April 19, 2016 | Shares:

Fashion Industry Data: What We Learned From 1.3 Million Reviews
5 min.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, there’s no better way to know what customers want than by listening to what they’re saying.

We studied textual data from more than 1,300,000 customer reviews to uncover what the language customers use in their reviews can tell us about the overall state of customer satisfaction in the fashion eCommerce industry.

Standard benchmark metrics like average order value, retention rates, and traffic sources are important (you can get current benchmarks for the fashion industry here), but focusing too much on these can cause us to overlook important insights.

For stores to properly position themselves in today’s market, it’s not just data that matters: it’s also insight. 

For this research, we looked at data from…

  • 3,000 stores in the Fashion industry
  • 12,410,892 purchases
  • $838,141,151 in purchases
  • 1,300,000 reviews

This study examines the current state of customer satisfaction in fashion, top pain points for fashion shoppers, how fashion brands can use this data to improve customer service, and how personal connections influence online shopping.

The State of Customer Satisfaction in Fashion

We first took a look at the average star rating of reviews for fashion brands vs. reviews in eCommerce overall. It turns out, fashion brands have a higher average star rating.

The average star rating for fashion stores is 4.5, while the average star rating for eCommerce in general is 4.3.

Takeaway: The fashion industry has high customer satisfaction compared to the eCommerce industry average. Fashion brands have an almost 5% higher average star rating than other industries.

 

Then we looked at the words most frequently mentioned in reviews, and the results are great!

Positive words are used way more in reviews than negative words – the top 2 most common words are “love” and “great.” 

Shoppers are doing much more raving than ranting. The most common negative word is found 20,000 times, compared to the most common positive word, which appeared almost 300,000 times.

Take a look at the top 10 positive words used in reviews:

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So what are customers upset about?

The most common negative word – by an enormous margin – is “disappointment” or “disappointed.”

Disappointment is mentioned almost 20,000 times, while the next most common negative word –“bad”–is mentioned only about 7,500 times.

This is crucial information for businesses, because disappointment is controllable. Disappointment happens when expectations don’t match what is delivered — and expectations can be managed.

Takeaway: To prevent disappointment, it’s important to manage expectations by providing customers with thorough, accurate information before purchase.

How stores can prevent customer disappointment:

  • Create highly detailed and accurate product descriptions. Of course you want your product to sound as good as it can, but not at the cost of honesty.
  • Display reviews that emphasize fit, comfort, quality, and size. Include negative reviews that inform customers of viable complaints. For a customer, it matters why other shoppers wrote a negative review: slow shipping is a much different issue than a terrible quality product.
  • Be transparent. Be honest about inventory and shipping so that customers know what to expect. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

The Top Pain Points for Fashion Shoppers: Size, Fit & Quality

The overall state of customer satisfaction for fashion brands is good, but what are the main pain points for these shoppers?

In order to understand how fashion brands can improve customer satisfaction, it’s important to know what customers care about.

To discover this, we examined why customers are raving (or complaining). We looked at the top 5 most commonly used words in all fashion reviews, whether they were positive or negative. After the most commonly used words, “love” and “great,” customers write most often write about size, fit, and quality.

circles_New-02

The 6th and 7th most commonly used words in reviews for fashion stores are “perfect,” and “comfortable,” respectively.

What does this data tell you?

Fit, size, comfort, and quality are the most important to fashion shoppers.

Fit and size are relatively easy for shoppers to communicate. But conveying quality and comfort is challenging because they are more subjective.

One way brands can better communicate comfort and quality is by using the same language customers use.

So, what words do customers use to talk about comfort and quality?

For this data, we looked at the most commonly used words when referring to comfort and quality.

circles_New-01

Interesting Stat: “Comfort” is mentioned in reviews 4.8 times more than “sexy”!

Takeaway: Use the words your customers are using in reviews in your product descriptions. By using the same language customers do, brands can better relate to shoppers and give them what they’re looking for.

How Can Fashion Brands Use This Data to Improve Customer Service?

When improving customer service, brands need to know the most important issues for customers.

We looked at the most common words shoppers use to talk about eCommerce customer service.

Here’s what’s most important to customers:

Customer-Service-Issues-in-the-Fashion-Industry

Takeaway: Overall service sentiment is positive. Customers value friendly and helpful communication, with the option to reach customer service through email. They also mention refunds and returns, showing these are important issues.

Interesting stat: Price is mentioned 5.7 times more than value! This means that communicating price may be more effective than emphasizing value.

How Personal Connections Influence Online Shopping

One of the biggest questions about reviews is what motivates customers to write them.

A hidden factor could be social connections.

Today, when we talk about social commerce, we mostly refer to how social platforms like Facebook and Twitter influence online shopping decisions. And it’s true, social networks do have a really big impact on driving sales.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all show up in the customer reviews we studied – but it looks like Facebook and Instagram are much more influential. They’re both mentioned nearly 10 times more than Twitter.

But when looking at the impact of social networks, we also found another interesting stat: coworkers were mentioned about 3x more than Twitter.

The more we looked into it, the more we saw that words indicating personal connections show up tons.

People apparently love to write reviews that mention the people in their world – coworkers, friends, or family. They also mention gifts, recommendations, and compliments quite a lot – showing how their interactions with their loved ones influence their motivation to write a review.

In this way, social commerce means a lot more than just how a social network like Facebook or Instagram influences a customer to purchase – it’s time to take a step back and remember how real social connections in your personal life can play a part in how you shop.

Comparison-of-language-about-social-connections-to-standard-measurements-of-customer-satisfaction.-Most-common-words-and-how-many-times-each-word-appeared-in-1.3-million-reviews.

As you can see, gift, recommend, and compliment appear a ton – sometimes more than price, and always more than satisfied. This shows that people are writing reviews based on purchases influenced by their social connections.

You can make a theory that women are writing more than men.

Why?

Significantly less reviews are written about buying a present for or receiving a present from a wife or girlfriend than from a husband or boyfriend. One more interesting observation? The word beau is used almost 2x more than hubby.

personal relationships social commerce

As you can see, customers love to write about their loved ones in reviews. Factors like receiving an item as a gift, receiving a compliment on an item, or getting an item for a special occasion, all influence how customers feel about their product.

This shows that personal relationships that happen offline can have very real impacts on what customers later say in online reviews.

Conclusion

There you go – data insights from over 1.3 million customer reviews to show you what shoppers really want.

For more data on the current state of the fashion industry, download your free copy of our fashion benchmark eBook below.

Yotpo Fashion Industry Benchmark How do you stack up to the competition?Get your free copyData from over 12,400,000 purchases & 1,300,000 reviews

 

Aimee Millwood
Aimee Millwood, Blog Manager at Yotpo
Aimee loves hummus and hates misplaced commas.

@aimeemillwood – Follow me

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