A deep dive into successful shopper marketing and reviews strategies

Shopper Marketing

Ratings and reviews

CheckoutSmart blog

11 Aug 2020

For even the most experienced marketers, a review strategy campaign can seem like the ultimate catch-22 situation for any new product launch plan.

On the one hand, 85% of consumers trust online reviews of products as much as recommendations from their friends. Increasingly, they are not going to consider buying new products from retailers unless and until it’s got a steady trail of awesome and reliable feedback from real people behind it. 

On the other hand, this is a brand new product. It has no history behind it and you need reviews to win sales. But you need shoppers to get those all-important reviews as well.

Now for some good news: it IS possible to square the new product review circle, but it will require a shopper marketing strategy. Here’s our product launch formula to getting it right.

1. Align your launch team  

No matter how amazing your product, it’s not going to fly from the shelves without a sufficient shopper marketing effort. Did you know, between 70 and 90% of new product launches fail to hit target? Something is usually missing from the launch campaign - and that ‘something’ tends to be preparation. 

Too often, it’s because lots of things are happening in connection with the launch, but many brands fail to join these marketing activities up. You need marketing team alignment, and you need to place review acquisition front and center in your launch plan. Some examples: 

  • Do your social and email marketing teams have a program in place for launch announcements? 
  • Are the sales and shopper marketing teams aware of the importance of reviews in getting your new products off the ground?
  • If influencers are involved, have they been invited to talk about your products right at the launch, so their comments can have maximum impact from the outset?  

80% of online grocery shoppers have avoided a product after reading the reviews.

- CheckoutSmart research (3,710 online grocery shoppers)

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2. Integrate review requests into your pre-launch

As soon as your products are in some stores, often before the official advertising launch, consider getting them tried by shoppers from whichever retailer lists first. Invite shoppers to test it out using a digital cashback incentive, intimate them to give review feedback and also leave a review on your platform of choice. Beyond the product launches themselves, this also happens to be an amazing way to grow brand loyalty. After all, you are demonstrating that you value these early peoples’ opinions. It also gives you some potentially very valuable feedback before the product launch to a broader audience of people.

3. Use pre-launch positive feedback within your shopper marketing material 

Pre-launch feedback gives you a valuable foothold in winning the trust of customers in the main launch. Now it’s time to capitalize on this. You can’t point to hundreds or thousands of positive product reviews (yet), but you can definitely make the most of what you’ve got.

Are there some especially insightful comments within this early feedback? If so, you could consider integrating these comments into your banner ads, social posts, product pages and other material. These pre-launch reviews can give you great insight into the relevant messages to carry through into your marketing and advertising. Get answers to questions like: Is it vegan or organic or low fat that most motivates your new product trialists? 

4. Make it easy to leave reviews 

Now is probably an ideal opportunity to review your web user experience. In particular, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to leave reviews. Is there a link to your brand's review platform from the product listings page? Does the link work? Could it be made more prominent for shoppers? Test the process from button to button, to make sure you are happy with it. 

5. Make the ask 

Quite simply, if you don’t ask, you don’t get! You can always try asking via your social media but obviously the response will vary, and it is difficult to target shoppers precisely. To get a good number of reviews quickly (and we recommend a minimum of 30), running specific early reviews gaining activity can shortcut the whole process. That way, when the mainstream launch happens, online shoppers are already reading great product reviews and are more likely to buy.

6. Get help

We’re not going to pretend that any of this is easy. 68% of people have left a review for local, in-the-flesh services. But when it comes to things like online grocery items, they can often be less likely to give their opinions. It can definitely be frustrating when waiting for a critical mass of customer feedback to develop. 

So, how would you like to build up a bank of useful, genuine customer reviews, in time for your main product launch? Simply send us details of the products you need ratings and reviews for, and we’ll supply a guaranteed number of reviews for it. Interested? Contact us today.  

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G

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Amazing quality little treats the salted caramel flavour is easily the best out of the range..

K

Kettle chips

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Great tasting snack. Perfect on their own as a snack, with a drink, or with a salad, etc. Perfect crunch, texture and taste.

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