He Said She Bought: Analyzing The Impact of User-Generated Reviews on Purchase Behavior

Bazaarvoice wants to see how reviews/ratings affect online shopping and purchase behavior. Dataset includes products viewed, reviews read, and purchases made by customers at a big-box retailer.

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative is thrilled to announce a new and comprehensive dataset sponsored by Bazaarvoice, one of America’s largest social marketing companies specializing in user-generated product reviews. The data are collected from a UK-based big box retailer, and contain all website visits, product page views, reviews read, and purchases made by tens of thousands of customers, giving researchers an unprecedented opportunity to look at how customers shop for products in several popular categories.


  • Complete clickstream data for customers shopping the retailer’s website
  • Records of which product pages the customer viewed, including details such as the number of reviews and average rating
  • Information about any reviews the customer read, including the date and time when the review was seen, the ordinal position of the review on the page, the text of the review, and whether or not it was viewed on a mobile device
  • How the user engaged with the review, such as clicking “read more”
  • Purchases made by the customer, including the product identifier, date & time of the purchase, number of items, and total price paid for the order

Through this Research Opportunity, Bazaarvoice hopes to gain insight into the effect reviews have on a customer’s online shopping and purchase behavior.


  • How do customers consider product offerings (both individual products and the category as a whole) before coming to a purchase decision?
  • How do reviews affect this? Can reviews be categorized into types based on how they influence customers? How does the volume or valence of reviews impact product consideration?
  • Does the volume or valence of reviews for one product have a “halo” effect on reviews for other products by the same manufacturer
  • Which reviews should be prominently featured by the retailer in order to maximize conversion and/or attract the most valuable customers?

Interested researchers can view the webinar recording and submit proposals here by May 11, 2015 to receive access to the data. Proposals will be evaluated based on their potential for academic contribution and the researcher’s ability to address issues of strategic importance to the program sponsor.