Listening to clients to adjust strategy and prepare for the end of the crisis

eCommerce Trend Watch: 5th edition

Percentage conversations customer insight conversational platform iAdvize
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, iAdvize’s conversational platform has tracked nearly 18 million transactions and registered more than 28 million messages exchanged between brands and their customers. Analyzing this data allows us to create a Trend Watch, to better inform a company’s decision-makers. Our 5th edition is dedicated to customer insights, which are essential indicators for effectively reacting and anticipating the aftermath of a crisis.


In times of uncertainty, companies need, more than ever, to listen to the voice of consumers to make decisions and anticipate their exit strategies. According to Gartner Inc., this is one of the top three priorities for service leaders in 2020. Yet, as Forrester reveals, consumers are less and less willing to respond to surveys, especially in the current situation. What is their recommendation? Collect customer experience data wherever you can find it: in the millions of interactions that brands have with their customers every day. An approach that iAdvize implements for the companies it supports. What are the concerns driving today's online conversations? How can these analyses be transformed into actionable insights? Discover our exclusive data and customer case studies.



1. What topics do consumers bring up when chatting with brands?

  • The pandemic remains a major concern
The percentage of online conversations mentioning terms related to COVID-19 continues to grow across all sectors, peaking the week of March 16, when the topic was mentioned in 7.1% of conversations.


The dynamics by industry sector reveal strong contrasts. While coronavirus-related discussions skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic in the transportation, tourism & travel sector (up to 24% of conversations in the week of March 9th), they then dropped as early as the week of March 23rd. Conversely, over the same period, the other sectors saw a gradual increase in discussions on the subject.


  • Deliveries, rescheduling, delays, cancellations, refunds... buyers are looking for reassurance.
In this period of high demand, how soon can we expect delivery? In case of the cancellation of a trip, is it possible to get a refund or store credit? In this time of uncertainty, consumers are wondering about deadlines and their rights to make the right decisions.


Taking all sectors combined, the sharing of online conversations dealing with delivery or cancellation of orders has continued to increase since the beginning of the crisis. It rose from 5.9% of conversations in the week of February 24th to 13.8% of conversations in the week of April 6th, with a peak of 16.7% in the week of March 16th.


We see here again, a significant contrast in trends between the consumer products industry and the transportation, tourism & travel industry, with a peak in the week of March 16th for the former, compared with a continued increase for the latter. The topic represents 16.2% and 14.8% of the conversations in early April in each respective industry.
It should be noted that the subject of delivery or cancellation accounts for a very high proportion of online conversations in certain segments, such as high-tech products or transportation: at the beginning of April, a quarter of conversations dealt with these topics.



  • Brands quickly adapted to the market: out of stock items and exchanges are a few examples. 
The conversational platform has seen a slight increase in the percentage of conversations related to the subject of stock and product availability since mid-March. This topic accounts for 2.06% of conversations in March, with a peak of 2.3% around March 16th in the consumer products sector. A sticking point that was quickly resolved: at the beginning of April, the subject only occupies 1.9% of online conversations, returning to the rates seen at the end of January.
During the coronavirus, is the sporting goods sector a victim of it’s own success with the confined population? This sector concentrates the highest share of conversations about product availability, with a peak of 6.8% in the week of March 23rd, and holding steady at more than 4.5% at the beginning of the month.



2. Case studies: Analyzing online conversations to make the best decisions

We help our clients analyze their online conversations to update their digital strategy. Let us use a few case studies to show you how.
Our client Leroy Merlin, after closing its stores to preserve the health of its employees and the community, saw its volume of solicitations increase sharply and was able to respond very quickly by listening, in particular, to the concerns of its customers. Discover how the brand adapted in the following video:



In the leisure industry, one amusement park maintained its customer service by messaging via iAdvize. It studied the platform's conversations to better understand visitors' concerns. The objective was to find out the reasons for solicitations to continue offering a premium experience during the crisis, but also to analyze if the customers are preparing for the eventual reopening. One analysis identified that 25% of the interactions concerned future bookings, and that nearly half of the interactions came from customers connected to their personal space. These observations enabled the brand to refine its conversational strategy to better target, satisfy and retain these future visitors.
In the financial sector, one credit organization found that due to the health crisis, consumers were postponing their purchasing plans. Thanks to a detailed analysis of its most recent conversations, this client noticed that 50% of the interactions were about a new credit application and that 30% came from prospects. These insights, key indicators in the current crisis, confirm the relevance of the current conversational strategy, in providing the best assistance to visitors.