The digital shelf for CPG brands

Simply put, the digital shelf is the online equivalent of what you would find at eye level in a physical store. It includes how products are found, displayed and made available for inspection in an online store. 

Differences between Amazon and bricks and clicks’ online marketplaces

Amazon is expected to capture as much as 50% of the ecommerce market in 2021, so it’s important to understand how it differs from traditional retailers. Their search engine criteria differ from bricks and clicks retailers, necessitating a dedicated digital shelf strategy. 

Sales performance history is very important in Amazon’s algorithm, as is keyword and text matching. Visibility is key and being amongst the first products listed in search results is crucial. 

Sometimes quick fixes can improve listing on AMZ like ensuring imagery, including video, conforms to Amazon’s guidelines.

With its access to 3P vendors, Amazon designs search and findability to feature items customers want to purchase so discoverability is paramount.

How to win on the digital shelf

Success on the digital shelf is a direct result of managing your products’ presence well. First, it’s essential that your product is available and not out of stock. Next, there are several criteria, all of them different at various retailers, which will determine your product’s success. The most practical way to manage all of these variables is with a KPI scorecard. It will measure how products perform against the metrics you have chosen. 

The core elements of CPG ecommerce

As the omnichannel becomes more ubiquitous, showcasing products correctly and consistently across all platforms is truly important. A well designed and managed digital shelf leads to increased sales. 

A good digital shelf must contain a top-notch product display page (PDP) to achieve good visibility. Every part of the digital shelf is connected, so most parts of the PDP are dependent on one another for good performance in the online marketplace. A product description and imagery need to meet retailer’s guidelines, and a product name, ratings and reviews and performance in search results are all essential ingredients in online marketing that drives results.

Data analytics, an integral part of an online presence

There are several elements that are essential to success in online CPG activity. In fact, there are so many that the only way to manage them all effectively is through data analysis. There are four main areas:

An overview of an entire category is necessary for monitoring assortment for opportunities and trends. 

Availability needs to be tracked to avoid costly out of stocks.

Pricing and promotion need to be monitored across regions and stores to ensure that negotiated prices are being enacted. 

And finally, eretail customer activations need to be tracked across categories and retailers to assess the competition and the effectiveness of media buys. Online media is increasingly influential and retailers are offering many new media solutions including self-service on some of their platforms. 

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