Optimizing your digital shelf is extremely important because it determines whether your products can be found during an online shopper's purchase journey, which is key to leading a successful eCommerce business. In addition, since there's more to eCommerce than just placing products online and waiting for people to buy them, you need a well-optimized digital shelf to boost your sales.
What is the digital shelf?
When you walk into a store or even a superstore such as Walmart, you want to find the desired products easily, which is why stores and superstores have wayfinding signs above the rafters.
The same rule applies to eCommerce. When a customer is searching for a product, they want it easily found on the digital shelf; a metaphor for how various products are arranged and displayed online. Digital shelves allow multiple levels of digital interactions between a customer and a product located in online shops and retailers' websites, including Amazon, Walmart.com, and more.
Digital shelves are the online equivalent of how customers shop in brick-and-mortar stores by using wayfinding signs; in this case, they’re a collection of digital experiences customers use to find, compare and purchase your brand's products. A digital shelf includes everything from the search engines, product pages, and retailer's sites, to online content, like product review blog posts.
Why is the digital shelf important?
An optimized digital shelf is important because it determines whether a product can be easily found and purchased online. It has a direct impact on your sales, profit, and overall brand awareness.
For example, two-thirds of all purchases on Amazon come from the first search results page, and a third of those purchases come from just the first two results. About 22% of all purchases on Amazon come from the first two rows of results, so the majority of traffic and conversion rates will increase from top product placements.
Digital shelves also influence offline purchases, as shoppers use Amazon to research products they plan to purchase in physical stores. In fact, more than 70% of consumers state that detailed product content helps them make informed purchase decisions, which eventually leads to better eCommerce and brick-and-mortar performance.
5 Tips for optimizing your digital shelf
Digital shelf optimization ensures that your product "performs" well across eretailers. It means optimizing your product content according to the best practices so that it can be easily found by shoppers on marketplaces such as Walmart or Amazon. Here are five points on how to optimize your digital shelf.
Know your customers' shopping habits
It's important to understand your customers and focus on their shopping behaviors, as it can help you to further optimize your digital shelf and provide an even better shopping experience.
Track the right KPIs
Once you have everything set up, it's important to measure and monitor your progress against your goals. This means developing a core set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine your gain and loss rates. KPIs should correlate to the specific areas of your business to highlight successful regions and those on which you can improve.
Make customer reviews a priority
Ratings and reviews sell your product, and having more positive reviews would convince customers to purchase products from certain brands over their competitors. It's strongly recommended to incentivize shoppers to leave reviews after recent transactions or upon receiving their item but also monitoring the reviews your products are getting on a daily basis.
Write great product descriptions
Product descriptions need to be clear and informative to potential customers and SEO friendly to improve your search rankings. Describe products with all the product information customers need to know about, such as measurements, material, color, weight, and more. In the end, high-quality content containing product details is one of the key selling factors in online shopping and sales.
Optimize for the best product visibility
Just like being at eye-level on physical shelves in brick-and-mortar stores, you need to accentuate where the products appear on the search results page. Products that receive the most attention should be placed on the top one or near the top of page one in search results. This can also be accomplished by investing in headline banner ads and sponsoring top-ranking spots.
Bonus Tip: Invest in Help
Digital shelf optimization in the world of eCommerce is very complex, so you should consider investing in Digital Shelf Software. Third-party software and tools use algorithms and benchmarks that provide actionable insights to help with your product placement, product listings, asset- and content management to better optimize your digital shelf.
Digital shelf optimization helps boost up your sales in eCommerce and expand your brand awareness. The tips we have provided in this article should help you optimize your digital shelf further and increase your products' placement on search pages. If you're interested in further digital shelf optimization, book a Demo of our Digital Shelf Monitor tool inside the eCometry dashboard.