A brand's previous customers will write negative reviews without ever buying the product, according to a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Using data collected from the website of a well-known apparel retailer, the study looked only at previous customers and found that 5% of product reviews came from people who hadn't purchased the product and that these reviews tended to be more negative on average. The researchers theorize some customers may want to tell the brand that it is doing something they doesn't like, or they may be seeking the appearance of expertise on a topic.

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