Will attribute-based product recommendations be a game changer for Walmart?
Walmart last week acquired Aspectiva, an Israeli-based startup that uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to enable online reviews to be sorted by product attributes.
While most online sites rank products on simple one to five-star ratings by consumers, Aspectiva’s platform promises to bring “multi-dimensional” ratings so browsers can focus on the attributes they find most important.
For example, an online review of diapers may show ratings based on attributes such as “softest”, “absorbency”, “sensitive skin”, “wellness indicator” or “overall quality”. A wireless soundbar for a television may show ratings based on factors such as “sound”, “quality”, “bass”, “remote capabilities”, “Bluetooth capabilities” and “overall features”.
On its website, Aspectiva said its technology adds “a new unique data layer to product filtering, enabling shoppers to search and filter products by the attributes they care about most.”
Seeing product ratings by attributes also provides “at-a-glance insights” that saves consumers the time required to read through many customer reviews to find that information.
The attribute ratings are accumulated by Aspectiva’s NLP and machine learning technology that analyzes “massive amounts” of user-generated content and opinions across the internet and “surfaces what people say about any product in any vertical and understands what they feel about each specific product attribute.”
Aspectiva’s NLP algorithms employ deep sentiment analysis to understand, for instance, whether a sentiment is positive or negative in context, such as “low quality” versus “low price.”
With the denser level of ratings, products can be suggested based on the consumer’s intent to add a level of personalization to reviews. At the store level, having attribute-based product recommendations accessible on mobile devices offers shoppers a “knowledgeable in-store assistant” as they shop.
Aspectiva will join Walmart’s Store N° 8 incubation arm. It’s unknown whether it will remain a standalone service or proprietary to Walmart.
A recent review by Street Fight Daily noted that Aspectiva is one of a number of startups, also including Lexalytics, SentiGeek, Revuze and BirdEye, using AI to analyze user reviews.
- Walmart Acquires Israeli Natural Language Processing Startup Aspectiva – Walmart
- News & Analysis Street Fight Spotlight – 5 Platforms Using AI to Analyze Customer Reviews – Street Fight Daily
- Walmart acquires product review startup – Retail Dive
- Walmart acquires Israel’s Aspectiva, which analyses UGC to recommend products to shoppers – TechCrunch
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Aspectiva’s technology and the appeal of attribute-based product recommendations? How might Walmart benefit? Will AI take user-generated content and online reviews to another level in the shopper journey?