Product ratings & reviews are one of the top factors internet shoppers consider when buying products online.
While a high-star rating is certainly a powerful form of social proof, it doesn’t tell the full story of what customers truly think and feel about a product.
For brands to make the best decisions regarding marketing, product development, and more, they need to understand how shoppers feel about their products and brands. Understanding Voice-of-Customer is all about knowing their desires, expectations, and preferences.
Unfortunately, 5 star-ratings do not mean that you’re meeting all of these needs. To find valuable customer insights, you need more than just ratings.
Keep reading to find out more about how customer sentiment analysis using online reviews can unlock powerful business insights.
Why Star Ratings Aren’t Enough
Star ratings and reviews are essential. They can help drive people to purchase from your brand. They can provide user-generated content for social media, website testimonials, and more. There’s no denying that generating high-star ratings and reviews is important for online merchants.
While star ratings and reviews are helpful, they aren’t solely sufficient to find important customer insights. When it comes to measuring the voice of the customer, star ratings won’t give you all you need.
For one, not every star rating includes a written review. Even some with written text may not have enough to be useful. Some reviews are so short or vague that they don’t offer much insight.
Additionally, the same star rating can be associated with several different and unique reviews. One person who left 5 stars may have talked a lot about how to use a product, another could emphasize the longevity of a product, and another yet may be more concerned with how much the recipient of their gift enjoyed the product. Ultimately, the information in reviews is very scattered and may bring up several different points.
We’d like to assume that a high star rating means a positive customer sentiment, but the analysis is not so simple. A customer could give four or five stars but still mention a negative point. Even if the customer had a positive or negative experience overall, they may share some insight in the opposite direction.
Manual interpretation of star ratings and reviews, however, is very challenging. It’s complicated (and time-consuming) to read through the reviews and gather consistent or meaningful findings.
The huge conglomeration of reviews and ratings that many CPGs are currently inundated with is a form of unstructured data. Star ratings are a very broad measurement that doesn’t fully explain how the customer feels about their purchase.
Because of the unstructured nature of customer review data, as well as the sheer time and effort that it takes skilled data teams to manually mine for insights, many organizations are turning to Customer Sentiment analysis to glean structure from their reviews.
Measuring Customer Sentiment
To make use of the valuable information packed within the ratings and reviews, CPGs must leverage customer sentiment analysis.
Customer sentiment allows organizations to assign value to how customers feel about any given aspect of their product or associated customer experience. When done correctly, this allows organizations to more quickly and efficiently make decisions that directly benefit shoppers and customers.
The Basics of Customer Sentiment Analysis
Customer sentiment analysis is a term that refers to the process of assigning a value of negative, neutral, or positive to customers’ feedback about a product or experience.
Essentially, it’s about transforming unstructured data from text-based information, such as reviews, and converting it into meaningful insights. With customer sentiment analysis, organizations can more accurately perform predictive analytics and assess historical trends.
How Sentiment Analysis Works
Customer sentiment analysis leverages AI-powered technology to assign a value to text that is entered into the algorithm. The software assigns a value from +1 to -1 to parts of text based on the emotion within it. It assesses the sentiment to be either neutral, positive, or negative. For example, the AI can determine that something like “My order was late” is negative.
Sentiment analysis uses advanced grammatical rules to break down the text and assign a value to it. The accuracy of grammatical and contextual understanding varies based on the sentiment analysis tool.
Customer Insights Improve eCommerce Strategies
Customer sentiment analysis helps uncover valuable customer insights and measure Voice-of-Customer. By extracting the most valuable information from reviews and other feedback sources, companies gain a better, more accurate understanding of their customer base as well as that of their competitors.
Here are some ways that organizations can benefit from customer insights gleaned from customer sentiment analysis:
Effective marketing delivers the right message at the right time. If you don’t understand the needs, wants, and challenges your customers face, you won’t be able to do this effectively.
By understanding the voice of your customers, you’ll be able to better craft compelling marketing campaigns that meet their needs. More relevant marketing messages will have a better chance of connecting with your audience and driving more purchases.
Sometimes, organizations are even able to uncover new use cases and hidden benefits of their products based on customer feedback. These are great opportunities to adjust marketing claims and craft novel messaging.
Personalization only gets more important when it comes to marketing. 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if they receive a personalized experience. Having an intimate understanding of customers allows marketers to identify new ways for personalization.
Using granular consumer insights, organizations can develop the most accurate buyer personas. Using the target avatars, they can tailor marketing strategies.
Sentiment analysis uncovers how customer sentiment trends over time across the market. This can help identify and resolve problems that may be negatively impacting the customer experience. This allows organizations to see when customer sentiment increased or decreased, and evaluate if a certain change (like altering the product packing) had an impact.
Furthermore, it allows organizations to evaluate the impact of seasonality. If you notice that negative sentiment is higher around the holidays for “delivery time”, for example, you may consider hiring more help.
Find Market Segment Differences
Many eCommerce brands sell around the country or even the world. Uncovering differences in market segments can help improve the performance of the brand overall.
A sentiment analysis tool can reveal locations that view a brand more positively or negatively than others. This helps companies understand market segments and can uncover opportunities for improvement.
If you notice that a location in Houston has a very negative rating for “delivery speed” compared to the sentiment in Chicago, then you can examine how deliveries are handled in each. You may be able to make an effective change that improves shipping to Houston to improve the customer experience.
Understanding Voice-of-Customer has powerful implications for product development. For example, identifying qualities that customers do and do not like in about products. Trends of similar complaints can uncover an area of improvement for products and customer experience.
You can leverage customer sentiment to improve existing products and create new ones that address customers’ needs. When it comes to product development, customer insights are one of the most valuable tools at your disposal.
Leverage Sentiment Analysis Today
Get the insights you need to stay ahead of your competitors and appeal to your customers with a customer sentiment analysis tool.
While having a lot of high-star ratings is certainly great social proof, it’s not all that you need to get the most valuable insights about your customers. To leverage all of the helpful information in reviews and customer feedback, you need a simple tool that handles all of the complex analysis for you.
That’s exactly what we provide at Yogi. Our customer sentiment platform leverages AI technology to convert your reviews and ratings into powerful insights that you can use to propel your business to the next level. We aggregate product feedback data, organize it based on sentiment, and extract key insights that you can leverage to improve your business.
Read Our Latest eBook
Untapped Data: Why Reviews & Ratings Haven't Been Leveraged for Insights Yet
Looking for a deeper look into customer sentiment for your products and your competitors' products?
Yogi’s K-means-based AI platform analyzes Reviews & Ratings at the deepest level possible across all competitors and retailers. Save time searching for insights so you can move the needle for your brand today.