3 Ways to Leverage Digital Shelf Analytics to Improve Your eCommerce Content Performance
No matter what report you read, it’s clear that eCommerce is becoming a larger part of the overall consumer goods landscape, and at a faster pace, than many predicted.
And in any fast-growing environment, there is also the challenge of keeping pace with new standards and requirements – while keeping your focus on growing sales year over year. New items, new attributes, and new publishing requirements all create a complicated ecosystem.
Product content represents a single snapshot in a fluid world. To keep up with this real-time environment, you need real-time monitoring… or you may miss out on opportunities to convert. One way to create highly effective eCommerce outcomes is by measuring both online shopper behavior and content performance against competitors.
Questions For Monitoring The Digital Shelf
“Are the most recent updates we have published to the retailer actually live and accurate?”
“Do my shoppers have access to consistent and complete content across all of our channel platforms?”
“How do I easily detect anomalies in price and use this data to understand what is affecting my bottom line?”
“How do I get my products from out of stock to in stock?”
“How are my competitors ranking in search?”
“Am I winning the buy box?”
“How can I ensure that I have good reviews so my products rank highly?”
Analytics: An Easy Way to Optimize
Once the realm of academics and data scientists, today’s analytics are built to tackle the questions that brands and retailers have when it comes to having an efficient and profitable eCommerce program.
Syndigo has developed a series of tools within CXH to help build and monitor more intelligent product detail pages, to drive online sales through detailed analytics and real-time reporting.
Let’s highlight a few Digital Shelf Analytics reports that can help you optimize your product content for eCommerce.
Buy Box Report
Online, it all comes down to the “buy box” – the place where the shopper completes their transaction to the seller. And since it’s your product being sold, you want to make sure your items are selling profitably, whether through a first or third-party seller.
It’s important to maintain control of your items’ buy box in order to grow sales, grow market share, or differentiate from competitors. Variables such as price, availability and shopper reviews can all influence buyers, and a Buy Box Report can show where your items are winning, profitably, across online sellers.
For example, knowing when a retailer updates an item’s buy box status (change in price, or how many units of the item is available) is a good way to keep on top of what variables are helping you win. You can also monitor competitor boxes to see how they may be competing in that space, to update your plans if necessary.
Here are just a few ways to improve your Buy Box status:
- Change fulfillment methods (who will be fulfilling the order?)
- Experiment with landed price (the list price including shipping)
- Shipping times (the amount of time a seller takes to ship and item)
- Stock availability (Is your item typically in stock?)
- Order defect rate (does your item have negative feedback ratings, guarantee claim rates and or service charge back rate?)
- Valid tracking rate (% of packages shipped with valid tacking)
- Late shipment rate (Does your item ship later than the expected ship date?)
- Delivered on-time rate
- Feedback rating/count (What type of feedback and how much feedback is there?)
- Customer response time (How fast does a company respond to customer questions?)
- Inventory volume
- Cancellation and refund rate
Share of Digital Shelf Report
In a store, your share of shelf is a fairly easy calculation: Measure the square footage available in the category and see how much of it you have and where you are located. Based on sales performance, promotional deals or other incentives your share of shelf may increase or decrease. And the “prime real estate”, such as an eye-level placement or endcap (and sometimes lower shelves for child-friendly items) are where the performing products are stocked.
But how do you measure share of shelf when the shelf can be infinite?
While the Digital Shelf is a bit more elastic – it’s essentially any digital channel where your products are displayed that customers can view and buy – there are still ways to measure your share.
The Share of Digital Shelf Report provides visibility into the share of search results for brands and products on the site in question. It can be further measured as to whether these results were organic searches or sponsored. And placement can be tracked as well – important for the digital shelf, when a shopper’s “eye level” changes from 12 product listings on desktop to 3 on a mobile phone.
It is important to seek prominent placement on the digital shelf if you are looking to:
- Grow sales/conversion rates for the brand
- Increase general brand awareness
Since keyword searches can return thousands of results, it’s important to know how to get your item strategically placed online.
Retailers will want to consider the following when determining their algorithm on where to place a brand’s item. Here are some factors that can determine how high you rank in the search results:
- Brands should make sure they are in the right “virtual aisle” by adding keywords that consumers use at the start of their search, like category keywords that are part of the decision process.
- Long-tail keywords tend to be more specific, while short-tail keywords typically only include the product or category related to the brand. Both are important based on how consumers will search for a product.
- Search engines often look for new or changing content as a way of measuring relevance. How often a brand refreshes or updates product details, images or unique features may have an impact on where an item shows up on the search rank.
- Impressions are also important. The more views a product gets, the higher it will start to rank.
- Paying for sponsored listings can help drive your product to the top of the search results page, which may lead to more views.
- Is the brand offering a promotion or coupon on the product/service? This can also drive items up as they convert at a higher percentage.
- Even though the digital shelf is infinite, shopper attention isn’t. As brands fight for the top positions, retailers may push products that are out of stock or no longer available for purchase to the bottom of the search results, limiting any discoverability.
Out of Stock Report
A challenge both in physical stores and online, Out of Stocks represent lost sales, as shoppers are likely to find an alternate product, or visit a different site online. That is why it is so important for both retailers and sellers to know when an item is not available, so they can correct the situation while still communicating the full breadth of options available.
The Out of Stock Report tracks the inventory trends and ratios across seller sites and shows the products in your assortment (or your competitors’) that are in stock and out of stock.
For sellers, an Out of Stock report can highlight the availability of products across competitive sites, which can help pricing around availability/scarcity, as well as set product search rankings.
Some reasons for highlighting a product as Out of Stock:
It may appear counterintuitive, but there are a few reasons for displaying an Out of Stock item:
- It shows an item’s popularity, potentially creating more demand for the brand.
- It provides for an “acceptable set” of related items on the retail site, to entice a shopper to make a complementary choice.
- It can keep a shopper coming back to website to check the status of an item potentially increasing visibility of other products.
- It can make the inventory appear more popular than it is when there is only a small amount of stock available.
It can also be used competitively for brands, to understand the availability of competitor items across selling sites, to allocate promotional resources where competition is not in stock.
Optimizing Your Content for eCommerce
Using these reports, you can monitor and improve product content directly in the Content Experience Hub (CXH) – the same platform thousands of brands and retailers use to manage, enhance and syndicate their product content.
At Syndigo, we work hard to make it easy for you to understand and improve your product performance.