Where Does My Product Stand? A Social Network Perspective on Online Product Reviews

AbstractCustomer reviews often include comparative comments on competing products. Adopting the "The Strength of Weak Ties" theory, we build a product social network around “strong tie” and “weak tie” entities. By performing text mining on comparative customer reviews collected from Amazon, we successfully identify strong and weak ties in a product network and compute the strength of these ties. Utilizing these network properties, we generate network graphs based on different product features and discover the underlying competitive relationships among them. In particular, our regression analysis shows that the strength of ties positively contributes to the review rating of a product and the strength of weak ties plays a more significant role than the strength of strong ties. These results will benefit vendors in online market to discover potential competitors, effectively tailor their marketing and product development efforts, and better position their products to increase profit and explore new market opportunities.


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