Albertsons adds ratings and reviews to its websites

Grocery chain operator Albertsons Cos. this month added ratings and reviews to its websites. The new capability allows the retailer’s online customers to weigh in on products like breakfast cereal, bread and cheese.

Jill Pavlovich, senior vice president of digital customer experience at Albertsons, says adding product reviews will help customers. They’ll be able to make better buying decisions, and it will encourage them to try unfamiliar products. It also will provide the retailer with valuable consumer data.

“Industry research tells us shoppers are more likely to purchase a new grocery item online if it has been reviewed by other customers,” Pavlovich says.

She adds that the online feedback helps Albertsons understand better “what delights our customers and where we can improve.” Pavlovich says customer feedback helps inform decisions, including which kinds of private-label products to offer customers.

To add the reviews and rating capability, Albertsons chose PowerReviews, a vendor specializing in user-generated content (UGC) technology. Examples of UGG include text, videos, images, reviews, or other content that shoppers created.

Besides Albertsons, PowerReviews’ clients include footwear brand Skechers, whiskey maker Heaven Hill and candy maker Jelly Belly.

“We really like how PowerReviews makes the user experience simple and easy for shoppers to read or write reviews on our grocery products. We are excited to partner with the company to continue to fine-tune and improve the way we offer ratings and reviews on our banner store websites and apps,” Pavlovich says.

Albertsons ranks No. 26 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

The case for ratings and reviews

Grocery retailers have added online ratings and reviews for the same reason as other kinds of retailers: customers read them.

In March 2022 PowerReviews surveyed 11,162 U.S. consumers about online grocery shopping. Among online grocery shoppers, 90% of online grocery shoppers read ratings and reviews at least occasionally, the survey found. Also, 83% of those surveyed said they are more likely to buy something they’ve never tried if online reviews are good.

“Product reviews are tremendously influential,” says Andrew Smith, vice president of marketing at PowerReviews.

He says grocery retailers’ ratings and reviews can boost sales when supply chain problems make familiar brands unavailable

“Over the past two years, grocers have been faced with stockouts, often having to source new brands, many of which have less consumer brand recognition. Focusing on reviews for these products can improve sell-through, consumer consideration, and adoption of these new brands,” he says.

Strategic alternatives

Early in 2022, Albertsons hired investment firms Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to serve as financial advisors to a board-led “review of potential strategic alternatives.” Albertsons went public in June 2020. Before that, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management controlled the retailer for about 14 years.

Albertsons operates almost 2,300 across 34 states and the District of Columbia. It operates under 24 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco and Shaw’s.

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