Shopper marketing blog

How grocery shoppers discover product reviews

Posted by Paul on Oct 3, 2022 7:48:46 AM

There is general agreement amongst members of the FMCG / CPG eCommerce community that grocery ratings and reviews are an important factor driving the rate of sale on retailer sites. However, many believe this is only when a shopper is actually doing their online shop.

Our research across nearly 3,000 regular grocery shoppers says this is not correct. These days, shoppers are looking for grocery product reviews both when they are in or near a store, at home, at work, and even walking down the street.

The key findings are:

  • Online and Offline grocery shoppers regularly seek out and read product reviews. They can be at home, in-store or frankly anywhere when this happens.
  • Google is the friend of the shopper seeking grocery reviews, so brand owners need to have enough good quality reviews in all relevant online stores.
  • Shoppers are prompted most often to discover product reviews by seeing a product in-store, ads / social posts or when looking for a new product in a familiar category. Therefore it is critical if you are marketing to shoppers your products are supported with reviews.
  • Research Online and Purchase Offline (ROPO) is a common grocery shopper behaviour but this is taking place at the fixture in an Omnichannel way. Many shoppers see a product they are curious about in the store, and their first instinct is to read the reviews wherever they find them, and then choose to buy it right away.

This research shows that grocery product ratings & reviews are used far more widely than just when shopping online and are a key driver of the purchase decisions online & in-store.

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Topics: Online, Supermarket, Grocery, Rating and Reviews, ecommerce, Shopper Insights, digital shelf

Why your reviews program should be Always on

Posted by Paul on Jun 6, 2022 7:56:01 AM

If you have been working in eCommerce for an FMCG company for any length of time, then you will already know how important ratings and reviews are to shoppers. In this blog article, we talk about how important it is not only to have product reviews on all the online supermarket websites but also that they need to be kept fresh.

Shoppers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach to ratings and reviews and have adapted their use of them over time. Today, to be influenced into buying a product shoppers not only need to see a good number of reviews (at least 30) but critically those reviews need to be recent (certainly less than 1 year, ideally less than 6 months old). To do this you need to ensure you continuously add reviews to your products ensuring the latest ones are constantly fresh.

The top reasons for keeping your reviews fresh are*:

  • 97% of shoppers consider review recency as relevant when considering a purchase
  • 86% of shoppers feel that review recency is more important when considering a product or brand they haven’t purchased before
  • 62% would not purchase a product if the only reviews available were published a year or more ago.
  • The number of reviews displayed by retailers has been growing, for example, the average number of reviews on ASDA.com has grown from 6 to 29 in 2 years
  • As most shoppers only read between 1 and 10 reviews, recent unfavourable reviews can unfairly impact shoppers' perception of your brand or product
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Topics: Grocery, Rating and Reviews, ecommerce, Shopper Insights, Shopper Research, digital shelf

Shopper Marketing: Trends in Supermarket Ratings & Reviews

Posted by Paul on Sep 21, 2021 7:55:05 AM

One of the biggest changes for Shopper Marketing teams in the last 18 months has been the meteoric rise in Online grocery shopping driven by the shopper's needs arising out of the Pandemic. In turn, this has brought focus from brands on their reputation on the digital shelf in the form of product reviews, but many brands are disappointed by what they have seen. To help, we launched our SmartReputation solution which works with ordinary grocery shoppers to ensure they are fairly represented.

SmartReputation not only allows your products and brands to get the reviews and shopper feedback they deserve but also monitor the content of the reviews looking for trends. We can also ensure they stay fresh over time (i.e. the oldest is less than 6 months old) as we know this is the second most important factor in driving choice amongst grocery shoppers after having at least 30 reviews. For more, read our comprehensive survey of what drives online grocery shopper choice with reference to ratings & reviews.

To see the trends in supermarket product ratings and reviews we have looked back a year to compare the reviews visible on the Top 6 retailer sites in September 2020 to those in September 2021. Intuitively, you would think that the number of reviews has gone up in that time pretty much universally, well you'd be wrong. In some categories, in some retailers, total reviews by category have dropped dramatically whilst in other categories with good numbers of SKUs they are still well behind the curve in terms of getting fair representation on shelf i.e. the average reviews per SKU which really needs to be 30 or more. 

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Topics: FMCG, Rating and Reviews, ecommerce, Shopper Marketing Agency, digital shelf

The impact of Ratings and Reviews on sell-through rate - webinar

Posted by Paul on Feb 8, 2021 7:34:58 AM

Join Andrew Pearl VP Strategy and Insight EMEA at eCommerce performance analytics company Profitero and Paul Lees our Group Managing Director at CheckoutSmart, as they discuss fascinating original research on grocery ratings and reviews.

This study was specifically undertaken in the UK amongst over 3,700 online grocery shoppers to support the understanding of FMCG leaders and eCommerce teams, by answering their questions:

  • Do online grocery shoppers really bother reading online supermarket reviews?
  • Do they read reviews in our category/sub-category?
  • What elements are more or less important in a product review?
  • What makes a good online product review from a grocery shopper perspective

If you would like a copy of the full 22 page report with all 72 subcategories plus the "6 Golden rules of ratings & reviews" go here

Alternatively if you would like me to talk you through the results and the actions any brand should take as a result then I would be more than happy to do so. Simply use the Contact us form and I or one of the team will come back to you. 

We can help you increase genuine ratings and reviews across all the major grocery retailers (including ASDA, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Ocado in the UK) but Also Boots, Superdrug, Iceland and Holland & Barrett. In fact anywhere you find ratings and reviews posted onto online sites by shoppers, we should be able to help you. Whether that it in the UK, Spain, Canada or the US. 

We can work with all sizes of organisation, from ones with a few SKUs to ones with hundreds, each one gets our full attention and guaranteed delivery of at last 30 unique and genuine reviews in each reailer.

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Topics: Grocery, FMCG, Rating and Reviews, Shopper Marketing, ecommerce, profitero

What's more important to online grocery shoppers Ratings or Reviews?

Posted by Paul on May 19, 2020 11:42:11 AM

It's obvious when you think about it, that for online grocery shoppers selecting products to put in their basket, product Rating out of 5 is always more important than the number of Reviews, right?

Well, wrong actually and not just wrong occasionally, wrong most of the time. From our research of 3,710 online supermarket shoppers we know that when the average Ratings for two similar products are different by as much as 0.3 eg 4.2 vs 4.5, then the number of Reviews is much more important in product choice. Let me give you an example:

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Topics: Supermarket, FMCG, Rating and Reviews, Shopper Marketing, ecommerce, CPG, Shopper Insights, Shopper Marketing Agency

Supermarket product reviews read by category

Posted by Paul on Mar 16, 2020 4:16:12 PM

As we go through a surge in online shopping, now is the perfect time to ensure your brands get their fair share of sales both now and in the future. Of course you should ensure you have the right images and descriptions, as these form "the basics" of eCommerce. It is also fundamental to your success to offer the undecided a perspective from their fellow shoppers through Ratings & Reviews. Genuine shopper product reviews delivered from validated buyers directly to the retailer sites, without any moderation on a specific sku are the best way of doing this and will make an immediate impact to sales.

Delivering Ratings & Reviews

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Topics: Supermarket, FMCG, Rating and Reviews, ecommerce

Tesco's Hidden Ratings & Reviews

Posted by Paul on Apr 12, 2019 11:13:59 AM

After our Sainsburys Ratings and Reviews blog last month we've been digging around the other main UK supermarket websites.  We know that Tesco don't currently show Ratings & Reviews on their website, so when we popped the hood on their site and had a look around we were surprised to discover that their ratings & reviews were actually there but hidden from the public.

To save you the time finding and collating for yourselves, we’ve pulled it together into some nice summary charts below. For your free brand report for your category, just get in touch and we’ll happily send you one over.  

Figure 1: Infographic summary of Tesco.com ratings & reviews

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Topics: Supermarket, Rating and Reviews, Shopper Marketing, Tesco, Tesco.com

What is a "Good" product review rating on a supermarket website?

Posted by Paul on Mar 5, 2019 2:11:35 PM

As part of our work on delivering Ratings and Reviews for FMCG clients we are often asked “What is a Good Rating?”. To answer this we decided to look at the data on the Sainsbury’s website. What we found surprised us.

We have undertaken an exclusive analysis of the product level shopper Ratings & Reviews on the Sainsburys.co.uk website and found that a few suppliers have led the way with gathering reviews whilst most have done very little. As a result, some categories and brands have thousands of reviews and others just a handful.

What emerges from our analysis is a clear opportunity for nearly all grocery FMCG manufacturers to gain a competitive advantage in their category by giving online grocery shoppers a perspective from their existing consumers.

If you believe in the products you sell, why wouldn't you want your consumers to tell others how great they are?


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Topics: Supermarket, Grocery, Rating and Reviews, Sainsburys

CheckoutSmart launches easy online grocery ratings & reviews

Posted by Paul on Oct 1, 2018 2:19:09 PM

Customer reviews

Online Grocery Reviews

Shopper Marketing agency CheckoutSmart’s new offering taps into the known online and in-store sales benefit from increasing an items rating and reviews. A report from PowerReviews says the threshold for securing shopper trust at the product level is to collect up to 50 reviews

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Topics: Online, Grocery, Rating and Reviews

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  • Actively manage your shopper reputation in all online retailers
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