Shopper marketing blog

10 Reasons why shopper reviews are vital for successful new products

Posted by Paul on Apr 27, 2023 8:30:01 AM
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Are you preparing to launch new products? Harvard Business Review reports that 90% of new products fail within the first year, despite significant investments in research, development, marketing, and advertising.

To improve your chances of success, it's important to obtain consumer reviews as soon as possible. Here are ten reasons why consumer reviews are crucial for all new grocery products:

CheckoutSmart No reviews Tesco
 Reasons why shopper reviews are critical to new products are:

  1. Answering for shoppers: "Will I like it?"
  2. For instant shopper credibility
  3. You look like a bestseller
  4. Shopper read reviews for products they don't know
  5. The in-store opportunity
  6. Reap long term benefits
  7. Increasing popularity of reviews with shoppers
  8. Your competitors are growing reviews
  9. Actionable insights
  10. Avoid early delists

1. Answering for shoppers: "WILL I LIKE IT?"

New products are inherently unknown to shoppers, so they can't be certain if they will enjoy them. Buying an unfamiliar item is financially risky, and it could potentially harm their reputation as a provider or even their health, depending on the product category. That's why brand reputations are so vital; they inspire trust in shoppers.

Another way to establish trust is by providing excellent descriptive reviews. If a product has only five poorly written, brief, or unhelpful reviews, they are unlikely to have a significant impact. On the other hand, if the reviews are detailed and positive, they can make a massive difference in sales.

These types of reviews are particularly beneficial for new products on and can help boost their sales.

CheckoutSmart Good reviews for NPD 2023



Consumer reviews are critical to establishing the credibility of your products. Even if a product has a lower average rating, items with 30 or more reviews are purchased more frequently. This is because shoppers trust the opinions of others who have tried the product.

Additionally, having a substantial number of reviews on your product demonstrates that it has been available for some time and that people are talking about it.

Ratings & Reviews trade off analysis:

CheckoutSmart ratings vs reviews final chart

We know this is true because we asked over 3,700 online shoppers about ratings and reviews and they told us that the number of reviews are more important than the average rating. After some smart trade off analysis we showed that it is significantly more important to get your online product reviews up to 30 than to drive them beyond that. In the above illustration, shoppers chose the items with 30 reviews 70% of the item despite having a rating of 4.2 vs 4.5 on an identical item with 10 reviews.

3. you look like a bestseller

Obtaining reviews as soon as possible creates the impression among shoppers of a high rate of sales. If a product has 30 reviews quickly, shoppers assume it must be selling well. This assumption can influence their decision to purchase the product, as they might think, "It must be good because it's popular." This principle is the same as the importance of the freshness of reviews.

CheckoutSmart Countdown 2023

If you believe that your product is excellent and will gradually accrue reviews over time, you may need to reconsider. It takes an average of 571 days for a product to acquire 30 reviews on By that time, any new product will have already launched and failed.

You require reviews when your advertising begins to reach consumers, which typically occurs 4-12 weeks after the product's initial release. that is not going to happen naturally.

Remember: Rate of reviews gained is a proxy for rate of sale for shoppers.

4. shoppers read reviews for products they don't know

Shoppers read reviews most when they are contemplating switching to or buying into a new category. If your product is in a new or unfamiliar category, obtaining reviews as soon as possible can help you capture those shoppers who are seeking guidance.

Our research indicates that shoppers read reviews when they encounter new products in advertisements or when they are searching for a new product in a familiar category. This occurs most frequently when your product is new and your advertising is extensive, usually during the first 6 months following launch.

Discovering Grocery Product Reviews Survey 2022 - Prompted to read reviews not in or near store


As we know from our own research on How shoppers find grocery product reviews, grocery shoppers consult reviews when shopping in-store "when they see the product for the first time.". This means that getting reviews as soon as possible at least in line with the first promotions in-store which is likely to be 4-8 weeks after first availability by retailer. Doing so will mean that in-store and online shoppers will see other shopper's comments at this vital time and will choose products with well-written, informative, influential reviews more often.

CheckoutSmart Discovering Grocery Product Reviews Survey 2022 In or Near Prompted

6. REAP Long-Term Benefits

It's important to note that when a review is posted directly onto a supermarket website, it can stay there for several years. For instance, has reviews that date back to 2018, when they started collecting ratings and reviews. We first talked about the time when Tesco started collecting reviews in Tesco's hidden ratings & reviews. There are some even older than that but most of these will have been collective elsewhere.

CheckoutSmart Calendar Tesco 2018

It's essential to get reviews as soon as possible because the benefits do not disappear over time. These reviews can continue to attract shoppers and influence their purchasing decisions for years to come. In fact, shoppers read and trust reviews every day, meaning they can increase your sales on a daily basis.

However, it's worth noting that some syndicators may remove reviews once you stop working with them, so it's best to work with reputable sources. Waiting to get reviews can result in missed opportunities for potential sales in the future.

7. Increasing Popularity OF REVIEWS with shoppers

The popularity of grocery reviews is increasing in all categories. More and more shoppers are relying on reviews to help them make purchasing decisions, so it's crucial to get reviews for your new products as soon as possible.

Percentage of online shoppers that see reviews as essential 2014 - 2021

Work by PowerReviews shows that 98% of all shoppers now believe online reviews are an essential resource when making a purchase decision.



It's important to note that the number of ratings and reviews on supermarket websites is steadily increasing, and there is no indication that this trend will slow down any time soon. For example, Tesco currently has an average of more than 32 reviews per SKU. As your competitors continue to accumulate reviews, it's crucial that you don't fall behind.

Reviews growth on 2018 to 2023

Services like CheckoutSmart can help you gain 30 reviews and maintain their freshness from their Always On program. There is no excuse these days for not giving shoppers genuine, useful and recent reviews.


9. actionable INSIGHTS

Feedback from early users of your products at home can provide valuable insights. This can include both positive and negative feedback, and every brand should have systems in place to identify the latest reviews and feedback the insights to marketing and R&D teams. These insights can be helpful not only for the internal teams but also for other shoppers.

I am sure such teams would find these useful, as would other shoppers:

I do love a Magnum, I found this new one for me is way too sweet and a really strange combination of flavours.  This is the only Magnum I have not been able to eat and do not like.  

Bring back double conc.  this new quad conc. is awful. Too difficult to dilute to right strength, if you dilute to the right taste the colour is very weak, if you dilute to the right colour the taste is too strong. The amount of colour is too low  there is also no mouthfeel  needs more juice sugar. Once diluted to the right taste strength  Its a very thin sharp taste, no mouth feel very poor product

We offer an NPD launch solution that can help you gain a large amount of insight on your new product development. Our solution includes a cashback program, at least 30 reviews on the retailer site, and a survey of shoppers to obtain useful and insightful feedback with a remarkably quick turnaround.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about our solution.



If you work with supermarket retailers, you know it will come. Your precious NPD has barely had time to establish a foothold in the market and they are telling you the unit sales per store are too low, and you have a few weeks until the range review. To get more shoppers to trial and convert, you need to move fast. Having a good number of positive and insightful reviews can help persuade your buyer that your new product deserves more time.

ROI results of CheckoutSmart SmartActivation campaigns

Case study results for SmartActivation 3 recent activities

In addition to showing your buyer positive reviews, you can drive trial through retailer promotions, which retailers can see. However, advertising all the time is costly. You can use CheckoutSmart SmartActivation to drive rates of sale, which is invisible to the retailers and can be set up the same day. But before that, it's best to get your reviews in order so that every time someone reads them, they represent your new product in a fair way instead of offering a blank space where helpful reviews should be.


HOW GET REVIEWS QUICKLY for new products

We have 2 ways to help brands get reviews quickly:

  1.  NPD - Pre-Launch - If your products are available pre-launch, we can have shoppers try them and write reviews before they hit the stores. Once the product is launched, we can post these reviews, providing you with the fastest possible, high-quality, permanent reviews. For more information on this option, please see our website.

  2. NPD - Post-Launch - If you have already launched or have a product that cannot be sent out by ambient means, then we can get our shoppers to buy your products as soon as they are launched, starting the same week. They then write their reviews and post their honest feedback on the retailer site, for more on SmartReviews.


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Topics: Supermarket, Grocery, FMCG, NPD, Shopper Marketing

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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