reviews.