February 1, 2021

Cosmetic products: How to collect and process online consumer reviews?

The development of e-commerce, accelerated by the covid-19 pandemic, has boosted online sales at the expense of in-store shopping.


Today, there are over 200,000 e-commerce sites listed on the web in France.

This growth of online sales, combined with a proliferation of customer reviews, provides cosmetic brands with a large amount of data about their products, their consumers and their competitors.

The value of customer reviews


Reviews left by consumers online are useful to guide other consumers through their purchases.
They are also very valuable for brands seeking to upgrade or perfect their cosmetic products.


Indeed, the analysis of customer reviews allows to highlight the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the beauty products on sale.


In fact, the interpretation of reviews left by consumers online, spontaneous and unbiased reviews, allows brands to identify areas of improvement for their products and to prioritize them in the process of renovation.


The analysis of customer reviews also provides brands with insights about their consumers’ preferences and their profiles.
Thus, brands have access to the information they need to better adapt to their targets and to improve the relevance of their beauty products.


Why should brands collect the reviews left by their customers ?


Today, 52% of users write reviews about the products they buy.


This represents a significant amount of information to process and an even larger volume of conclusions to draw.


The data that can be extracted from consumer reviews on e-commerce sites can cover different types of information, such as :

  • insights on the reviewer: gender, age range, skin type…
  • insights on the product experience and perception of it: overall rating, overall comment, feeling…


This raw data must be collected, aggregated, organized and finally interpreted in order to obtain relevant insights.


This represents a sophisticated process that is essential to provide objective and actable information about customers' needs based on a pool of consumer opinions.


How to collect customer reviews and use them ?

The analysis of customer reviews is a process that involves several steps:


  • The gathering : For each e-commerce site, customer reviews are gathered one by one. In order to follow the RGPD regulation, only the information that does not allow to identify the consumer in person is collected. Thus, the type of information collected often involves age, gender, overall rating and the comment left by the consumer. This operation is done for each website.
  • The aggregation : Once all the reviews have been collected, it is necessary to ensure that the feedback for a product written on different platforms that has been collected is correctly linked to this product. Indeed, the same product can have different names from one site to another, which can make the task quite complex and which doesn't allow automation. For example, Sanoflore's Aqua Magnifica is called "Aqua Magnifica Anti-Imperfections Purifying Lotion" on one site and "Aqua Magnifica" on another.
  • The organization : Once aggregated, the reviews must be standardized because the different websites provide different types of information. Moreover, the same information can be presented under several formats. For example, the date on one site can be written as "3 months ago" when it appears as "November 30, 2020" on another. Therefore, this standardization makes it possible to homogenize reviews from different sources so that they can be used properly.
  • The interpretation: Finally, the reviews are analyzed with natural language processing AI algorithms. They detect the topics mentioned as well as the degree of satisfaction associated with each of them. By automating these tasks on a set of about a specific product, it is possible to gather robust insights about its positive and negative aspects.


When properly analyzed, consumer reviews provide very precise information on customers' needs towards a product and/or a brand.
They provide business units with insights that can enrich their reflections on future launches, guide them in the strategy to be implemented and accelerate the innovation process.

This is why it is now essential for brands to collect and use online customer reviews.

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What strategies should be put in place to obtain more product reviews and how can they be used effectively?

Accessing what consumers really think about the products they buy is crucial for brands and their customers. On social networks, with friends and family, or on specialized websites dedicated to sharing reviews, feedback is pouring in. It became essential for brands to closely follow what people say about their products.

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