Reviews and online shopping go hand in hand. Even though online shopping has become an indispensable parts of our lives, a majority of us are still sceptical when buying stuff online wondering if the product quality or the product longevity is really the same as being promised by the vendor. This is where product reviews comes to our rescue.

Understanding the important role that reviews plays in influencing the decision of online shoppers, Indian homegrown ecommerce biggie Flipkart is currently experimenting with various artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that can help shoppers easily look for the reviews that are relevant to them.

Sharing what triggered Flipkart to make such a change in its tenth year of operation, Ram Papatla, vice-president of product at Flipkart revealed that they noticed that different users have different needs. "Popular categories like mobiles and electronics tend to attract thousands of reviews, making it impossible for users to consume all the information.”

In order to help shoppers with the information they’re looking for without having to go through thousands of reviews, the Flipkart ecommerce portal now shows people browsing through such products a macro-level 'pie-chart' like view where they can see consumer ratings against key product aspects in the review section. This way, the shopper can easily evaluate or compare multiple products on the platform based on reviews.

Whenever a shopper clicks on a key aspect of a particular product, they are redirected to the reviews page of that particular product where he gets a more detailed view of the review snippets which helped in making of that specific aspect rating.

Throwing light on how the whole things works, Amar Nagaram, vice-president, engineering, at Flipkart, said, "Nouns become aspects, adjectives reflect the opinion."

Giving an example of how every opinion has a polarity associated with it, he said, “Say, awesome vs okay... Obviously, awesome is a higher positive sentiment."

However, the road is not that smooth for the technology in India. According to Nagaram, "What makes it difficult in the Indian context is there are a lot of grammatical errors. 'The camera is awsm', or, 'Camera accha nahi hai'. How do you interpret all these reviews?”

But, Nagaram is optimistic that Flipkart will find a way to deal with this problem, too, as the firm is high on consumer experience. The company is also hopeful that the insights gathered through these reviews will help its own customer experience team and also the various brands on its platform, by giving them insights on what exactly matters to the customer.

Flipkart, which is considered as the most successful Indian startup till date, has acquired a unique status in the $30 billion Indian e-commerce market. The company, which is currently in its tenth year of operation and enjoys a customer base of 100 million users has built the reputation of being an Indian e-commerce major by being customer centric and providing them with stupendous discounts and offers year after year.

Currently pegged at $30 billion, the Indian ecommerce market is expected to be worth $200 billion by calendar year 2026, according to a recently released report by investment bank Morgan Stanley.

This development was first reported in ET BrandEquity.

[Image: Business 2 Community]

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