Using Holiday Return Season to Understand Voice of Customer


Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. Last-minute shoppers are crossing the last people off their lists. Another historic holiday shopping season is ending. Now, as customers return gifts that missed the mark, retailers have a huge learning opportunity.


According to Red Stag Fulfillment and Optoro, 28 percent of people returned a holiday gift in 2017. This year, Retail Dive predicts between $90 and $95 billion worth of products will be returned starting on December 26. This data obviously signals that retailers should simplify their return processes. But it also presents an important chance to uncover critical product insights.


Traditional voice of customer solutions only provide insights on overall brand sentiment or customer experience. Retailers need to be analyzing product-specific data in order to improve customer satisfaction, predict demand planning, optimize product design and capture market share. They need the ability to answer questions like:


  • Which products are receiving 5-star reviews and why?

  • How does my pair of shoes from Brand X compare to a similar pair from Brand Y?

  • What are the product-specific features customers love? What are the ones they hate?


Consumers will be rushing to Amazon, product websites and social media to praise and criticize their holiday gifts. These millions of reviews are a gold mine of consumer insights but only if brands prioritize sorting and structuring the data. Even when consumers are returning $95 billion worth of merchandise, retailers have the opportunity to grow…if they’re willing to listen.

Hearful is a voice of the customer solution that utilizes advanced text analytics and theme-specific machine learning models to uncover critical product insights. Learn more at