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Automation in e-commerce

Automations in collecting worldwide customer reviews in e-commerce

Our technological world is expanding every day, and especially after being thrust headfirst into a more digital reality, these trends aren’t going anywhere.

In the e-commerce world, we were already on a steady trend towards a stronger embrace of the online space. With social distancing as a catalyst, we’re even further along with the trend than we had anticipated.

This is exciting for brands and consumers alike as we get to explore all of the perks that come with embracing online commerce, from the convenience of online shopping and the round-the-clock accessibility, to reaching a larger consumer base and creating a better brand-client relationship.

As e-commerce lends itself to growth, some brands have to deal with an underestimated challenge: data.

Dealing with data is nothing new, but as both reach and accessibility continue to grow, the amount of data created might seem unmanageable. Some of the most important data points to collect, analyze, and study have to do with the customer experience and reviews.

Let’s talk about how automation can help deal with collecting worldwide customer reviews in e-commerce.

Why is automation important?

(Bad) Reviews matter

Before we get into the details of automation, it’s important to go over just how crucial paying close attention to customer reviews can be. The two main ways reviews will affect your brand are in trust and in sales, areas that are closely related.

In any marketplace, one of the main challenges will be having your brand stand out over the rest, and one of the most powerful ways to do this is by showcasing glowing reviews.

In fact, customers are statistically more likely to trust a brand with good reviews and are likely to consider reviews as a major part of their decision process.

The other side of the coin is just as true, of course. If great reviews are what customers look at in order to make the decision to purchase, then bad reviews lead them away.

Reviews are fundamental in building (or losing) consumer trust in your brand.

Lots of data

Read your reviews and display the good ones, what’s the big deal? Two things.

First, transparency. Increasingly, consumers are looking for brands to be transparent with them. This helps them build trust and, ultimately, feel okay about making a purchase.

Along these lines, a good chunk of consumers will feel more comfortable about a product if it has some negative reviews. At the end of the day, buyers want to know that the information being provided is accurate, and if only outstanding reviews are on display, this might look a bit doctored.

Take a look at the selected reviews for Amazon products, for example. Even when a product is overwhelmingly rated with 4–5 stars, a few fairly negative reviews are on display as well.

The other side of this is scale. Looking through your reviews to handpick a healthy balance might seem like a great hands-on approach if you have 50 reviews to sift through, but as your brand starts to reach national and international levels, this quickly becomes impractical.

This is where automation comes in. It’s incredibly important to put in the work with everything we’ve mentioned about reviews, but at a certain point, it’s impossible to do it by hand. Having the appropriate tools and technology to handle this for you, then, is not only useful, but necessary.

What to automate?

It’s an easy word to throw around, but what exactly do I mean when I say that automation is necessary?

Truthfully, there are practically countless tasks that can be beneficial to automate, but let’s focus on two for now.

  • The first is asking for feedback. If you’ve ever worked in the service industry, you already know: people tend to leave voluntary reviews after negative experiences. If you’ve had a bad experience, you might feel the need to warn others, hence the affinity towards negative reviews. If your experience is good, however, you might not give the purchasing platform a second thought. This is why it’s incredibly important to ask customers for feedback and even offer incentives for doing so. Again, it’d be a nice touch to do this personally and by hand, but scale makes that impossible. Automating this feedback reach-out, then, becomes an important part in building your brand reputation and trust.
  • Collecting the data is only the beginning. Once you’ve asked for and received reviews, you have to organize and analyze the data, see which are the most useful to you, and select which reviews will be the most important to display. As your data pool grows, this certainly seems to be a daunting task. Luckily, however, AI and other tech have developed to incredibly useful levels, and can be vital tools for you to use in data analysis and decision making. This allows you not only to automate the process, but to complete the task with a level of sophistication and insight that only Artificial Intelligence can deliver.

Altogether, the lesson is simple. At a certain point, doing things by hand is simply impossible. The appropriate automation, however, will help your brand operate at a rate and scale that would otherwise be unmanageable.

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Eddie Porrello

Eddie Porrello

Director of Product at Amber Engine, a software company whose PIM software gets sellers and brands to online marketplaces in weeks instead of months

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