Simplifying the Digital Shelf: A way to improve eCommerce sales
In this post we explain what the Digital Shelf is and how to monitor all the digital data generated by your products online. Taking back control over this information is essential to define your e-commerce strategies.
In the 1990s, some relevant retailers popularized the concept of the perfect store or golden store. Pepsico or Unilever, among other brands, comprehended under this concept all the ideal conditions that a customer can find in a physical store.
A walk through a brick-and-mortar store allows any watchful shopper to identify what conditions are these. We are talking, to mention just a few, of a good location of the product in relation to the cash register, a good presentation and packaging of the product and an attractive pricing strategy. The decisive elements that determine the buying decision process in a physical store have been studied and analysed meticulously for decades.
But times change and what worked a few years ago no longer has to do it now. The e-commerce explosion has revolutionized and transformed the way we can convert a potential shopper’s interest into a sale.
Nowadays when we talk about the perfect store –or the perfect screen, a concept that is increasingly in vogue- we are referring to only one part of the shopping journey: specifically, the type of product content with which we describe the product we want to sell.
But in addition to the description or photographs of a product, many other elements converge within a digital experience. And we must take them all into account...
The Digital Shelf explosion
But what exactly does the term Digital Shelf mean?
To understand it, it is useful to think of a product that we have recently bought on the Internet. And then list all the steps that led us to opt for it and not another within the huge commercial offer that any online consumer has at its fingertips.
Maybe you realized that you needed that item because of a social media publication? While you were doing some research, which brands appeared first in your search results? What kind of reviews did you read while doubting between one brand and another?
Each of these steps makes up the Digital Shelf. The decisions that all brands make about the way they publicize and offer their products online integrate this digital shopping experience.
A changing environment
The Covid pandemic has accelerated the consumption of digital content and the average time we spend in front of a device. In the US, time spent on digital media increased by 15% in 2020. At the same time, global brands have taken advantage of this situation to increase their online presence.
Therefore, to win the Digital Shelf it is essential to understand that this is a highly competitive environment. And that consequently brands have to take advantage of each touch point to engage the potential shoppers. In addition, we are not talking about a fixed and static environment, but the Digital Shelf is constantly evolving and changing.
The Digital Shelf concept encompasses all these challenges we are talking about.
It can be a search engine, but also a well-positioned marketplace, a successful email marketing campaign or a retailer's website. But more than its appearance, what defines the Digital Shelf is the goal it aims to achieve: to win the shopper in its online decision process.
Four key elements
Let’s talk about four key elements that play a crucial role in the Digital Shelf:
A fundamental factor to optimize sales in eCommerce is the availability of the product. A stock break is a more complex setback to solve in the online channel than in the physical one. It is also a decisive factor for the customer to decide on a product from our brand and not on our competitor's. Here the loyalty of a client is at stake, and that is why it is so important to manage these breakages in the best possible way.
Lesson to be learned: a good optimization of the Digital Shelf has a positive impact on online sales, but also on the knowledge and reputation of your brand, which has a direct effect on the sales and profitability of your physical stores.
- Product Content
Of course, as in brick-and-mortar stores, online positioning is also a decisive element in driving sales. A well-crafted product content can guarantee more clicks and a great search result and therefore more sales options. The information offered on the site needs to be as complete as possible. The images must be up-to-date and the description and titleas optimized as possible with the strategic keywords.
It is also important to try to solve all the questions that the shopper may have on the use and advantages of the product.Be clear in the descriptions you make of your product and keep these tips in mind:
- Analyze what makes your product unique and highlight it
- Write direct, sincere and SEO optimized texts
- Find your brand’s tone of voice and use it always
- Pricing & promotions
The product’s price continues to be one of the most decisive factors in the buyer’s journey. But when crafting your ideal Digital Shelf this becomes an even bigger factor to take into account.
On the one hand there's the suggested price that the retailer might not always respect and on the other hand retailers might launch discounts that were not agreed, sometimes even during the middle of the day. In this sense, continuous monitoring is very important.
Compared to physical stores, the use of promotions in e-commerce can be much more versatile. Dare to innovate and try strategies that hook shoppers: from first-time order deals to cash-back offers for future purchases, there’s also the possibility to adapt the promotions to specific spending dates: like Black Friday.
- Reviews & ratings
Another increasingly important trend in the digital shopping experience is the social proof value to persuade a potential shopper.
More and more people read the reviews of products made by other users to form their own opinion. And also, more and more they trust these reviews to make a decision about their purchase, even at the same level of the recommendations of friends.
These consumer testimonials are usually accompanied by a rating, from 0 to 5. A number that can definitely push someone to try your product or service.
Too much data?
The digital buying process of a product is tricky: every consumer’s digital experience is different. There are multiple variables that define why a product is chosen over its competitors: the item’s description, its price, the stock variations, the reviews from other customers, or the images used, to mention just a few.
All these elements generate large amounts of data, which are not easy to analyse for eCommerce Managers. Too much data, maybe? It doesn't have to. One of the headaches of brands today is the optimization of all the information on the Digital Shelf, which is essential to then define their strategies.
Taking back control
At Shalion we like to make things simple. And for this it is essential to correctly monitor the data that is disaggregated online. Tracking hundreds of products, retailers’ sites and different countries at the same time can be quite a challenge.
But at Shalion we know how to take back control of all this information. Traditional marketplaces and big brands are already the main reference in the world of e-commerce. And with our eCometry Digital Shelf Monitor we will help you monitor online everything about your products: all the content, the assortment, promotions, ratings and many more.
Schedule a Demo with us and try it.