Case Study: Analyzing Customer Reviews for Unilever Brands Online

Written by Rara Kinasih on January 11, 2018

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 rating, which means scoring high gives brands more visibility and a competitive advantage over competitors. Better product rating, better purchase rate, makes sense right?

But scoring a high rating alone is not enough to convince customers to add to cart, it’s what the reviews are saying that drive others to buy, especially in Asia where an average of 22% customers count online reviews as a decision making factor — the highest globally — due to the strong community effect in Asia.

By aggregating the major consensus of what customers are saying in their reviews, brands can leverage reviews to improve their performance online. How to do this?

customers review Unilever

Data-analytics platform BrandIQ has developed a Voice tool that 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 apart from the generic complaints.

42% of the reviews were predictably about the touch and feel of the products, but approximately 58% of the reviews actually shed light on aspects other than product quality.

What were they saying?

customers review Unilever

To sort the data, reviews are split into five main categories: Product, General, Delivery, Packaging, and Customer Service.

From the data above, delivery is the second most quoted in a review.

Further splitting customers review into two sentiments: positive and negative, identifies the strengths and weaknesses of these category areas, to let the company know which area should be prioritized for improvement.

For Unilever brands, despite the small numbers of reviews that talk about Package, the category racked up a strong positive sentiment compared to the other four categories, except Service that contributes only small size of the reviews. This signals the satisfaction that customers felt seeing the products that they ordered is taken care well until it reaches them with the packaging that the company used.

customers review Unilever

customers review Unilever
Review left by a Dove customer on Lazada PH that was found helpful by at least six other customers.

Customer reviews are a unique aspect to ecommerce that offline retail has rarely had to face before. Brands looking to crack the code on online marketplaces will need to build an understanding for this new metric, and use it as a tool to their advantage.


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