- Albertsons has made consumer product ratings and reviews available on 11 of its grocery banners’ websites, according to an announcement Wednesday morning from PowerReviews, the technology company powering the new tool.
- The shopper feedback program, which is now available at Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco and Shaw’s, among other chains, also lets brands syndicate user-generated content to product pages listed on Albertsons’ grocery sites.
- Offering user-generated content alongside product listings is a way retailers and suppliers are trying to boost trust and build engagement with shoppers.
Consumer reviews and ratings are a common practice across general merchandise retailers, which use them as an engagement tool and a way to offer transparency to shoppers. But they’re less common in grocery, where assortment can fluctuate daily and the quality of fresh products can be hard to encapsulate in a star rating.
A scan of Safeway’s site Wednesday morning shows reviews for mostly packaged products along with some fresh items. A 1-pound box of Driscoll’s strawberries carried a rating of 4.3 out of 5, with several customer reviews attesting to the quality, or lack thereof, of the product.
“Most were fresh and delicious!” wrote one shopper.
“Some were spoiled. Not chosen well,” wrote another.
In a statement, Jill Pavlovich, senor vice president of digital customer experience at Albertsons, said customer input can “empower purchase decisions.” She noted that the company is one of the first grocers to offer a user-generated content tool like the one it debuted Wednesday.
A survey conducted by Powerreviews earlier this year showed that consumers are increasingly reading product reviews at least occasionally. The survey, which included more than 11,000 consumers, also found that younger shoppers value ratings and reviews more highly, with 35% of Gen Z consumers saying they always consult them when buying groceries online, compared to 15% of Gen X’ers and 13% of baby boomers.
Powerreviews counts numerous grocery CPG brands among its client base, including Organic Valley, Clif Bar and Skippy.
One of the retailers that has fervently embraced ratings and reviews is Amazon. In addition to listing a star rating and consumer writeups on its grocery product pages, the company’s Amazon Fresh grocery chain posts star reviews for each product on digital shelf tags.
Online grocer FreshDirect takes a slightly different tack, providing daily listings of products that its staff determines are fresh and high quality.
The introduction of ratings and reviews is the latest digital innovation from Albertsons. Late last year, the company rolled out an auto-replenishment tool for select products that’s similar to Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program. The grocer has also launched livestreaming, signed on with all of the major e-commerce apps, and recently launched a retail media network as it tries to compete in an increasingly omnichannel industry.