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Solovic: The secret to identifying product reviews that reveal actionable insights

By at 4 June, 2018, 7:36 am

by Susan Solovic –

You don’t need to pull together costly consumer panels to find out what they like or dislike about a product; all you have to do is read online reviews.

However, it’s easy to be discouraged if you start scrolling through Amazon reviews, for example, looking for the meaty, actionable insights. There is often a tendency for people who like the product to write glowing five-star reviews and for people who have had a problem to scrawl one-star rants.

Three-star insights

I’ve found that the best, truest, and balanced information is in the three-star reviews, and fortunately at Amazon you can select just those reviews to read. Just click on the “3 star” and you’ll immediately have access to all the three-star reviews.

Easy peasy.

Below is a review for a kitchen gadget. I’ve highlighted the negatives and positives, which serve as a great roadmap for anyone setting out to design a product that beats the competition. Also, by knowing what features consumers love, you can get a good idea what you should promote in your advertising and marketing materials.

This is a pretty good spiralizer, and I like that it makes 3 sizes (thin “spaghetti”, thicker “linguine”, and full width). It is easy to operate, and it has minimal waste compared to other products I have used. I have used it on zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, and even radishes – all with ease. It should be noted that you need a pretty thick carrot to make spirals, as this generates a core (although not as thick as other units).

I do NOT find it easy to clean (I don’t understand how others do find it easy). In my mind, anything that requires me to scrub every nook and cranny (including between blades) with a brush does NOT get an “easy” rating. Also, it does not break down for storage (it is quite bulky). Tiny bits of food get caught in the blades and in the spiral mechanism. Yes…you can throw the whole thing in the dishwasher, which is what I do, but if I don’t brush it well, it often comes out of my dishwasher with dried bits of food still on it (FWIW, I have the high-end GE Profile Stainless Steel dishwasher). I also found that putting it in the dishwasher in any position other than upright results in a lot of water capture (ie; you have to dump out trapped water and air dry it when removing it from the dishwasher).

Of course, not every online site lets you isolate the three-star reviews as easily as Amazon does, but then again, few sites have as many reviews to sort through as does Amazon. In any case, carefully examine the three-star reviews to get rock solid consumer insights.

Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert and Advocate for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.  Her new book, THE Once Percent Edge, was released in January 2018.  Susan is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com Top 100 and USA Today best-selling author, media personality, and attorney.  To learn more about Susan and the small business resources she provides, please click here.

THE One Percent EdgeRead Martin Zwilling’s review of Susan Solovic’s new book here.

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