Customer Feedback for Ecommerce: The Whats, Whys, and Hows:
Gathering feedback from your customers has many benefits: it enables you to measure customer satisfaction, identify the areas of your business that need to be improved, and make changes that can positively impact your revenue. With so many ways to get and analyze customer feedback, it can be difficult to determine which strategy is best for your business. Below we describe the two main types of feedback (qualitative and quantitative), the most effective ways to recruit each type, and general practices for collecting feedback.
Quantitative feedback involves the collection of feedback in a way that can be calculated and measured numerically, for example by judging it on a scale of ten, arranging items according to importance, or the number of clicks that a specific item receives, to count. The purpose of quantitative feedback is to provide clear results on predetermined goals that can be quickly applied in practice.
Why Quantitative Feedback Matters
While the limited collection of feedback may seem data-based, using quantitative feedback can provide unique benefits to your business.
• Find trends easily. Examining patterns around the quantitative feedback you receive can help you determine the extent of a problem and whether it can even be solved. Suppose you ask customers to rate different aspects of their overall experience. If a large portion of your customers misjudges your delivery experience, you know right away that you need to reevaluate the delivery process. You can also group these answers and look for specific patterns in the data surrounding the subset of customers. They possibly live in a similar part of the country that is simply delayed by bad weather.
• Provide a more objective measure of success or failure. If you collect quantitative feedback over a long period of time, you can get a clear picture of whether changes made after receiving negative feedback have made a difference to the customer’s experience.
Suppose you rate the feedback of a marketing campaign based on the number of clicks it receives. For example, if your campaign was slow to attract clicks, you could change the color of the CTA button. If the number of clicks increases over time, the change you have made is a success!
• Provide clear points of action. Since quantitative feedback often contains a predetermined goal, the results you receive are usually told what steps you need to take. Imagine that you have studied your customers about what new product they want to see in your store. The cheapest way is to add the item (s) with the most votes to your product range.
How to collect quantitative feedback
There are many ways to collect quantitative feedback for the benefit of your business. Below we list the most used e-commerce companies.
• Ask customers through customer satisfaction surveys. There are many measures to quantitatively measure customer happiness and engagement with your brand. The most popular is the Customer Effort Score (CES), the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
It’s helpful to use popular point systems like this one, because not only can you see how your customers rate your business; you can also see how your ratings compare to existing industry averages or benchmarks.
• Send quantitative surveys or polls via email or social media. Think about what your customers respond to best and ask for more specific quantitative feedback. Surveys and voting styles are great ways to ask customers for feedback with specific parameters. You can email even more targeted surveys to see if customers who have purchased a product for a “limited time” believe it contributes to your brand and should become a permanent product.
• Analyze data from A / B testing, click detection, or heat maps. These analyzes are unique in that they collect quantitative feedback without communicating directly with the customer. Whether you’re testing which landing page design gets the most conversions, which CTA button gets the most clicks, or where customers spend the most time on your site, these tools can provide highly measurable data.
Qualitative feedback, on the other hand, involves gathering feedback through oral or written means that lead to more in-depth and detailed information. Most qualitative feedback is achieved by asking open questions and allowing customers to explain their experience in their own words, creating a bigger picture of why they feel a certain way.
Why Qualitative Feedback Matters
Stopping very long responses can take a long time, but the benefits lie in seeking quantitative feedback from customers.
• Provide context for how customers feel about your business. Clients who can rate their business on a predetermined scale have a limited ability to express why the rating was given. Suppose a customer views their experience as neutral. Maybe the whole experience was perfect except for a great experience. Alternatively, there may be several minor issues that need attention. A qualitative feedback model offers the ability to determine what customers have experienced in a specific way.
• Alert you of more subtle problems. Quantitative data is very useful for quickly knowing WHAT the problem is, but qualitative data is useful for determining WHY. Let’s look at the example of past negative shipping experiences – quantitative feedback has indicated that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Instead, if you openly ask for feedback, you will see that several customers damaged the packages and from there they were able to determine which messenger was used for their orders, that they would not handle their packages carefully.
How to collect qualitative feedback
Ecommerce companies have fewer options when it comes to quantitative feedback. Some of the more popular methods are described below.
• Read customer reviews and comments online. Chances are your customers are already making quality comments without asking. See what has already been posted and how others are responding to what has been said. These customer reviews can contain a wide range of relevant information.
What is better? Quantitative or qualitative feedback?
Both types of feedback have their pros and cons. Quantitative feedback can be collected and analyzed faster with possible actions already planned, while qualitative feedback provides a more complete picture of the problems or things that excite customers.
Whenever possible, it is recommended to combine quantitative and qualitative methods for the best results. For example, allow customers to answer qualitative questions, and if your rating is low, follow qualitative feedback. It gives you the convenience and speed of clear and practical answers with the extra context you need to make the RIGHT choices.