5 minute read
The digital shelf is the online environment a product appears in. It’s the online counterpart to a shelf in a physical store.
Since a shopper can’t pick up a product and inspect it, a number of functionalities have evolved around enhancing the customer experience on the digital shelf, and there is a growing depth of information that can be gathered around shopper behavior too. The digital shelf is a critical part of a CPG’s activity today and as all things digital, it’s constantly evolving.
Here follow the essential aspects of the digital shelf.
Tracking these KPIs while staying current on other market forces like new tech, assortment and trends will put you in a good position to manage your digital shelf as the shift to online CPG shopping continues and increasing numbers of shoppers turn to it.
OOS rates are the first item in our list because it’s a foundational KPI.
The distribution and availability of a product are essential, because without them, a product can have no presence on the digital shelf and consequently no conversions can occur.
With reliable OOS tracking rates in hand, a manufacturer can prevent costly gaps or discrepancies in distribution, and react to high rates quickly. They can contact their supply chain team and address issues directly.
That said, taking action where OOS rates are occurring is only possible with location-based, granular data. Comprehensive data is the only way to see where exactly rates vary. The fact is, they can differ dramatically from store to store.
The pyramid below illustrates all the elements of the digital shelf. Notice that the foundation is availability/ OOS. Products must be in stock to create an online presence that propels a consumer along the shopping journey.
Images are another very important part of the digital shelf. Why?
It’s the primary way a shopper identifies or verifies they’ve found the product they’re looking for.
As the digital shelf evolves, so does imagery. Video is becoming more commonplace, an image carousel that features different aspects of a product is also often recommended, and the hero image is the centerpiece.
A simple packshot or photograph of a product isn’t appropriate for the digital shelf. The image needs to be optimized for online shopping so that the name of the product and other key elements are easily recognizable. In fact, it’s very important that your imagery complies with the retailer’s standards, and those standards do differ. Simplicity is the rule of thumb for online product imagery. Optimizing the image for discoverability is the goal.
As much as possible, the same hero image should be used across all digital platforms. This creates consistency for the consumer, which is a very desirable part of the omnishopper experience.
Here again, location-based data collection is necessary. Without it, there is no possibility of seeing where a price violation occurs, and therefore no way to correct it. Sample-based data monitoring is unreliable.
Another drawback to sample-based data collection is that the average price metric will not be accurate. A sample of stores will not yield the same average as collecting data from every single estore a product is available at.
Tracking competitor’s pricing is essential too. Competitor intelligence is needed to understand market forces and understand if trends are category-wide or not. Data collection on every SKU in a category is the only way to ensure accuracy and actionability.
Retailer specifications for the product detail page (PDP) vary. It’s important to ensure a product complies with all of each retailer’s specifications so that a product has the best presence possible and the highest likelihood of converting.
The PDP entails several things–ratings and reviews, product information, product description–in a nutshell, all product-related content.
Manufacturers should have a DAM tool (digital asset management) that will cross-reference their product information with retailer’s requirements. This way, any images, text or content that is non-compliant will be flagged.
An aspect of the PDP that deserves mention is the inclusion of keywords in product titles and descriptions. Ensuring the right keywords are used in the right place is particularly important because of their direct impact on search and, often, sales.
Sometimes search is included in PDP, but because it has such a huge impact on conversion rates, it deserves special attention and is it’s own KPI.
Appearing amongst the first results in search is an absolute need. Products that appear outside of the top 10 or on page 2 and beyond have a very low click through rate (CTR) The first three products often get as much as 80% of clicks on major retailer’s search engines.
Does your product description contain the optimal number of keywords, images, bullet points, the correct product description length, etc. (again, per retailer) that will allow consumers to find your product instantly through search?
Ratings and reviews are increasingly consequential.
Today, brands need to not only monitor ratings and reviews constantly, they need to respond to negative comments within the day–ideally within minutes. In the current digital environment, ratings and reviews are a trusted source of information for shoppers, and they have a significant impact on conversion rates.
Establishing a meaningful connection with consumers should be the goal of every brand, and ratings and reviews provide the perfect environment for this. The longer negative reviews go unanswered, the more damage it can do to a brand. Engaging and nurturing consumers is more important than ever in today’s engagement economy.
Ratings and reviews hold other areas of potential for brands too, like identifying emerging consumer trends, new product ideas and product improvements.
Eretail media is advertising on a retailer’s site. Banners are the most common kind of emedia. This feature of the digital shelf is perhaps the most talked-about aspect in the CPG world today. Why? Because online advertising is undergoing a transformational shift.
Retailers are becoming media companies. With the end of third party cookies coming in 2023, personalization and hyper-targeted marketing are going to become the go-to source of advertising and ad revenue. No-one is better placed to cultivate this treasure trove of data and personalized advertising than retailers. They have the identity and the shopping history of their customers, who are loyal, repeat shoppers. The growing databases and insights into consumer behavior these retailers/ media companies own are becoming very valuable because their site serves as a lucrative advertising platform to advertisers.
The fusion of online and physical shopping into the omnichannel is creating increasing complexity. Shoppers may first browse on a retailer site, then consult Amazon, then visit a store before making a purchase. There are many variations on that journey. This presents a well known challenge to CPGs. With the omnipresence of mobile, the pandemic, and the progress retailers have made in their online offerings, consumer behavior is changing at a seemingly constant pace.
As CPGs make the ongoing shift to ecommerce, it’s evident that legacy data systems and a siloed way of working are inadequate for the omnichannel reality.
CPGs are undergoing a lot of change, reorganizing themselves and looking to solution providers that have platforms and scorecards with customized analytics that quickly and clearly give them the data, the insights, and the actionable predictions they need.
For this, a partner or network of external partners and technology players can ensure they succeed in the rapidly changing online sales environment.
Annual or semiannual shelf resets
Periodically updated promotional calendars
Monthly or quarterly reviews of brand-level marketing campaigns by a buyer
Lower order complexity – pallets of products with weekly delivery
Service levels indirectly drive physical shelf availability
Category managed by an algorithm (with some buyer influence)
Daily assortment decisions managed with test-and-learn mentality
Dynamic net revenue management decisions informed by internal and external data
Always-on marketing with ongoing reallocation of SKU-level tactics
Higher order complexity – mixed pallets, batches with multiple deliveries per week (or even daily)
Service levels directly impact customer digital shelf listing and prioritisation
Amazon has captured a huge amount of the CPG ecommerce market, particularly in the US. Among other things, their search engine criteria differ from bricks and clicks retailers, necessitating a dedicated digital shelf strategy.
Sales performance history features significantly in Amazon’s algorithm, as does keyword and text matching. Visibility is key and as always, being amongst the first products listed in search results is crucial.
With its access to 3P vendors, Amazon designs search and findability to feature items customers want to purchase so discoverability is paramount.
Price points are low on AMZ, so that needs to be considered in a manufacturer’s digital shelf strategy too.
Increasingly, Amazon is using its own digital shelf like an advertising network. Manufacturers and third party vendors compete for space, visibility and the buy box through search. Atypically, availability tends not to be an issue for Amazon with its vast warehouses and extensive delivery network.
Every part of the digital shelf is connected, so if one of the KPIs above is not being optimized for or monitored properly, it can affect other KPIs. Remember that availability and visibility are primordial to a well-functioning digital shelf.
At Data Impact by NielsenIQ we offer the most granular and insightful look into the online CPG marketplace in the industry. Our location-based analytics and customizable platform render your KPIs in a clear way. Book a consultation with one of our experts today!
DataImpact undertakes to ensure that the collection and processing of your data, carried out from the www.dataimpact.io site, comply with the Data Protection Act and the RGPD. This processing is necessary for the execution of our services and the internal functioning of our company. For any information on the protection of personal data, you can also consult the site of the Commission Informatique et Liberté www.cnil.fr.
Personal data are collected by : Société par actions simplifiée DataImpact whose registered office is at 39 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris, RCS PARIS 799 367 222 T: +33 (0)1 42 51 87 08
DataImpact is likely to collect personal data about you for the purposes necessary for its activity, whether in terms of recruitment, responding to your requests for information, execution and monitoring of service contracts. Types of data collected: DataImpact only collects data that is strictly necessary for the purposes of its activity. The personal data collected can be the following:
-In the context of a request for information (name, first name, email, telephone, company name).
-As part of a recruitment process: (surname, first name, email, telephone, company name), information on the curriculum vitae (marital status, surname, first name, date and place of birth, nationality, professional background, academic background, hobbies)
-If necessary, connection data including your IP address may be collected for purely statistical purposes.
The personal data collected by DataImpact are those directly given by the person concerned when using the contact form or surfing on the site www.dataimpact.io.
To date, DataImpact does not transfer, nor envisage any transfer of your personal data to a non-European Union member state.
Connection data are kept at the latest within one year after connection to the www.dataimpact.io website.
Data relating to applicants for a post are kept at the latest five years after the last contact, with a view to possible recruitment.
Data of prospects are kept no later than three years after the last contact.
Customer data are kept for the duration of the service contract.
DataImpact ensures that its employees and service providers, subcontractors or hosts, also respect the absolute confidentiality of the information provided to them.
We maintain in-house electronic and organizational security measures in relation to the collection, storage, and communication of data.
DataImpact takes all appropriate measures in order to facilitate the exercise of the rights of its clients regarding their personal data (right of access, rectification, deletion, limitation of processing, portability, to define the fate of its data after death).
The information provided in connection with the exercise of these rights is provided in writing or electronically. On request, the information may be provided orally. All requests should be sent by post to 739 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris or to [email protected]
In accordance with the regulations in force, your request must be signed and accompanied by a photocopy of an identity document bearing your signature and specify the address to which the reply should be sent. A reply will then be sent to you as soon as possible and in any event within one month of receipt of the request.
The new article 40-1 of the French Data Protection Act allows individuals to give instructions regarding the storage, deletion and communication of their data after their death.
You can read the procedure relating to these directives by following the following link: “https://www.cnil.fr/fr/ce-que-change-la-loi-pour-une-republique-numerique-pour-la-protection-des-donneespersonnelles#mortnumerique”.
You are informed that, during your visits to the www.dataimpact.io website, a cookie may, if necessary, be automatically installed on your browser software. A cookie is a small file stored on your computer. As such, it is a block of data that does not allow users to be identified but is used to record information relating to their browsing on the site. Cookies are used, on the one hand, to facilitate your navigation on the site and, on the other hand, for statistical purposes. In order to better know the frequentation of the site, we (mainly) measure the number of pages viewed, visitors, visits, as well as the activity of visitors on our site and their frequency of return.
The parameters of the browser software make it possible to inform about the presence of cookies and possibly to refuse them in the manner described at the following address “http://www.cnil.fr/vos-libertes/vos-traces/les-cookies/”.
You have the right to access, withdraw and modify personal data communicated through cookies under the conditions indicated above.
Article 6 III of the Law of 22 June 2004
Société par action simplifiée DataImpact
39 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris
T: +33 (0)1 42 51 87 08
M: [email protected]
RCS PARIS 799 367 222
Director of publication: Yacine TERKI
Hosting : O2 SWITCH 222 Boulevard Gustave Flaubert 63000 Clermont-Ferrand
The information contained and consultable on this site is provided for information purposes by DataImpact. They can be modified at any time without notice. Under no circumstances does it constitute advice or a service of any kind whatsoever. You assume full responsibility for the use of this site or the information it contains.
DataImpact cannot be held responsible for damages related to the consultation or use of the website by the user. Hypertext links may refer to third party sites over which DataImpact has no control.
DataImpact declines all responsibility for the content of these sites. The use of this service is reserved for strictly personal use. Any reproduction or representation, of all or part of the information, brochures or logos contained on the site, on any medium whatsoever, is prohibited. Failure to comply with this prohibition constitutes an infringement that may result in civil and criminal liability of the counterfeiter.