For retailers, the struggle to get consumer attention turns to e-commerce. According to Kantar, online sales will nearly double by 2025 globally. Today there are hundreds of ways that allow brands to communicate with their customers, and even more options for customers to communicate with each other.
This is an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. On the other hand, a negative tweet can damage the image of a brand that has built so powerfully over the years. On the other hand, with millions of interactions taking place daily 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 a resource-intensive process. But many use fully automated data collection tools, which turn massive amounts of unstructured data into an actionable data set.
When marketers collect public data from the web to measure consumer sentiment, they are only limited by their imagination. There are actually many potential data points capable of providing information to consumers, buried in the world’s largest database: the Internet. The possibilities are endless, and sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin. For those involved in data collection, it is recommended to focus on four main areas: customer reviews, social media sentiment, search engine trends, and competitor analysis.
Customer reviews in the markets: the first foot in the stirrup
Customer reviews in the markets are a real way to gauge their feelings. This is where customers are most honest about products and share valuable insights about their customers’ experience.
Collecting and analyzing these reviews to isolate trends allows brands to be more buyer focused, developing products based on what they really want. Additionally, by evaluating factors such as location, gender, age group, and evaluator preferences, marketers can adjust their campaigns to reach their audience as accurately as possible.
Take the temperature using social media
Elon Musk recently described Twitter as a “public digital physical arena” for the modern world. In fact, each social network channel represents its own market, and brands must be present in this space. Customer review videos, text messages, and niche forums can provide insight into what customers really think. By looking for frequent indicators of sentiment, such as the tone of comments, reactions, number of shares or even the speed at which conversations are developing, brands can put together all these elements to rebuild an image of their market, created by users.
Similarly, one mobile electronics brand realized a negative sentiment towards one of its products due to a lack of batteries, after analyzing its data. This valuable information allows the brand to implement solutions, in particular by creating a “package” that includes the batteries or with clearer communication about the fact that they were not delivered with the product. Thus the brand makes it known that it is listening to its customers and that it makes the necessary changes, which will then lead to positive feedback that is likely to restore the brand image.
Simple interactions reveal valuable insights
Most customer journeys start with a Google search. By compiling and analyzing it, a brand can easily build a clear picture of the questions being asked about its products or services. What vocabulary do consumers use? Do they have any obvious deficiencies? These answers are hidden in their search queries.
For example, an electric car brand might discover that consumers ask questions like, “Are electric cars cheaper than gasoline?” or “Does the government offer tax credits for electric cars?” It indicates that the average person does not understand the financial aspect of owning an electric car. Using this information, the respective brand can react accordingly and create educational content to guide and ultimately convert their target audience.
Competitive Analysis – A way to stay ahead of the curve!
Competitor performance data such as seasonal sales trends, promotion correlation, whole sale rates, or seller ratings are a valuable source of consumer confidence data.
This data can indicate how consumers perceive a brand’s competitors, but also how external factors influence purchasing decisions. Marketing professionals generally discover interesting correlations, for example during peak sales after updating the image of the competing brand. This data can help inform their own strategy.
Today, brands that care deeply about gauging customer and consumer sentiment will have an easier time establishing themselves as e-commerce leaders. In this sense, the collection of public data on the web at scale should be a key tool in its arsenal.
Author: David El KaimSales Manager, Bright Data
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