Over the past few years, e-Commerce has accelerated rapidly. The move to buy online is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital shelf is essential to online purchasing because it shows where products are displayed. The digital shelf gives information and helps consumers find products on mobile apps, retail websites, and other channels. Many product brands are battling for better digital space on Google. It is estimated that more than 500 billion is spent annually to get increased digital shelf visibility every year.
Learning the ins and outs of the digital shelf is not easy. It can be a bit nerve-wracking and confusing. The key is to understand the obstacles and how to address them adequately. To be successful, keeping your brand name at the top is essential. All vendors want their brands to appear on the first page. This almost always converts to sales. More shoppers are online, so digital shelf positioning is more critical than ever.
Why is the digital shelf essential?
Brands can now showcase their wares and communicate with potential customers simultaneously. The number of pages in the search results will help the shopper find the brand. This is advantageous because the brand will reach both customers familiar with the brand and customers who are not. According to research, in-store shopping sales have risen due to the digital shelf. About 60% of these shoppers use cell phones. Additionally, research suggests that nearly 70% of Smartphone users say they prefer using their phone for research than asking a human being.
4 Challenges Winning the Digital Shelf
- Poor brand representation – Shoppers will question its authenticity if things are inaccurate. Product brands, both online and offline, should be similar. Customers will wonder why the item they purchased differs from what they saw online. This erosion in trust can have pretty dire effects. There are several tools available where brand consistency can be monitored. All packaging and labeling should be checked regularly. If not, this could end in you losing out to competitors.
- Not Having a unified supply chain strategy – The consumers are the ones who watch everything on the shelves. A uniform procedure means everything goes out correctly and on time. Absent a cohesive strategy, the business will not control what goes out or when. When this happens, shoppers will become impatient and go elsewhere for business.
- Brand packaging consistency – This issue goes hand in hand with the chain strategy: different angles, colors, outdated images, and bad lighting means your brand needs to be updated immediately. This is another example of a bad brand impression. Shoppers will lose confidence and look elsewhere. No brands want to lose customers due to bad product branding and inconsistencies. Therefore, it is essential always to practice consistency to stay ahead of the game.
- Inability to take control – You must oversee every aspect of your business if you expect a positive digital shelf response. This means having good products and marketing them the right way. You have to make certain adjustments to make this work. Even heavy hitters like Amazon review their products every 2 minutes to ensure the correct pricing. It would help if you didn’t have to do it as frequently as Amazon, but something daily will do. Also, use as many technical tools as you have at your disposal to help with the monitoring.
Tips to help you win the digital shelf in 2023
Because most shoppers don’t go beyond the first page, businesses need to get their items as close to the top of the list as possible. Although algorithms play a huge role in rankings, brands often have little control over how it works. Businesses can improve their rankings by performing such tasks as careful detailing of products and relevant search terms. Keywords always increase the chances of a product receiving added visibility. Also, paid advertising can go a long way in boosting traffic and converting sales. It is also wise to avoid running out of products. This will help maintain a positive digital shelf ranking.
Understand online shopping habits
Flexibility is the best way to maximize the digital shelf in 2023. According to shopping statistics, digital consumers often buy more bulk back items. The BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In-Store) option can also prove beneficial. Savings and convenience are the best features you can have when raising your visibility.
Use smart online promotions.
The correct strategy can often yield better results. For example, dollar Deals and promotions can open up a new stream of customers. It can also help solidify your base of repeat customers. Subscription services, cash-back offers, loyalty programs, free shipping, and other incentives are also smart promotions.
The correct KPI measurements
Data is what businesses live and die by. Making the best of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will help you understand which areas are doing well and which ones need help. Keywords, browsers, conversion rates, and data are considered. Google Analytics is a helpful tool for keeping up with data.
Stronger brands and cost reduction
Consider your budgeting. This is one challenge that can be improved upon. There are many ways to streamline the cost of services. For example, businesses can use alternative artwork instead of paying for expensive photos. This is another way you can keep track of your brand costs. Do your research and find other alternatives if they are available.
Keep streamlined e-commerce
Prioritize the attention that your brand deserves. Make sure everything is visible to online shoppers. Remove any logistical barriers that get in the way of streamlining the process. Adding a “Buy Now” feature adds convenience for customers. Explore other options to get your
Make the best of customer reviews.
Customer reviews are read by over 89 percent of shoppers. It is a great way to gauge what shoppers think about purchasing items. And the math adds up. Shoppers will pay up to one-third more for items with Five-Star ratings. In most cases, shoppers will read about five reviews before making up their minds about a product. Count on email campaigns to increase reviews. As positive reviews can help a brand, negative reviews can do just the opposite. Never leave negative feedback blank. Always respond to negative reviews as quickly as possible to give your story. Use platforms like Digital Shelf to identify and address potential problems before they become a problem.
Emphasize product description
Make sure your item descriptions are accurate. When the shopper receives the product, and it’s now, you’re sure to hear about it. The shopper can only see the product. They have to rely upon what is being told to them. Ensure there is an accurate weight, dimensions, benefits, and everything needed. Check out the demographics of your buyers. Tailoring this specifically to your base can translate into additional sales. Double-check all descriptions for grammatical errors. Professional copy is critical to some buyers.
Utilize a PIM and or DAM
There are many ways to maximize and manage your digital shelf content. However, utilizing a PIM (Product Information Management) system or a DAM (Digital Asset Management) System will significantly improve your chances.
Provide delivery options
Free shipping has a significant impact on your digital shelf. Offering specials like free shipping if you purchase $30 or more will attract a huge customer base. All shoppers enjoy some incentive when they shop. Free shipping is by and large the most user-friendly incentive businesses prefer.
What to Track?
KPI’s for e-Commerce is essential when you make decisions about marketing. KPI’s provides accurate metrics and provide insight to solve potential problems. Some of the top KPIs to keep track of:
Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)
Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate (SCAR)
Product Performance KPIs
Basket Level Performance
Net Promoter Score
Real estate purchases to provide more shelf room for products can also prove beneficial. When more digital space is acquired through advertising, the location, and frequency of ad appearance increase. Remember, the advertising is used to duplicate what a storeworker would do. Targeted keyword ads will result in sales. They can also veer customers away from competitors using the correct strategies.
Next-generation digital shelf technology is essential.
The onset of the COVID pandemic changed how businesses work forever. Companies were fighting for ways to get their brand noticed. Many who had not opted for online were forced to make adjustments. Now, over 20 million businesses are vying for digital shelf positions. Digital shelf analytics is helping with the real-time visibility of products. All it takes is the right technology to beat the competition. Finding easily integrated solutions has proven to deliver results.
Start utilizing the tips you learned. This will mitigate any challenges you could face down the road. Several factors go into achieving the best digital visibility. First, remember that the digital shelf operates much like a storefront. Although you don’t have actual physical shelves, virtual ones can still be filled at any time.
Vendors like Amazon and target get you the most bang for your buck with sponsored placements. This way, you are assured of sophisticated campaigns and visibility on the first search page.