Fashion Forward: How Online Reviews Transforms Apparel Product Development
Fashion Forward: How Online Reviews Transforms Apparel Product Development

Fashion Forward: How Online Reviews Transforms Apparel Product Development

Florence Broder

Florence Broder

Dec 5, 2023 ‧ 5 MIN.

Trendsetters are always on the lookout for the next best thing to express their personal style. As a leading fashion and apparel brand, are you delivering what fashionistas want? From fabrics to quality, consumer feedback can guide your future collections.

This blog post will explore how the fashion and apparel industry can benefit from online review analytics to develop and deliver what consumers desire.

Time Frame: Seasonality in Fashion 

The fashion industry is inherently seasonal, with many aspects of clothing changing regularly. These changes can range from sleeve length and fabric type to color schemes. Therefore, understanding the correct time frame is crucial for grasping consumer behavior. With Revuze, this can be accomplished with just a few clicks, allowing you to isolate the relevant season and quickly obtain a snapshot of key performance indicators (KPIs).

For example, let’s look at Q4 of 2022 to gauge last fall’s trends. There were over 130,000 opinions from almost 67,000 reviews. The overall sentiment for the category was 74%, and the average star rating was 4.41. Interestingly, over 50% of the reviews were incentivized, primarily due to Old Navy/Gap promotions.

Monitor promotional fashion campaigns by season

What Consumer Are Buzzing About

Revuze’s generative AI-powered online review analytics quickly display all relevant topics associated with the overall category for our selected time frame. Many topics are orange or red, indicating negative sentiment.

Topics for the bottoms category.

This offers a chance to learn about trends in the overall category, but you can also focus on your brand. Below is a visual display of topics for bottoms from the American Eagle brand. While the sentiment for some topics correlates with the overall categories, there are many variations as well.

The first step in updating your collection should be to delve deeper into topics with negative sentiment to understand why consumers are dissatisfied. This information can help you avoid similar mistakes.

Topics associated with American Eagle bottoms apparel / fashion category.

For instance, we explored the “Fit” topic over a three-month period. Last October, there was both high discussion volume and positive sentiment around “Fit.” However, the volume declined significantly and turned negative, as seen in these comments:

  • “I don’t like the extra length style, so I went with a ‘short’ jean, making my pair a regular wide leg.”
  • “I ordered the same size and length in these as my other curvy ones, and they fit completely differently.”
  • “They were way too long, and you couldn’t even order extra short. I had to drive over 30 miles to return them!”

"Fit" topics for American Eagle bottoms.

These examples illustrate the importance of the voice of verified buyers. Without any filter or censor, they share exactly what they dislike about your product. As you work on your new collection, consider how you will address these consumer pain points.

We tackled the “Fit” topic because it was negative, but this approach can be applied to other important topics like “Feel,” “Quality,” or “Material.”

Revuze’s generative AI engine is adept at revealing consumer desires with the “Wishlist” topic. For example, one consumer expressed a wish about the jeans: “Wish they had a black one in his size!” As a brand, you must consider such requests in your product development plan. Ignoring them could lead to consumer backlash.

Example of American Eagle jeans which are referred to in the Wishlist topics.

What Makes Your Products Shine (Or Not)

Understanding the impact of different factors on your star ratings is crucial. Some topics may carry more weight than others.

For example, American Eagle bottoms had a 4.61 star rating. Understanding what drives this rating can help you prioritize your efforts. In this case, “Comfort” drove up five-star ratings by 26%, while “Size” impacted one and two-star ratings by 32%.Star rating drivers for the bottoms category.

This insight highlights the importance of accentuating the positive aspects of your products while also eliminating consumer pain points to ensure the best sentiment for your brand and products. This data can be seamlessly integrated into your product development plan for your new fashion and apparel collection.

Seize the Day: Generative AI SWOT Analysis

With a clear understanding of the important topics and drivers for consumers, we can delve into a SWOT Analysis. Revuze’s SWOT analysis, powered by generative AI and based on the voice of verified buyers, is unique.

Below is a SWOT analysis for Docker brand bottoms, showing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. For instance, “Durability,” “Color,” “Material,” “Construction,” and “Pockets” are all listed as weaknesses for the brand. Delving into the data to pinpoint consumer pain points is crucial for your product development process. The same is true for threats, such as “Style,” “Comfort,” “Softness,” and “Length.” These issues should be researched to understand how to address them in the new collection.

Dockers is already excelling in several areas. However, the opportunities section can be capitalized on to launch new collections and product lines. It’s a matter of understanding what’s important to consumers.

SWOT Analysis for bottoms.

Conclusion

In the dynamic world of fashion and apparel, the value of online review analytics is indispensable. These insights offer a direct line to consumer preferences, enabling brands to fine-tune their products in alignment with real-time feedback and trends. This approach goes beyond traditional market research, providing a nuanced understanding of customer desires and pain points. For instance, our analysis of data from brands like American Eagle and Dockers illustrates how even subtle adjustments in areas such as fit, material, or style can significantly impact consumer satisfaction and brand perception. By harnessing the power of these analytics, fashion brands can not only respond swiftly to changing trends but also anticipate future demands, ensuring that each collection is a strategic blend of current consumer preferences and forward-thinking innovation. Learn more about how Revuze’s online review analytics can support your product development efforts by clicking here.

Florence Broder

Florence Broder