As a brand or retailer exhibits its products on more digital channels, its chances of visibility increase, but so do the difficulties of achieving it successfully.
To stand out in your own online store, retailer websites, marketplaces such as Amazon or Google, more regional platforms, etc., it is necessary to constantly analyze the results that these channels are giving and how to improve actions throughout your digital shelf network.
Each channel has its own characteristics, product content type and format requirements, and user profile and habits, which complicate the manual management of products across many channels at the same time and underscore the importance of automation and personalization versus using the same strategy and the same data everywhere.
We’ll explain how to use Digital Shelf Analytics (DSA) in an automated way to understand the performance of your online sales channels and exposure, and how to make better decisions with this analytical information.
The basics that make a product attractive on the Digital Shelf
First of all, and if you already know what a digital shelf is, you will know that to position your products in any digital channel you need to promote these points. Obviously, they will also be the most interesting elements to analyze over time and adjust your strategy for each retail or e-commerce platform:
- Complete and eye-catching product information (that stands out for being original and with all the information a customer needs to know)
- Updated price (with promotions or discounts applied if applicable)
- Competitive pricing (with respect to general competition or in a specific channel, like Amazon)
- Attractive packaging for product shipment
- Linked products (to encourage cross-sell and upsell between complementary or same-category products)
- Featured products (especially if it’s a large catalog, highlighting best sellers or new products speeds up the customer's decision making process)
How to perform Digital Shelf Analytics on your products
Imagine copying all the data we have listed in the previous section by hand, gathering them in a spreadsheet with one tab per channel or retailer, comparing all the columns by hand... Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
If managing the editing and sending of product information to all your digital shelf channels must be an automated task, if you don't want to die trying, you must also resort to support tools when it comes to analyzing the results.
There are platforms that automatically extract performance data for each of your products in different channels, such as Bright Data or Fivetran, without having to track them by hand, and with the peace of mind that you can follow the evolution in real time.
In general, in order to conduct your analysis, you will need to evaluate these five categories about your products:
- Product information
- Prices and promotions
- Sales levels
- Reviews and testimonials
Benefits of applying Digital Shelf Analytics in your business
As in any other business area, analyzing the actions and results of your digital shelf strategy will allow you to evaluate the decisions you have already made, know where actions need to be taken and how to improve them with more accurate and updated data.
Moreover, the advantage of Digital Shelf Analytics tools is that they are scalable and adapt to the volume of channels a business needs to analyze, if it expands its digital strategy over time.
Analyzing the results of your products in each digital channel where they are being sold allows you to better understand how much is being sold in each channel, which products are most in demand and which are stagnating, and what type of customer and demographic is showing interest in each one.
This type of analysis is very useful for manufacturers who want to evaluate which retailers are most advantageous and which business relationships are not bearing the desired fruit.
SEO is the cornerstone of any Digital Shelf Analytics strategy, as it provides insight into whether products are gaining or losing visibility in online channels and search engines like Google. A successful SEO will depend on whether the product information is up to date, correct and correctly displayed in every channel, for which it is essential to have a PIM system that enriches and automates the connection of product data with any digital channel.
All marketplaces and Google take into account if the products have information that is unique, complete and updated to their publishing standards when highlighting or burying a product in their results. A PIM system includes quality analysis functions and graphs that clearly show if your products have complete data and in which channels they are being shared.
Another element that Digital Shelf Analytics tools allow you to collect is user and customer reviews, which are key to understanding what users and customers like (or dislike) about your products. These reviews, sometimes overlooked by brands and retailers, are a gold mine for understanding what your audience expects, what to improve over competing alternatives, and how to convert more loyal customers. Additionally, sellers who respond to negative reviews improve their overall brand image and are more likely to ensure that those reviews don’t impact new buyers.
In short, Digital Shelf Analytics tools allow you to access data at all times regarding the status of your products: their positioning and visibility online, user reviews, the competitiveness of their prices and the accuracy of their data and stock levels displayed.
Controlling this data is essential for two reasons: because updated product information in real time is key when winning or losing a digital customer, and because through Digital Shelf Analytics, you’re able to make better business decisions in all your channels. Take the first step by trying Sales Layer’s PIM for free right here.