The Impact of Online Reviews on the Information Flows and Outcomes of Marketing Systems


JOURNAL OF MACROMARKETING, vol.42, no.1, pp.146-164, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/02761467211042552
  • Page Numbers: pp.146-164
  • Keywords: online reviews, eWOM, marketing systems, information flow, marketing system efficiency, marketing system effectiveness, systematic literature review, WORD-OF-MOUTH, E-COMMERCE, CONSUMERS WILLINGNESS, PLANNED BEHAVIOR, DECISION-MAKING, E-WOM, PRODUCT, EWOM, RATINGS, SELECTION


Online reviews are changing the way that consumers shop and firms respond to consumer feedback. Viewed more broadly, online reviews are a type of information flow altering the functioning of marketing systems at the micro, meso, and macro levels. A systematic review of the past two decades of research shows great attention to the impact of online reviews on information flows, as well as the nuances of micro-and meso-level efficiency outcomes. However, there is scant consideration for the effectiveness related outcomes of online reviews (such as customer well-being, distributive justice, and externalities). Through a macromarketing lens, online reviews are an information flow with the potential to change well-being outcomes for all stakeholders, rather than just a tool to be exploited by firms or consumers. A theoretical framework and a series of questions are presented for future research on how online reviews and more generally information flows between actors may impact the efficiency and effectiveness of a marketing system.