The Complete Beginners Guide to Review Mining for Ecommerce Marketing

Unlocking the Power of Your Customers' Opinions

Matt Schlicht (CEO of Octane AI)
August 18, 2023

Believe it or not, there is an assortment of incredibly valuable insights right under your fingertips with your product reviews. They’re your unpaid, unprompted, and most authentic customer surveys. They could easily be your secret weapon to unlocking customer understanding, boosting conversions, and enhancing the overall performance of your ecommerce store.

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"Review mining is incredibly helpful for initial Voice of Customer data research. I do this for copywriting. Also a good way to get a pulse on what customers like and dislike about our products and the competitors too."

- Kat Garcia, Founder at Email Science

You might be thinking, “I already check reviews every now and then, isn’t that enough?” To be honest, it is not. We need to move beyond the random check-ins to a more structured integration of review analysis into the core of our business strategies. But, how do we get there?

No worries, we got you covered. This piece will answer all your crucial questions: What is review mining? Why is it so vital? How can you do it effectively? How can you maximize its benefits for your online store? We will also introduce you to an amazing tool that has transformed the way ecommerce businesses mine reviews. Ready for the answers? Let’s dive in!

A digital prospector looking for reviews through a magnifying glass

What is Review Mining?

Review mining is akin to being a digital prospector, scouring the landscape of online reviews in search of gold — in this case, valuable insights about your products. But instead of a pickaxe and pan, your tools are an analytical mind and a keen eye for detail.

At its core, review mining involves analyzing the online reviews and feedback of your products to extract useful ‘intel’ that can guide your business strategy, foremostly your marketing.

"Review mining has helped me shape my copy writing a bit better so that I am talking in my customers tone of voice and specially talking about the issues they care about."

- Ash Melwani, CMO and Co-Founder of Obvi

But here’s the catch: it’s not just about passively reading through what customers have to say about your product or services. No, review mining goes beyond that.

Review mining entails a systematic way of gathering, studying, and interpreting this customer-provided data. Perhaps they’re raving about a specific product feature, suggesting improvements, or even issuing complaints. All these pieces of information are nuggets of gold that could prove pivotal in understanding your customers and aligning your offerings to their needs and wants better.

For instance, say your ecommerce store sells personal care products. As you mine reviews, you might notice many customers expressing delight over the natural ingredients in your products. This is an important insight that you might not have considered as a major selling point before. But now, you know it’s something that your customers genuinely value.

"You're going to find copy in your reviews that you would NEVER have come up with in a thousand years. Things like "I literally want to be buried on this mattress" or "These period undies are made of wizard magic" or "If this ever broke, I would trade my firstborn child in an instant" (all real reviews I've mined). Using those words, phrases, and feelings, it becomes SO MUCH EASIER to write sticky copy — the kind that stays in the reader's mind long after they've closed your product page or email."

- Lianna Patch, Founder of Punchline Conversion Copywriting

Review mining is not limited to your own business. It expands its scope to your competitors’ products as well. This way, it gives a broader picture of customer sentiment, including identifying gaps in the market your rivals are not filling, which you can take advantage of.

Now that we’ve understood what review mining is, let’s delve into why it is so crucial for your ecommerce business. Up next: The significance of making review mining a key part of your business strategy. Are you ready? Let’s dig deeper!

Gold nuggets shaped as puzzle pieces, signifying the valuable insights obtained from review mining

Why is Review Mining Important?

Now, more than ever, customer opinions shape the business landscape. In the world of ecommerce, those perspectives often take the form of online reviews. Every review — be it short or detailed, glowing or critical — offers a unique window into your customers’ minds.

But why should you, as an ecommerce operator, make review mining a priority? Why should you spend valuable time and resources on this process? Let’s break it down.

"Unquestionably, the value of review mining is to learn the actual feelings my customers are experiencing in relation to my products. If I can better understand my customers' sense of what a product is doing for them, I can then frame the product's value to future customers along the same lines in my ads."

- Andrew Faris, CEO, AJF Growth

1. Uncover the Real Voice of the Customer: Customers are the heart of your business, and understanding their viewpoint is pivotal. However, getting those insights isn’t always easy. That’s where review mining comes into play. With each review acting as a mini customer survey, you get authentic, unfiltered feedback about your products and services.

"Review mining is incredibly valuable as it provides insights into what customers truly think about a product or service. It can reveal common pain points, highlight areas for improvement, and identify what customers love most, guiding strategic decisions.

Additionally, it can help you recognise your ideal customer's tone of voice allowing you to pull in their language into your sales copy."

- Peter Gardner, Chief Strategy Officer at Blend Commerce

2. Enhance Your Product/Service Offering: Customer reviews can spotlight areas where your offerings may be falling short or, conversely, features that are genuinely captivating customers. By paying heed to these insights, you can optimize your existing products and conceive new ones that genuinely resonate with your customer base.

3. Refine Your Marketing Strategy: Review mining isn’t just about your products; it’s also an invaluable tool for honing your marketing strategy. From determining top-selling points to crafting more persuasive product descriptions, the insights gleaned can give your marketing efforts a compelling edge.

"Mining reviews before writing or updating copy can be the difference between a customer saying, "I like this, but I'm not sure it's for me" or saying "This is exactly what I need right now." Plus... it's fun!"

- Lianna Patch, Founder of Punchline Conversion Copywriting

4. Outsmart Your Competitors: By mining your competitors’ reviews, you can find out what their customers love and — perhaps more importantly — what they don’t. Such insights can expose gaps in your rivals’ offerings, giving you a unique opportunity to step in and fill them.

5. Build Trust and Foster Loyalty: Responding to reviews — especially negative ones — can show your customers that you value and respect their opinion. This not only builds trust among your existing customer base but also attracts potential customers, cultivating a loyal community around your brand.

"As a messaging strategist + copywriter, review mining is an invaluable peek into the narratives surrounding a particular brand, product and/or problem that people want solved. Along with surveys and customer calls, it's the difference between stab in the dark type of messaging, and data-informed messaging."

- Ami Williamson, AI-obsessed Copywriter at Damn Write + Copy Saviour

6. Fuel SEO Efforts: Reviews are a goldmine of relevant keywords. By incorporating these naturally occurring keywords into your product descriptions, blog posts, and other website content, you can boost your SEO efforts and drive more organic traffic to your site.

"One of the biggest contributors to improving conversion rates is improving the website and sales copy. We started working with a Brand and after analysing their website copy we established that they were using Grade 12+ which is too hard to read for the majority of readers - the problem was that the copy was written by the very technical founders who had doctorate level degrees.

We also did a similar evaluation of their customer reviews and found that their typical customer reviews were written at a Grade 6 level which is ideal for average readers.

We then identified all the key words about the product benefits and the problems their product was solving from their customer reviews and rewrote the product page sales copy to be at a Grade 6 level. We then conducted A/B split testing of the website copy and found an enormous 33% increase in CR."

- Peter Gardner, Chief Strategy Officer at Blend Commerce

7. Improve Customer Satisfaction: Most importantly, review mining helps you understand your customers’ needs and preferences better which allows for the delivery an ecommerce experience that leaves them satisfied and loyal to your brand.

"Reviewing mining can be a powerful way to identify trends in customer feedback. Positive or negative, knowing those trends can allow you to make valuable decisions for the direction of your product or service."

- Ben Zettler, Founder at Zettler Digital

In essence, the power of review mining lies in its ability to transform customer feedback into valuable business strategies, leading to enriched user experience, optimized marketing strategies, increased conversions, and potential market growth.

Ready to incorporate the practice of review mining into your ecommerce business strategies? Let’s delve into the “how” and turn those customer reviews into actionable insights for your brand! Onward we go!

A miner with a flashlight and pickaxe, standing at the entrance of a data tunnel filled with glowing review stars

The Art of Review Mining

Embarking on the journey of mining customer reviews may seem daunting, especially without a map. Fortunately, we have a guide for you.

"For most brands, the real value of reviews is barely realized in the sense that perhaps someone on the team skims them as they come in and perhaps there is follow-up or learnings from the feedback but, more often than not, reviews are received and, if they’re positive, the team celebrates and publishes them and if they’re negative, they’re either semi-dismissed or pushed away. What’s much harder to do is glean valuable learnings from the reviews—which requires the full context of the reviews and eventually context of season, weather, economy, quality, return rates, etc. There is tremendous value to be gathered from this customer feedback that, if appropriately deciphered and summarized, can create real, impactful change for a brand."

- Galen King, Founder & Principal at Lucid

Here’s a step-by-step approach to efficiently carry out review mining:

1. Set Clear Goals: Begin your review mining journey by pinpointing exactly what you aim to achieve. Are you looking to optimize your product features or the language in your marketing copy? Maybe you’re trying to understand your customer’s journey better, or perhaps you want to identify common pain points before launching a new service? Having a clear objective will guide your review mining process and help you focus on the relevant details.

"There is a lot of value in reviewing mining - from understanding how your customers are benefitting from your products to areas of opportunity for improvements. As a sales tool, it's an easy way of using the voice of the reviews into marketing copy and materials."

- Deborah Mecca, Founder, Causeway 305

2. Identify the Right Review Channels: The internet is teeming with review platforms. Identify where your customers are most vocal. Your own website’s product review section is an excellent starting point, giving insights about your product/service directly from the users. But don’t stop there. Third-party review platforms, social media, forums, and competitor websites are wellsprings to tap as well.

"Review mining has helped us with initial research and building out some very powerful angles that has helped us scale some ad accounts overall."

- Daniel Okon, CEO of ACTIV

3. Gather the Data: Once you’ve identified where your reviews are coming from, start the extraction process. Comb through the reviews — both positive and negative — and gather the data. While doing this manually might be a time-consuming process, you can also use specific tools like SensorTower, MobileAction, etc., for more complex and vast data.

"For Curie, a clean deodorant brand, review mining helped me understand that lots of customers wanted to switch to aluminum-free deodorant, but had two particular self-perceptions that made them skeptical of making that switch: (1) they lived in particularly hot weather, and (2) they were particularly active.

They'd say things like, "I live in Dallas and I work out 5 days per week. I didn't think an aluminum-free deodorant could work for me." The idea "behind" this self-perception is something like: "Clean deodorants may work for regular-smelly/regular-sweaty people, but my smelliness/sweatiness is more extreme, and therefore this solution isn't strong enough for me."

We've built a lot of advertising around addressing those issues, speaking to them directly, and it's made a huge difference."

- Andrew Faris, CEO, AJF Growth

4. Organize the Data: When mining reviews, you’ll gather a significant amount of information. To make sense of it, you need to organize this data systematically. Tools like Excel spreadsheets or even Google Sheets will help categorize the reviews, making digestion and analysis much easier.

5. Analyze and Identify Patterns: Once your data is organized, it’s time to analyze it. Look for recurrent themes, issues or praises, and keyword usage. A pattern or a frequently repeated phrase/keyword among your reviews can provide valuable insights on what matters most to your customers.

"Review mining has given us hundreds of content hooks and improved our overall conversion rate by being able utilize direct customer verbiage to improve upon copy across all platforms."

- Monica Grohne, CEO & Founder at Marea

Review mining is akin to solving a puzzle. While each review may seem like an isolated opinion at first, putting them together reveals a larger picture, giving you valuable insight into your customer’s mindset.

In the upcoming section, we’ll delve deeper into making your insights actionable through sentiment analysis and keyword generation. Are you ready to dive deeper into the gold mine of reviews? Let’s explore!

 Diver exploring the depths of the ocean, symbolizing diving deeper into review mining

Diving Deeper with Review Mining: Sentiment Analysis and Keyword Generation

As you delve deeper into review mining, two elements come into sharper focus: sentiment analysis and keyword generation. Let’s breakdown these two crucial components:

1. Sentiment Analysis: 
 Sentiment analysis involves interpreting and categorizing sentiments expressed in a piece of text. In other words, it’s about figuring out the emotional tone behind the words in the reviews. Analyzing sentiments can help you gauge how your customers genuinely feel about your offerings — their joys, disappointments, wishes, and more.

"Review mining has helped me understand the best parts about the product and the worst parts and use both to sell the strengths and minimize the weaknesses in marketing materials."

- Deborah Mecca, Founder, Causeway 305

So how do you begin with sentiment analysis? It involves breaking down the reviews into smaller categories. Consider grouping the reviews under different headers, such as ‘Product Features,’ ‘Pricing,’ ‘Customer Service,’ etc. Then, examine the comments under these headers to identify if they’re mainly positive, negative, or neutral.

"As the saying goes, the customer is always right; review mining helps gives you an objective eye into what they're right about, both in things you're doing well and things you're doing poorly. Use it to listen to your customers, easily!"

- Ande Sozzi, Co-Founder of L'AMARUE

For example, a review like, “Exceptionally user-friendly design, intuitive features!” under ‘Product Features’ gives a positive sentiment. On the other hand, “Pricing is pretty steep as compared to others in the market” falls under ‘Pricing’ with a negative sentiment.
 This way, sentiment analysis enables you to understand how customers perceive different aspects of your brand, helping you maintain what’s working and improve what isn’t.

2. Keyword Generation:

Keywords are another treasure you can unearth from review mining. Keywords used repeatedly across reviews are the exact terms your customers use to describe your product or service. Using these keywords in your product descriptions, titles, meta data, ad campaigns, and other marketing materials can significantly improve your search engine rankings and visibility.

For instance, if multiple customers mention how the ‘long-lasting battery life’ of your electronic product impressed them, consider ‘long-lasting battery life’ a valuable keyword. When prospective customers use this term during their online searches, your product, containing this keyword, will be more likely to pop up in their search results.

Remember, these are not just words; they symbolize the experiences, needs, and desires of your customers, making your message more resonant and your brand more relatable.

"Review mining is super valuable, it's the secret place to find not only pain points of customers, but also the style and language that resonates with them."

- Joseph Hsieh, Founder at Retention Commerce

Mastering sentiment analysis and keyword generation can maximize the benefits of review mining, leading to more targeted marketing strategies that align perfectly with your audience’s needs and preferences.

Now that we have mined and analyzed our reviews let’s look at how we can turn the insights derived into meaningful actions and improvements. Coming up next: Discovering practical applications of review mining insights for growing your ecommerce business. Are you excited? Let’s gear up and continue on our journey!

"The value of review mining lies in the greater access to an aggregate of information- customer insights, trends and complaints can be very valuable when performing many business tasks. Whether it's product development, process improvement or whether it's to create marketing campaigns targeting competitor shortcomings, review mining certainly has proven value."

- Alex Back, CEO at

Turning data into action

Transforming Reviews into Actionable Improvements

Panning through seas of data and striking gold is quite a feat. The real magic, however, lies in transforming this raw information into practical and effective improvements that shape the success of your ecommerce business.

"To be able to pull out unique examples of what your customers love or hate about your product as well as to understand their tone of voice can help you shape your marketing efforts so they're just that more effective at speaking to potential prospects."

- Ash Melwani, CMO and Co-Founder of Obvi

1. Product Development and Improvement:

One of the most impactful applications of review mining is the enhancement and development of products. Reviews frequently highlight areas where your product excels and areas where it could perform better.

"We use review mining to make our products better and create new bundles and kits. We also use it to see what problems customers have with our competitors products."

- Mordechai Hoffmann, Founder of Red Moose Shoe Care

For instance, if customers express delight over a product feature, consider emphasizing it in your marketing campaigns. If there are frequent grievances about a particular aspect, address them by making necessary adjustments and improvements in your product.

"Review mining helps our clients with product improvement, customer use, and marketing copy. Example: sometimes a brand client is unaware of other use cases for a product and reading reviews assist the brand with showcases other ways customers use products"

- Tomara Watkins, Principal at Chaptr Agency

2. Refine Marketing and Communication Strategies:

Understanding the needs, desires, and language of your target audience can significantly improve your marketing and communication strategies. The goal is to communicate effectively with your audience, and using the language your customers use can play a significant part in that. You can adapt the phrases, terms, or keywords drawn from the reviews into your product descriptions, ad headlines, social media posts, and other marketing materials.

"Find the top 10 problems with your competitor's product and create 10 different ads showing how your product overcomes those issues."

- Dan Stepchew, Founder of Jellee

3. Enhance User Experience:

Reviews often point out user experience issues even before they become serious bottlenecks. Whether it’s about the navigation on your website, the checkout process, or the delivery service, reviews can provide critical information about these touchpoints in a customer’s journey. Address these concerns proactively to create a smoother, more enjoyable user experience.

4. Draw Attention to Customer Service:

If reviews highlight issues with customer service — be it slow response times or unsatisfactory resolutions — they offer an opportunity to improve your customer support. A proactive and efficient customer service can turn around negative experiences and cement customer loyalty.

5. Understand and Target Customer Pain Points:

Many customers resort to reviews to express their pain points associated with your products or services. Identifying these and seeking ways to alleviate them can make your brand more customer-oriented. Addressing these problems in your marketing messages can show your audience that you are not only aware of their issues but are also invested in solving them.

"Look for patterns in 4 star versus 3 star reviews. These are far more “sane” and reliable than 5 or 1 star reviews. By spotting the difference, you’re able to quickly identify how to move an average (3 star) experience into a returning customer (4 star)."

- Aaron Orendorff, Head of Marketing at Recart

6. SEO Purposes:

As mentioned earlier, reviews are a treasure trove of keywords. Implementing these organically into your product descriptions, blog posts, meta-tags, and website content can help boost your SEO efforts, enabling you to rank higher in search engine results, and draw higher organic traffic.

These are just a few ways you can leverage the potent information amassed through review mining. The insights can dive deeper and alter various aspects of your business strategies. The objective is to transform this customer feedback into purposeful actions that catalyze your business growth.

Speaking of catalyzing growth, how about a tool that combines the power of review mining with Artificial Intelligence for a highly efficient process? Yes, it’s time to introduce Octane AI’s Insights Analyst, an incredible instrument that revolutionizes review mining. Ready to embrace this cutting edge technology? Let’s move ahead!

A futuristic mining robot equipped with advanced tools, illustrating the advanced capabilities of Octane AI’s Insights Analyst

Introducing the Future of Review Mining: Octane AI’s Insights Analyst

As we progress further into a tech-driven world, artificial intelligence has weaved itself intricately into various facets of commerce. Introducing Octane AI’s Insights Analyst, a tool that seamlessly interlaces AI with review mining, heralding a new age of advanced, efficient, and accurate review analysis.

"AI can be a huge time saver. Think about previously reading every review on your site and then collecting the data. Now you can have AI do it, and tell you the most common things being said about you. You still have to be the one to make informed decisions on what you have learned, but the time it took you to do that learning is a fraction!"

- Zach Niemiec, E-Commerce Practitioner

Octane AI’s Insights Analyst is more than just a review mining tool. It’s a revolutionary platform that empowers you to seamlessly sync or upload all your product reviews. Once the reviews are in the system, Octane AI uses its powerful algorithms to automatically read, analyze, and even facilitate a chat with the data. Yes, a conversation with the data!

"It's a treasure chest of customer feedback that you get to open whenever you want for product feedback, marketing angles, testimonials, and more. It's a mirror that will always show you what you're doing right or where you need to improve."

- Paul Davis, CEO at Mosi Tea

So what exactly does this mean for your ecommerce store?

1. Automated Review Mining: Say goodbye to laborious manual review mining processes. Octane AI’s Insights Analyst automates the whole process, continuously collecting and analyzing reviews without you having to lift a finger.

2. AI-Driven Insights: This tool doesn’t merely regurgitate your reviews in a neatly packed file. Using advanced machine learning algorithms, it efficiently extracts the most meaningful insights from a sea of reviews.

3. Easily Digestible Data: The tool presents these insights in an easy-to-understand format. It’s like having an analytical expert deciphering your customer’s sentiments and presenting them in clear, actionable pointers.

4. Real-Time Updates: As the tool is continually tracking and analyzing reviews, you get real-time updates about your customer sentiments. This means being able to pivot your approach instantly based on real-time feedback.

5. Saves Time and Resources: Review mining can be a tedious task, demanding significant time and workforce resources. By introducing Octane AI’s Insights Analyst into your strategy, you can save both while significantly upping the efficiency and accuracy of your review mining efforts.

Remember, Insights Analyst isn’t another tool added to an ever-growing list of ecommerce software. It’s an intelligent platform that understands your business’s needs and empowers you to improve continually, in tandem with your customers’ evolving expectations.

"Review mining is an invaluable qualitative data research strategy in eCommerce for writing effective copy, finding pain points & advertising angles, A/B testing research and product development."

- Shane Mulcahy, Marketing Consultant

Ready to experience this revolution in review mining? We invite you to try Octane AI’s Insights Analyst, and experience the transformative results it brings to your ecommerce operations.

Up next, we’ll conclude our guide and set you on your path towards effective review mining. Get ready for the last leg of our journey!

A victorious miner standing on top of a mountain of gold nuggets, symbolic of the triumphant rewards of effective review mining

Conclusion — Transforming Customer Feedback into Business Success

Looking back, we’ve journeyed through understanding the concept of review mining, its significance for your Ecommerce venture, the steps involved, and the transformation this raw data can undergo to become actionable improvements. We’ve also introduced the potential of infusing Artificial Intelligence into review mining via Octane AI’s Insights Analyst.

"Generative AI can have an incredible impact in parsing reviews, analyzing and then generating detailed summaries of customer sentiment for each individual product."

- Rafi Tanzim, CEO at

Hopefully, you now appreciate the potential power that lies within your customer reviews. They’re not merely ratings on your site or feedback about your products/services — they’re a treasure trove of information that, when mined effectively, can enlighten your business strategies, refine your marketing tactics, spearhead your product development and improvements, and most importantly, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The power of review mining lies in its ability to transform unfiltered, candid customer feedback into strategies and actions that enrich your user experience and integrally shape the success of your Ecommerce business. If done strategically and consistently, review mining can provide you with a deep understanding of your customers, a competitive edge, higher search rankings, and improved conversions.

The advent of tools like Octane AI’s Insights Analyst is a game-changer. This AI-powered assistant makes review mining more efficient, comprehensive, and even interactive, bridging the gap between gauging customer sentiment and implementing improvements to your ecommerce store.

Embracing review mining doesn’t signify that your offerings aren’t good enough; instead, it indicates your commitment to growth, your readiness to listen to your customers, and your aspiration to deliver the best.

So are you prepared to mine through your reviews? To unearth the golden nuggets of customer insights? Tap into the potential of review mining and see for yourself the transformative effect it can have on your Ecommerce business.

Happy mining and to many golden insights!

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