Online Reviews and Purchase Decision: Perspectives of Malaysian versus Chinese Consumers

Azwardi Md Isa
Noor Azura Azman

School of International Studies, Kedah, Malaysia
Md Daud Ismail
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia



Purchasing in online platforms has become a significant trend among consumers in today’s globalized market, thus receiving considerable attention from scholars and practitioners alike. Notwithstanding the growth of research, less comparative empirical studies have been devoted to this field. Centralizing the issue of online reviews in online platforms, this study focuses on consumers in two countries, Malaysia and China. This study examines how consumers in these countries assess online reviews from three aspects namely; balance reviews, expert reviews, and strong tie reviews before arriving at a purchase decision. A total of 346 questionnaires were distributed via online survey. Finally, 176 responses from Malaysia and 170 responses from China were returned. Data were statistically analyzed through exploratory factor analysis, to be exact Pearson correlation and regression analysis. This was followed by the confirmatory factor analysis using SEM- PLS. The findings show that there were differences between Malaysia’s and China’s consumers in employing online reviews before making purchase decisions. Based on the findings, discussion and implications of the study as well as limitations and suggestions for future directions are also discussed at the end of this paper.

Keywords:  online reviews, purchase decision, comparative, Malaysia, China