Consumers no longer rely on in-store information to make purchasing decisions. 88% of consumers now state they use website ratings and reviews before buying a consumer product. How can manufacturers ensure their products aren’t hindered by negative online consumer reviews?


Unhappy customers are increasingly having a major effect upon the purchasing decisions of other consumers. The key to maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace is making sure customers are happy with their purchases. Manufacturers need to understand the way consumers will use their products and be certain their expectations are matched or exceeded.

Before a product is placed onto the market, manufacturers should assess it for usability. Usage assessment has become one of the most important tools available to a manufacturer when helping them define and anticipate user’s feedback.

Fitness for use assessment looks at key criteria, identifying possible weaknesses and allowing them to compare results with other products. In this way, the manufacturer or supplier can position the product in the right competitive environment and mitigate some of the risk associated with negative feedback.

The primary areas for fitness for use assessment match those which are often commented upon by consumers. These include:

  • Instructions to user
  • Handling
  • Performance
  • Durability
  • Usage

A negative review in any one of these areas can have a detrimental effect on future sales.

SGS Solution

SGS has created multiple test protocols to help manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) monitor and rate their products. Protocols cover a wide variety of EEE, including:

  • Power tools – drills, grinders, etc.
  • Garden tools – lawnmowers, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, etc.
  • Household appliances – steam irons, coffee makers, hair dryers, etc.
  • Audio/video products

These test protocols take the perspective of the user as their starting point, thereby helping to anticipate possible consumer feedback.

Using our high-tech facility in Aix-en-Provence, France, we can conduct both performance and endurance tests. These protocols can also be replicated, allowing for accurate comparisons between several models.

In addition to identifying potential sources of negative feedback, these test protocols can also be used to identify weaknesses that can then be rectified. For example, a user guide can be modified, or parts and components can be replaced. This work is all undertaken with the support of SGS experts, who can help clients understand the results and provide suggestions for modifications.

SGS can also help manufacturers to differentiate their products in the marketplace. Following assessment, the manufacturer can affix the performance certification mark to the product, thereby showing consumers that the declared characteristics have been thoroughly tested and validated by SGS.

For more information, please contact:

Jean Pierre Rosserot
Technical Director
t: +33 4 42 97 72 30