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5 Practical Applications of Text Mining for eCommerce

July 25, 2016

Whether you are running your business in the real world or the virtual world, how efficiently and granularly you analyze the gigantic troves of information lying at your disposal is now considered as the barometer of your success. But for pure-play ecommerce merchants, this is even more important. One of the top constituents of today’s information overload is natural language text. It can be emails, SMSs, word documents, social media conversations, forum posts, search engine keywords, blogs, and so on. Penetrating deeply into textual data by riding on text mining solutions provides web retailers an excellent understanding of consumers’ sentiments around what they offer. In the end, customer experience sprints from the mundane to marvelous, customer loyalty gets a solid push, and revenues inflate. Are you finding these upshots hard to swallow and think that we are making too much of text mining?

Here are 5 practical applications of text mining that will take your ecommerce effectiveness to the next level:

Recommending complementary products

Imagine this common scenario. A visitor lands on a clothing retailer’s site to grab a particular brand of shirt. Within minutes, they have spotted it and are about to head toward the payment page to close the transaction. But wait, they now want a tie that can flatter the shirt. Right at that moment to their obvious joy, they see a nice matching tie under the heading “you might also like.” They happily put the tie in the shopping basket along with the shirt and buy both the items. This is the magic of a powerful recommendation engine that has text mining working at its background. Suggesting relevant products through text-based filtering can encourage shoppers to buy more than what they have initially decided. But the key here is relevancy and accuracy. Such offers will fail to generate results if they are not backed by real insights.

Fighting cyberfraud

The level of sophistication with which cyber criminals are pulling off hacking, credit card fraud, identity heist, and other forms of digital offenses is preying on retailers’ minds. To add to this worry, some rogue shoppers are taking advantage of superior customer service to engage in return fraud. They purchase an item, enjoy it, and send it back to retailers on the pretext that the item was below standard. An incidence of fraud doesn’t only have a negative monetary impact but may also play mischief with the hard-earned reputation of the firm. Text mining coupled with machine learning techniques can help retailers sniff out anomalies in data to keep a very tight lid on frauds.

Dispelling the uncertainties about warranty

For customers, the warranty is important since it’s a kind of a reassurance regarding the quality of the product they are buying. On the flip side, if ecommerce firms lack a proper system to forecast the number of customers who will eventually invoke warranties, then they will be up the creek while creating the provision for the warranty amount. So, to build a perfect defense mechanism against the potential loss of financial resources, there shouldn’t be room for wrong calculations. Text mining will take care of the prediction part and at the same time, it will scrutinize warranty claims to discard the spurious ones.

Delighting customers with personalized discounts

You will probably need an ultra-powerful electron microscope to locate a consumer who loathes attractive discounts. And, if that discount is tailor-made the consumer will, without a doubt, be very pleased. Last year, in a survey conducted by Software Advice (a Gartner company), a thumping majority (89%) of consumers have said that they would be more likely to pick a retailer who offers personalized discounts. Hence, the long and short of it is personalization leads to consumer happiness and increased sales. However, to personalize discounts, web retailers have to know in advance the products shoppers are most interested in buying. Text mining can sort this problem out by, for instance, monitoring consumer reactions on the social networks or examining the search terms consumers use on retailers’ websites.

Augmenting the chances of future conversion

Many a time it happens that shoppers don’t purchase anything on their maiden visit to an ecommerce site due to various reasons. But, suppose on that occasion they like a product, service, or an aspect of the website and write a positive comment about that after signing up with their email. This clearly indicates they may return in future. Text mining will draw retailers’ attention about these non-converted visitors. Retailers can then take steps to woo them, and eventually put them inside the sales funnel.

Though commerce on the web has come a long way, the absence of in-person interaction is one area where it still tastes defeat at the hands of brick-and-mortar retail. The sole way to inflict a fitting counterblow is transforming customer experience through data-backed decisions. Text mining is your trustworthy partner on that critical mission.


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