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Maximizing Sales and ROI with smart product reviews

Posted by Paul on Oct 26, 2023 7:18:36 AM
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In the digitally-centred grocery landscape, product reviews have become essential for all serious businesses. Not only do they influence purchasing decisions, but they also have a significant impact on a company's online reputation.

So how do you know you are if you're getting a genuine return on investment (ROI) from these product evaluations?

We'll examine the key indicators of a strong ROI and take a closer look at a helpful case study featuring Kellogg's Coco Pops. We will explore topics that directly demonstrate a good ROI:

  1. - Online sales increases
  2. - In-store sales increase
  3. - Retailer search ranking improvements

Before we do, it is worth noting just how powerful reviews are as an influencer of choice, especially amongst younger shoppers. A Local Consumer Review Survey by Bright Local found that 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

1. online sales increases

For FMCG businesses, reviewing sales online post delivery of good reviews can offer a clear picture of ROI. As you can see in our Case Study: Kellogg's Coco Pops the impact of the online sales in ASDA is obvious from the sharp increase in the sales line (data supplied by Kellogg and uplift confirmed by them as driven by reviews).

New reviews from CheckoutSmart delivered an ongoing 32% increase in the sales line (data supplied by Kellogg and uplift confirmed demonstrated as driven by our new reviews).

CheckoutSmart Kellogg ASDa-3

The new 100% verified purchaser, genuine, influential reviews painted a picture of the cereal's taste, texture, and health appeal, enticing more consumers to relive or discover the joy of a Coco Pops breakfast. We generally see a 25%-35% uplift in online sales from the delivery of a minimum of 30 new reviews thanks to our SmartRepution campaign.

Such strong ongoing uplifts in sales will more than justify the investment for most products online, but the benefits don't stop there. More reviews also mean more sales in-store as well.

2. In-store sales increases

Everyone in grocery e-commerce should be familiar with the ROPO effect (Research Online Purchase Offline). Much of this is driven by the fact that 93% of online Grocery shoppers read reviews at some point. A report by Harvard Business Review revealed that online reviews can increase sales in offline channels. Specifically, for each star that a product's rating increases online, businesses can see up to a 5% increase in offline sales. For UK grocery brands potentially a massive benefit.

NB We do not promise an improvement in star rating when we work on reviews, however, we have seen this in many instances as a result of delivering fresh ones from 100% verified shoppers.

Shoppers are also known to refer to ratings and reviews in ever-increasing numbers in-store when deciding on new products or categories to dive into. Our research shows that 58% of shoppers have looked up ratings and reviews of products when in or near a supermarket. When they do, nearly half go straight to the retailer's site of the supermarket they are in eg Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's or Morrisons. This finding refers to when shoppers are in the store, this is not ROPO, this is RI&P (Research In-store & Purchase).

The chart below shows our findings. This is omnichannel at its finest, online directly influencing offline purchases inside grocery shops. 

CheckoutSmart Discovering Grocery Product Reviews Survey 2022 In or Near discovery

3. supermarket search SEO Benefits

An aspect often overlooked is the SEO value of product reviews. Search engines appreciate fresh, user-generated content. As reviews accumulate, they can lead to improved retailer search engine rankings. The higher any product features in the retailers' search algorithm, the more chance of it being considered and purchased. 

The table from Profitero shows that the biggest influence on search ranking from product information is the number of reviews (the star rating does not matter in most UK supermarkets). Search ranking is Highly Correlated in 5 out of the Top 6 UK supermarkets and Somewhat correlated in the other one.

Profitero more reviews better ranking-1

FMCG brands should ensure they have at least 30 reviews on all their products in all retailers. This is where CheckoutSmart is key to driving sales. We can deliver genuine reviews to all the Top 6 retailers (Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's, Morrisons Ocado & Waitrose) and more including Iceland, Boots and Superdrug.

These benefits are great, but how do you maintain them over time?

It is widely recognised that product reviews reduce their influence on shoppers over time. According to a BrightLocal survey, 84% of people believe reviews older than three months aren’t as relevant. As a result, you should always refresh the most recently read reviews ie the Top three visible ones ie the latest ones every 6 months. For more on why your reviews should always be on.

If you want to get 30 reviews on all SKUs and then maintain their freshness whilst monitoring for unrepresentative reviews then you need to our SmartRepuation Always On solution:  

Smartreputation Always On - Always Vigilant

Designed with a keen understanding of the digital marketplace, the SmartReputation Always On solution operates round-the-clock throughout the year. Its advanced algorithm meticulously scans retailer sites for product reviews, ensuring you never miss a beat.

Beyond just monitoring, this solution is always ready to act. Whenever there's a gap or a need for fresh reviews, the system autonomously kicks into gear, collecting relevant reviews and positioning them appropriately. This automation eradicates client manual monitoring or intervention, saving businesses countless hours and ensuring timely review updates.

smartreputation Always On - Always Great Value

Considering the comprehensive offerings, one might assume a hefty price tag. However, the SmartReputation Always On solution stands out as a model of value for money. Its efficiency eliminates the costs associated with manual review monitoring and placements, offering businesses a cost-effective, low-internal resource solution to manage their online reputation.

This value is enhanced further with longer-term partnerships. Our solution will optimise the ROI you need by spreading your costs and your review delivery over a whole year or for a +25% better ROI from a reduced annual fee, commit to work with us over three years. 

Contact us to see how SmartReputation can drive your sales and deliver an excellent ROI.

In the competitive world of e-commerce, reviews can be the differentiator between an average and a thriving product. With CheckoutSmart's SmartReputation Always On solution, FMCG businesses gain an edge. You can rest easy, knowing that review management is in expert hands, and you can focus on what you do best - delivering quality products and impeccable service to retailers and shoppers.

In Conclusion

Product reviews, as illustrated by the Kellogg Coco Pops success story, can offer multifaceted benefits to businesses. Beyond the tangible sales figures, they solidify trust, boost online visibility, and foster a deeper connection between brands and their customers.

Constantly listen to your customer's voices. Their insights might just be the key to unlocking your next wave of growth.

Topics: Supermarket, Rating and Reviews, Always On, ROI

Digital Shopper Marketing


CheckoutSmart is a leading digital shopper marketing agency delivering fast, flexible campaigns against all your goals in any retailer or just one:

  • Actively manage your shopper reputation in all online retailers
  • Create instant shopper action in any retailer, on any sku in the way you want
  • Start a genuine dialogue with shoppers about your products
  • Launch more successful NPD faster and use immediate feedback to improve your mix
  • Excite shoppers with easy to execute, effective virtual on-pack activities
  • Upgrade your understanding of the retail execution within all retailers
  • UK, Europe, US and beyond

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