You can learn a lot from spiders

ML Measures for reviews insight

We believe that there is lots more to understand about ratings and reviews than just "How many do I have?" and "What's my average rating"?

We are busy building a series of new measures that will be applied using Machine learning models to offer easy, insightful comparisons across brands, categories, products or retailers.

To illustrate what we mean, here is an example Haircare spider chart from the UK using reviews from

CheckoutSmart Haircare brands reviews on compared

- Volume: The ranking is based on the total number of reviews visible on the site. Aussie clearly leads with Pantene lagging behind.

- Sentiment: This is based on an average rating out of 5. All the scores are quite similar, leading to little differentiation for shoppers, but Aussie is out front with L'Oreal lagging

- Recency: How recent are the Top 3 reviews? Newer reviews (less than 180 days old) are more influential. Across these brands, again Aussie wins with Tresemme bringing up the rear.

- Influence: We currently use a calculation to look at how long a review is and how sophisticated the language is. The longer better written reviews are more influential. This is a measure we will replace with ML in the near future. Aussie and L'Oreal are neck and neck but Pantene is lagging significantly.

As you can see from this, no one brand is ahead on all measures. Aussie is doing pretty well on both, but the lack of Influence of their reviews is probably a blind spot and something they should work on.

Looking at Haircare relevant measures of performance from the reviews we get a new spider chart:

CheckoutSmart Haircare brands reviews hair measures

These measures are derived from the frequency of use of relevant descriptors within the title and body of the reviews. These headings are the commonest category relevant topics. What comes out is how shoppers describe the category and brands in their own unprompted words.

- Aussie is known for amazing, soft, clean hair that smells great

- L'Oreal delivers shiny, moist hair that is quite clean and soft

- Pantene gives you smooth hair that is quite shiny and amazing

- Tresemmé has quite nice smelling, smooth moisturised hair

If you were a shopper, which one would you go for from the reviews?

If you were the brand manager for Pantene, would you be happy to be smooth and quite shiny?

This is what shoppers are saying about FMCG brands. We can analyse all brands or categories in all retailers this way as part of our in-depth insights solution. We can track changes over time and alert when new trends occur as part of our reporting service.

- Understand why you do better online than in-store.

- See where your competitors are ahead of you in the minds of shoppers.

- Take action to redress the balance including getting the reviews your brand deserves.


To find out more about how you can get actions and insights from shopper reviews, please contact us below.