All aspects of ecommerce can be controlled by a brand, except for one area that is completely in the hands of the user – product reviews and ratings.
As competition grows on marketplace, where most online customers start their purchasing journey, this aspect has become a reliable filter to help other users decide, “to buy or not to buy.”
On most ecommerce sites, customers can sort products from highest to lowest average ratings, which means a high score gives brands more visibility and a competitive advantage over competitors. Better product rating, better purchase rate, makes sense right?
But five stars alone isn’t enough to convince customers to add to cart, it’s what the reviews are saying that drive checkouts, especially in Asia where an average of 22% customers — the highest globally — count online reviews as a decision making factor due to the strong effect of community.
By aggregating the major consensus of what customers are saying in their reviews, brands can leverage reviews to improve their performance online. How can this be done?
Data-analytics platform BrandIQ has collected reviews for four of Unilever’s brands – Dove, Rexona, Simple, Toni and Guy – on Lazada Philippines to showcase what companies can learn from this set of data and separating out the generic complaints (i.e. slow delivery, average product).
The average rating of each brand online gives a high level glance at which brand needs more monitoring and brand building. For example, Toni and Guy scores an average 3.81/5, which isn’t necessarily bad, but can be improved to rank higher in search.
42% of total reviews scrubbed were about the touch and feel of the products, but approximately 58% actually shed light on aspects other than product quality.
What were they saying?
To sort the data, reviews are split into five main categories: Product, General, Delivery, Packaging, and Customer Service.
From the data above, the keyword “delivery” is the second most quoted in reviews, but it doesn’t reveal whether sentiment is good or bad.
By splitting customer reviews into two sentiments: positive and negative, we identify the strengths and weaknesses of these categories. This allows companies to understand which area should be prioritised for improvement.
For Unilever brands on Lazada Philippines, despite the small numbers of reviews that talk about Package, the category racked up a strong positive sentiment compared to the other four categories (Service contributes only a small percentage of the total reviews). Extrapolation of this data can signal that the products ordered by customers is well taken care of during the last mile with the packaging the company used.
Customer reviews are a unique and vital aspect to ecommerce that offline retail rarely had to face before. Brands looking to crack the code on e-marketplaces will need to build an understanding for this new metric, and use it as a tool to their advantage.