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Predicting online product sales via online reviews, sentiments, and promotion strategies

Chong, Alain Yee Loong; Li, Boying; Ngai, Eric W.T.; Ch'ng, Eugene; Lee, Filbert

Authors

Alain Yee Loong Chong

Boying Li

Eric W.T. Ngai

Eugene Ch'ng

Filbert Lee



Abstract

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to investigate if online reviews (e.g. valence and volume), online promotional strategies (e.g. free delivery and discounts) and sentiments from user reviews can help predict product sales.

Design/methodology/approach
– The authors designed a big data architecture and deployed Node.js agents for scraping the Amazon.com pages using asynchronous input/output calls. The completed web crawling and scraping data sets were then preprocessed for sentimental and neural network analysis. The neural network was employed to examine which variables in the study are important predictors of product sales.

Findings
– This study found that although online reviews, online promotional strategies and online sentiments can all predict product sales, some variables are more important predictors than others. The authors found that the interplay effects of these variables become more important variables than the individual variables themselves. For example, online volume interactions with sentiments and discounts are more important than the individual predictors of discounts, sentiments or online volume.

Originality/value
– This study designed big data architecture, in combination with sentimental and neural network analysis that can facilitate future business research for predicting product sales in an online environment. This study also employed a predictive analytic approach (e.g. neural network) to examine the variables, and this approach is useful for future data analysis in a big data environment where prediction can have more practical implications than significance testing. This study also examined the interplay between online reviews, sentiments and promotional strategies, which up to now have mostly been examined individually in previous studies.

Citation

Chong, A. Y. L., Li, B., Ngai, E. W., Ch'ng, E., & Lee, F. (2016). Predicting online product sales via online reviews, sentiments, and promotion strategies. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 36(4), https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-03-2015-0151

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 20, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2018
Journal International Journal of Operations & Production Management
Electronic ISSN 0144-3577
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 4
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-03-2015-0151
Keywords Product demands; online reviews; valence; promotional marketing; online marketplace; big data; neural network
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/48857
Publisher URL http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/IJOPM-03-2015-0151
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf



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