Social Listening: Voice of Consumers Analysis


With the advent of the era of big data, consumers are affected by data all the time, and their behavior generates more data to in turn accelerate this cycle. For brands, to better grasp consumers, understand consumer insight has become a must, not an option. However, it is often difficult for enterprises, especially those of small and medium size, to build teams of big data. Is there an AI-driven data analytics service that could help most companies gain insights into massive data in the market, and improve operational efficiency without much construction cost? eTOC Social Listening is one such service.

Why do we need Social Listening?

The mainstream e-commerce platforms in China, e.g. Tmall, are leading the transformation of brand flagship stores, aimed at upgrading from the sales conversion to entire shopping experience. This also indicates that if brands want long-term development in e-commerce, consumer-oriented contents and services would be one of the key focuses in the future.

Accurate contents and services require a precise understanding of consumers’ needs, especially insights into data of direct conversations between consumers and brands (chat with customer service, comments, etc.). Though Tmall and JD have now provided brands with multiple data management for tracking and improving the business, such as “Biz Advisor”生意参谋, “Data Bank”数据银行, the dimension of such analysis stays on the quantitative level, leaving a large gap in data based on consumers’ semantics and leading to “rich data but poor consumer insights” for many brands.

Therefore, in the process of providing consumers with goods and services, businesses often encounter the following pain points: First, the value and role of customer services could not be fully displayed: On average, 20-30% of shop sales come from the conversion of consultation with customer services, the ratio can be much higher in premium positioned brands. Yet, most brands currently perform below the industry standard, mostly because customer services fail to make effective speech according to customers’ potential needs and hit their pain points.

Second, how to identify the real value of the product: Despite the enriching categories on the platform, products are often similar. Homogenization among commodities results in fiercer price competition. Compared with competitors, what really reaches the consumers? Is there discrepancy between features as well as advantages originally identified by brands? How to identify real opinions of optimization from massive consumer voices and adjust products in line with market demand?

Third, what is an effective marketing message: Consumers are always elusive, showing huge differences between their demands expressed and actual reasons for purchase. What is an effective marketing message that could really influence the consumers?

Regarding the above issues, we suggest that businesses should: think from the perspective of consumers, capture their voices and convert the insights into actions.

The Value of Social Listening

Brands should take consumer demands as the core driving force of their long-term progression, and attach importance to their responsiveness to feedback. Through the big data semantic analysis technology, Social Listening makes comprehensive analysis of consumers’ feedback on China’s mainstream e-commerce platforms and social medias. It helps enterprises to plant the relevant information in the whole consumer journey, and enables real-time data monitoring and updating.

Absorbing feedback and making subsequent actions are one of the most effective ways to show commitment to consumers. In order to gain insight into their demands, we analyze the whole consumer shopping journey, from pre-sale stage (browsing & search to consultation with customer service) to after-sale stage (consumers leave product reviews and recommend). Consumer needs are comprehensively and clearly monitored in different shopping stages.

  • In the short term: Social Listening could conduct precise analysis of service capability and quality of each member in the customer service team, so that the team could become a sales guide who could lead consumption decisions and represent the brand.
  • In the medium term: Social Listening could deeply analyze consumers’ purchasing demands and motivations, horizontally compare their competitors’ performance in each shopping experience stages, and apply targeted optimization to both marketing and operation.
  • In the long term: more and more companies have included consumer insight analysis in the heart of new product development, to ensure that the product matches with consumer’s needs.

Methodology of Social Listening

Consumer insights through digital closed loop

voice of consumers data closed-loop
  • We know that the new generation of internet consumers are more willing to share and express, but how shall we listen from so many crowded voices, and how shall we collect those data? This is the first step of Social Listening — data collection and cleaning;
  • With collected data, how shall we format various types of data and interpret consumers’ voice more efficiently and precisely? It naturally goes to the second step — data process and classification;
  • After the classification, how to apply the classified data into business insights, requires the third step — data insight analysis; In the end, it all comes to continuous Social Listening tracking and monitoring, capturing unsatisfied consumer needs and be able to take actions on time to maintain consumers’ satisfaction.

Multidimensional insights through the pyramid model

Besides the three steps mentioned above, we also follow the inverted pyramid analysis model. From online platforms, down to industries & category, core competitors and its products, the model refines insights layer by layer, allowing companies to analyze and predict trends of the industry, as well as start from details to carry out the optimization of refined operation.
inverted pyramid analysis dimensions

The advantages of Social Listening

Customized System Development: in such a competitive environment with volatile market, our analytical approach is by no means static. Brands in different industries face their respective challenges in Chinese market. Therefore, before the analysis, we will comprehensively discuss with the brand about frameworks and data dimensions, such as the selection of competing brands and products. Data collection will be customized according to requirements of the brand.

Integrated Data Platform Powered by Smart AI: no matter where the data are stored, they can be easily connected to our platform; with extensible open data resources, the back-end API can be quickly accessed and utilized; internal and external databases of the enterprise could be easily connected, all data resources integrated in one platform.

A One-Stop Solution: brands all hope to reduce their operation cost through systemized collection and analysis of data. However, the realization of digital closed loop on the brand side requires strong technical support.

During data collection, it requires technology to gather the data from the market, or third-party data providers. During modeling and processing, formatting data needs the establishment of data warehouse and command of data management skills. Natural language processing and machine learning skills are also required to explore the value of unstructured data.

After the processing, front-end skills and chart visualization skills are necessary to turn complicated data into readable reports. During the actual business operation, rarely is there a capable team to complete such a thorough business chain. But eTOC Social Listening Service solve them all well: from data collection and modeling, analysis, visualization to monitoring, a “consumer-oriented” one-stop data analysis system is constructed.

Consumer Insights Report: Due to the flexibility and variability of data system, there are numerous data dimensions for enterprises to choose and view, while most practical information is scattered in hundreds of BI charts. eTOC professional consultants could help you sort out the most important information and present to multiple teams in the form of visualized report.

Continuous Data Tracking & Monitoring: the data analysis model constructed by Social Listening provides automatic monitoring and management algorithms. With continuous monitoring and analysis, it learns the disadvantages of the product for constant improvement, finds out sudden problems in time and in turn guides product development and marketing promotion strategy.
one-stop voice of consumers solution

Choose the Proper Social Listening Solution

With a one-stop Social Listening service and well-established solution for data analysis, eTOC is committed to assist the development of overseas brands in China’s e-commerce field. Our team consists of professionals with years of deep involvement in the China e-commerce and digital marketing, who possess mature methodologies for all-round analysis of brands on Chinese e-commerce and social media platforms. To experience AI-driven Social Listening service, please feel free to contact us.

Want to have a first free consultation session about social media marketing and e-commerce in China? Contact us.