Feedback Analysis

What to Know Before Getting Started with Product Review Analysis

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Building the right product review analysis strategy can have a profound impact on sales and customer engagement. While brands often focus on generating and syndicating reviews, forward-thinking companies recognize that there is much more to be gained from customer feedback. A comprehensive review strategy encompasses three key stages: generating reviews, analyzing them, and utilizing the insights to drive sales.

Reviews are a unique data set that combines both quantitative and qualitative information in a single place. They originate from real consumers who have used the products in the real world, providing candid feedback outside of a controlled research or lab environment. This makes review analysis an invaluable resource for brands seeking to gain insights directly from their target audience.

However, analyzing reviews requires a different approach compared to other types of research and analysis, such as surveys or focus groups. While the skills and experiences from traditional research methods are transferable, review analysis is a distinct game. It's akin to pickleball, where familiarity with tennis and ping pong can be advantageous, but guidance is still needed to navigate the nuances. This training material offers direction on how to extract maximum value from the review analysis process, providing a solid foundation for brands to leverage their existing skills and embark on this new ballgame of learning.

Tips for Creating a Product Review Analysis Plan

While it’s important to keep the big picture in mind, the key to ramping up a review strategy is to start small and prioritize for impact. Taking a step-by-step approach will allow you to fine-tune your strategy and make the process less daunting.

First, let’s consider an example of the review flywheel at work.

Imagine you are a natural deodorant brand that prides itself on offering a wide range of scents derived from organic ingredients. Your marketing efforts have primarily focused on promoting the clean and natural scent profiles of your deodorants. However, as you start analyzing customer reviews, you discover an interesting trend.

While the positive reviews commend the effectiveness of the deodorant in providing all-day odor protection, there is a subset of reviews that consistently highlight a particular scent as the favorite among customers. These reviews indicate that customers are particularly drawn to the scent that offers a fresh and invigorating aroma, rather than solely emphasizing natural origins.

This finding indicates a valuable opportunity for your brand. By shifting your marketing strategy to highlight the most favored scent and emphasize its refreshing qualities, you can tap into the positive feedback and attract more customers who prioritize a pleasing fragrance in addition to natural ingredients. This adjustment aligns your messaging with the consumer experience and has the potential to enhance customer satisfaction and drive sales.

Review analysis serves as a crucial tool for consumer brands, offering insights into customer preferences, sentiments, and trends. By identifying such patterns within customer feedback, brands can make informed decisions to refine their products, adjust their marketing strategies, and ultimately improve the overall customer experience. Implementing a robust review analysis strategy empowers brands to stay ahead of the competition and build stronger connections with their target audience.

Understand when to use review analysis

Reviews analysis isn't the answer for every business question. It's important to recognize that there are times when reviews are useful and times when other solutions are better suited. Understanding the scope and limitations of review analysis ensures that you make informed decisions and utilize reviews effectively.

Review analysis offers a wealth of information about customer experiences and preferences, however, there are scenarios where reviews analysis may be less useful or when alternative solutions are more appropriate. For instance, if you require detailed consumer segmentation, reviews analysis might not provide the necessary intel. Additionally, if your product is new to the market or has limited sales, there might be a lack of review volume to draw meaningful conclusions. Furthermore, when trying to understand geographical information or seeking specific demographic data, other research methods may be more suitable.

To illustrate this further, let's explore some examples. Questions that are well-suited for reviews analysis include:

  • What are the key features that customers appreciate in our latest product update?
  • How does our product compare to our competitors in brand loyalty?
  • Are there any emerging trends or shifts in customer preferences that have occurred over the last quarter?
  • How does customer sentiment towards our brand vary across different retail channels?

 It's crucial to identify the specific business question you want to answer and determine whether reviews analysis aligns with the nature of that question. Which leads to our next point.

Identify a tactical point of entry

When embarking on product review analysis, the abundance of available information can be overwhelming, making it challenging to determine where to begin. It's important to recognize that taking a "boil the ocean" approach by trying to analyze all reviews at once simply won't work. Unlike surveys or focus groups where you can add specific questions to gather targeted insights, reviews provide a vast amount of unprompted feedback. To navigate this, it's crucial to have a specific question or starting point in mind.

Consider the following questions as possible starting points:

  • How are customers responding to our current marketing campaigns based on their reviews and feedback?
  • Have there been any changes in customer sentiment or satisfaction following recent product updates or changes?
  • Are there any specific features or aspects of our product that consistently receive positive or negative reviews?

By narrowing your focus to specific aspects, you can adopt a more targeted and manageable approach to sifting through review data. This way, you can extract actionable insights more effectively and efficiently. Remember, reviews often comprise hundreds or even thousands of comments for popular brands in a category. Therefore, having a clearly defined question helps you steer your analysis toward the areas that matter most and differentiates the review analysis process from traditional survey or focus group approaches.

Identify trends and patterns

Analyzing product reviews goes beyond individual comments or ratings. To extract meaningful insights, it's crucial to identify trends and patterns in customer feedback. Look for recurring themes, common complaints, or areas where customers express high satisfaction. These patterns can provide valuable information about the strengths and weaknesses of your products or services.

By recognizing trends, you can prioritize areas for improvement and focus your resources on addressing the most impactful issues. Whether it's identifying a flaw in your product design or recognizing a standout feature that customers love, these trends can guide your decision-making and help you enhance the overall customer experience.

Monitor sentiment, not just star rating

While star ratings provide a quick overview of customer satisfaction, they don't capture the full sentiment behind the reviews. Monitoring sentiment allows you to dive deeper into the qualitative aspect of customer feedback.

By tracking sentiment over time, you can identify shifts in customer perception and identify any emerging negative trends. Pay attention to the language customers use, their tone, and the overall sentiment expressed in their reviews.

Understanding customer sentiment enables you to react promptly to negative feedback, address customer concerns, and take proactive steps to improve customer satisfaction. Remember, even a product with high ratings can still have underlying sentiment issues, so focusing on sentiment analysis provides a more comprehensive view of your customers' experiences.

Take advantage of review analysis for your competitors

Analyze the reviews of your competitors to gain valuable insights into the market and identify areas where you can differentiate yourself. This leads us to our final point.

To gain a competitive advantage, it's essential to analyze not only your own product reviews but also those of your competitors. Analyzing the reviews of your competitors can provide valuable market insights and help you identify areas where you can differentiate your brand.

By addressing the shortcomings of your competitors, you can capture the market share of dissatisfied customers and position your brand as the preferred choice. Review analysis for your competitors allows you to stay ahead of market trends, understand customer preferences, and make informed strategic decisions that give your brand a competitive edge.

The Benefits of Competitor Review Analysis

Competitor review analysis is an important part of any review analysis strategy. By analyzing the reviews of your competitors, you can gain valuable insights into their strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas where you can differentiate yourself in the market.

One significant advantage of competitor review analysis is the abundance of data available for their brands compared to your own. In traditional research methods, the focus tends to be inwardly directed, allocating the majority of resources to studying your own brands. However, with review data, you can correct this imbalance and expand your understanding by leveraging the extensive volume of reviews available for your competitors.

This broader perspective enables you to identify gaps in the market and address them strategically. For instance, if your competitors are consistently receiving negative reviews for a particular feature, you can leverage this knowledge to develop a product that effectively addresses that pain point. Conversely, if your competitors receive positive reviews for a specific aspect of their product, you can capitalize on this information to enhance your own product and maintain a competitive advantage.

By harnessing the power of competitor review analysis, you can transcend inward-focused research and tap into the wealth of insights derived from customer feedback on competing brands, positioning yourself for greater success in the marketplace.

The Big Picture

Before getting into the weeds of creating a review analysis plan, you’ll need to understand exactly how the process will integrate into your overall strategy and organization. By basing your decisions on customer feedback, you minimize the risk of investing resources in initiatives that don't resonate with your target audience and instead focus on areas that will have the greatest positive impact on your business.

Systematically analyzing reviews allows you to identify trends, patterns, and recurring issues that require attention. These insights guide you in making informed decisions about product improvements, feature enhancements, and marketing strategies. 

Let's explore some key business cases for product review analysis and understand the tactical and strategic advantages that it offers.

Customer Insights and Understanding

Gain a deep understanding of your target audience by analyzing their thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Tailor products, marketing messages, and customer experience accordingly to enhance satisfaction and build meaningful relationships.

Improved eCommerce Performance

Uncover valuable insights from customer reviews to optimize your online store and enhance the shopping experience through tactics like merchandising, display optimization, and product detail pages.

Compelling Marketing Messaging

Craft messaging that directly addresses customer needs and desires by analyzing their language, emotions, and experiences. Utilize positive sentiments, unique selling points, and testimonials to establish trust and drive engagement and conversions.

Product Improvement and Innovation

Use customer reviews as a goldmine of feedback and ideas for product enhancement and innovation. Identify areas for improvement, new features, and functionalities that align with customer expectations and proactively address potential quality issues.

Competitive Advantage

Analyze competitor reviews to gain a strategic edge. Identify opportunities to differentiate your brand by understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and common pain points, capturing dissatisfied customers' market share.


Reviews are a powerful tool for understanding your customers and staying ahead of the competition. With a review analysis strategy in place, you can identify areas for improvement, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately, drive more sales.

By setting up a review analysis process, identifying trends, monitoring sentiment, responding to customer feedback, and analyzing the reviews of your competitors, you can take your business to the next level.

Sign up for the Product Reviews Strategy Course to make the most of your reviews today.