For retailers, the fight to grab consumer attention is turning to e-commerce. According to Kantar, online sales will nearly double by 2025 globally. Today there are hundreds of ways for brands to connect with their customers, and even more options for customers to connect with each other.
This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. On the one hand, a negative Tweet is capable of denting the brand image hard built over the years. On the other hand, with the millions of interactions that occur every day on e-commerce sites, social networks and forums, it is easier than ever for brands to measure consumer sentiment, using public data available on the Internet. Some choose to collect this information manually, which is resource-intensive. But many are using fully automated data collection tools, which turn colossal amounts of unstructured data into an actionable data set.
When marketers collect public data from the web to measure consumer sentiment, they are limited only by their imagination. There are indeed a multitude of potential data points capable of giving consumer information, buried in the largest database in the world: the Internet. The possibilities are endless, and sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. For those getting into data collection, it’s recommended to focus on four key areas: customer reviews, social media sentiment, search engine trends, and competitor analysis.
Customer reviews on marketplaces: a first foot in the stirrup
Customer reviews on marketplaces are a real way to measure their feelings. This is where customers are most honest about products and share valuable insights into their customer experience.
Collecting and analyzing these reviews to isolate trends allows brands to be more buyer-centric, developing products based on what they really want. Additionally, by evaluating factors such as location, gender, age range, and rater preferences, marketers can fine-tune their campaigns to reach their audience as accurately as possible.
Take the temperature using social media
Elon Musk recently described Twitter as “the de facto digital public square” of the modern world. Indeed, each social network channel represents its own marketplace, and brands must be present in the field. Customer review videos, text messages, and niche forums can all provide valuable insight into what customers are really thinking. By looking for recurring indicators of sentiment, such as the tone of comments, reactions, the number of shares or even the speed at which conversations evolve, brands can assemble all these elements to reconstruct an image of their market, generated by the users.
Like, a brand of portable electronic devices realized that the sentiments of one of their products were negative due to the lack of batteries, following an analysis of their data. This valuable information allows the brand to implement solutions, in particular with the creation of a “pack” including batteries or with clearer communication on the fact that they are not delivered with the product. Thus the brand makes it known that it is listening to its customers and that it is making the necessary changes, which will then lead to positive reactions likely to restore the brand image.
Simple interactions reveal valuable insights
Most customer journeys start with a Google search. By grouping and analyzing them, a brand can easily build a clear picture of the questions being asked about their products or services. What vocabulary do consumers use? Do they have any obvious shortcomings? These answers are hidden in their search queries.
For example, an electric car brand might discover that consumers are asking questions such as, “Are electric cars cheaper than gasoline?” or “Does the government offer tax breaks for electric cars?” “. They indicate that the average person does not understand the financial aspect of owning an electric vehicle. With this information, the brand in question can react accordingly and create educational content to instruct, and ultimately convert, their target audience.
Competitive analysis – a way to stay ahead of the pack!
Competitor performance data such as seasonal sales trends, promotion correlation, sell-through rates, or seller ratings are a valuable source of consumer sentiment data.
This data can indicate how consumers perceive a brand’s competitors, but also how external factors influence purchasing decisions. Marketing specialists generally discover interesting correlations, such as during a sales peak following the modernization of the image of a competing brand. This data can help inform their own strategy.
Today, brands that take a keen interest in measuring customer and consumer sentiment will have an easier time establishing themselves as leaders in the e-commerce space. In this sense, the collection of public data on the web at large scale should be a key tool in their arsenal.
Author: David El KaimSales Director, Bright Data
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