Investigation of Customer Preference Changes Following COVID-19 Market Disruption Using Online Review Analysis

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Park, Seyoung (1); Lin, Kangcheng (1); Joung, Junegak (2); Kim, Harrison (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; 2: Hanyang University
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 2375-2384
DOI number:


COVID-19 pandemic has continued to pose a challenge to the society for almost three years, adversely affecting all segments of population in a scale unseen in the recent decades. Over the course of COVID-19 pandemic, many people have lost their jobs and income. These social and economic impacts have disrupted the market, potentially altering people’s attitudes towards different product features. Therefore, this paper investigates the changes in customer preferences on various features of different products, before and after COVID-19 pandemic, using online review analysis. The proposed framework consists of four stages. Firstly, product review data is collected and preprocessed. Secondly, customer interest in product features is explored using latent Dirichlet allocation. Thirdly, customer sentiment for these features is analyzed with Valence Aware Dictionary and sEntiment Reasoner. Finally, the importance of each feature is calculated based on interpretable machine learning. The proposed method is tested on two real-world datasets – smartphone and laptop reviews. The result reveals the changes in customer sentiments and preferences for product features, thus helping companies quickly establish strategies in rapidly changing market environments.

Keywords: Market implications, User centred design, Semantic data processing, Machine learning

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