Having previously worked at Target.com and BestBuy.com in eCommerce merchandising roles, Melissa Molitor joined Post Consumer Brand’s to grow its ecommerce business two years ago.
One of her first orders of business: ratings and reviews. “We knew ratings and reviews were table stakes since they contribute to conversion and are rich in consumer insights,” said Molitor. “Even though our ecommerce efforts were just getting started, we quickly understood the value of reviews once we established that 91% of consumers read them before making a purchase. Competing online is just a lot harder if you don’t have ratings and reviews on your site.”
Consumer insights from product reviews were also critical in alerting the company to a problem with Fruity Pebbles, one of the company’s iconic cereal brands. Through incoming negative consumer product reviews, the company could see that consumers disliked a recent ingredient formula change. This feedback was invaluable in helping to motivate the internal teams required to return Fruity Pebbles back to its beloved formula to satisfy consumers.
3000 Reviews in 3 Days with Receipt. Review. Collect.
Although Post Consumer Brands reacted to consumer feedback quickly, it struggled to drive meaningful change to the ratings and reviews footprint generated by the original recipe change. As a brand focused primarily on selling through retail channels, its own branded website struggles to generate high volumes of reviews through traditional collection methodologies (e.g. follow-up purchase emails).
“Before the quality issue with Pebbles, most of the reviews on the site were positive, but all of the negative reviews were at the top of the page and really brought the overall star rating down. We needed a way to get fresh reviews once the new product was in market” said Molitor, noting that those reviews were being syndicated to key retailers such as Target.com, at a time when many of these retailers were indicating they’d rearrange where the products appear on their digital shelves based on factors including sales volume and consumer reviews.
All this occurred against a backdrop where the company found itself in the middle of a budget cycle – meaning that the funding to do a public relations or sampling campaign to encourage consumers to submit fresh review content on the new Fruity Pebbles, wasn’t there.
Fortunately, an innovative solution arrived at just the right time. Post Consumer Brands was one of the first brands to take advantage of PowerReviews’ newest review generation offering – Receipt. Review. Collect.
Receipt. Review. Collect. is a new solution brought to life through a collaboration between PowerReviews and Fetch Rewards that enables brands to tap into consumer database of online and in-store purchases across 10 million+ members to source reviews from verified buyers. In addition to driving review volume, the solution also solves the review recency problem by establishing a regular flow of fresh review content. Priced by the volume of reviews collected, it offers an optimal return on investment.
With Receipt. Review. Collect., Post Consumer Brands was able to collect nearly 3,000 reviews in 3 days. In that time, the program also boosted the Fruity Pebbles star ratings from 2.9 to 4.6 by collecting reviews from a pool of verified buyers they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.
Low Lift, Big Reward — Boosting Product Review Content by 724% Across 19 Products
The process of kick-starting this initiative couldn’t have been easier, according to Molitor. “It was so easy; very plug and play,” she said. “All I had to do was provide a list of UPC codes and the PowerReviews team magically did everything else. We’re a very lean ecommerce team, so this was greatly appreciated. The PowerReviews team was so buttoned up and the calls were very organized.”
The initiative also made a big impression on the Post Consumer Brands’ relationship with its major retailer partners, said Molitor. “We were able to go to the Target team with this new development, which was a very powerful step in further building our relationship.”
All told, Receipt. Review. Collect. increased the number of reviews per product from an average of 35 to 152 – an increase of approximately 724%. The two flagship products, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles cereals, saw their ratings jump from 2.9 to 4.6 and 3.4 to 4.7 respectively.
Post Consumer Brands has also used Receipt. Review. Collect. to help accelerate review collection on new product offerings. One example includes a new line of Fruity Pebbles snack items, quickly boosting reviews from 0 to between 100 and 200 in each case – just in time to catch the attention of parents gearing up for the back-to-school season.
User-Generated Content Provides Significant Value
In 2022, Molitor says the company will launch a host of new innovative products, and feels the PowerReviews partnership is a great complement.
Post Consumer Brands continues to find new ways to leverage ratings and reviews content by repurposing it into new redesigned packaging and in-store signage. For their value-driven brands, this offers vital social proof that the products taste just as good as popular name-brand cereals, but at a fraction of the price.
Ratings and reviews insights are also circulated within the organization to fuel research and development efforts, which is key in the ultra-competitive breakfast cereal sector.
Keeping Pace with Grocery Digital Transformation Demands an Innovative Ratings and Review Partner
In grocery and CPG, consumers aren’t accustomed to writing product reviews, and brands don’t always have significant ecommerce traffic to their own websites; however, negative reviews, or a lack of reviews in general, can negatively impact brand relationships with retail partners. The speed and volume of review collection generated by Receipt. Review. Collect. is a game-changer in terms of preventing and resolving these issues.
“In the grocery sector we’ve seen five years of ecommerce growth, accelerated in roughly 12 months,” said Molitor. “Our partnership with PowerReviews is enabling us to meet these changes head on with new sophisticated digital engagement strategies.
“Our leadership team has been super excited about the results we’ve achieved – especially the immediacy of the Receipt. Review. Collect. program. Nothing speaks louder than data; it’s hard to look past the proof of the program’s value,” she said. Molitor says the success of the Receipt. Review. Collect. program has been a great way to socialize the success of user generated content internally throughout the Post Consumer Brands.
The company is looking at evolving its ratings and reviews program to continue leveraging “Receipt. Review. Collect.” as an “always on” review channel to ensure the company’s brands benefit from ongoing, fresh, verified consumer reviews.