Sentiment analysis and the e-commerce space: Why bother?

Let’s frame up a scenario. You created a to die for line of chic home decor. You decided that instead of a brick and mortar store you’d take the online route. You’re saving on the overhead, mapping out hours that fit your schedule, etc., etc. You’ve got your e-commerce store set up, it’s fancy-schmancy and the perfect compliment to the products you offer. You’re on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest because you want to reach potential customers across all possible channels. Sales are up, you’re living the dream, and all seems well….

But then, one little customer writes a nasty little review that turns into a dramatic blog post, then publishes it in every possible location. And this customer is no small fish — she has a mean following. By mean, we mean huge. And her network is eating it up! Sharing, commenting, and turning a small scrape into a nasty wound. Cut back to you, and you’re still in lala land think everything is peaches and cream, because you have no sense of what anyone is saying. You’re pushing out tons great info, but you not listening.

Now, back to the question at hand. “Sentiment analysis, why bother?” The scenario above should explain it all.

Sentiment analysis is all about tracking what being said about your brand across any channel you want to track. Tweets, blog posts, YouTube videos, news stories, Facebook posts, you name it, you can track it. It let’s you know exactly how people feel about your brand.

And you don’t have to be a big box brand with thousands of dollars to spend each month on such tracking. As a small online store, it’s doubtful that you’re seeing the same number of articles, tweets, etc., that the big companies see. They need a little more horsepower. For smaller businesses, there are lower cost tools and even some good free tools out there. Ask us about them! You can even do some of the work on your own without any special tools. You just have to know what you’re tracking, when to track it, and what to do about your findings. What’s the point of having the knowledge and insight if you’re not going to do anything with it?

All brands need to be monitoring sentiment, but as an e-commerce store, you live online! You have to know what’s going on around you — it’s the only place customers and potential customers have the opportunity to experience what you have to offer. You want to make that experience as clean and favorable as possible. No business can be run without a negative review, but solving a problem before it gets out of hand goes a very long way!

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