Consolidate & save: 6 points to consider when consolidating your ecommerce tech stack
Content management on the digital shelf: 5 steps to drive visibility and ecommerce sales
This article has been updated and originally published August 2022.
Online, product discovery and purchase begin with a search. Based on the position and content of these results shoppers will evaluate a product and whether or not to buy it. On Instacart, for example, of all the items purchased, roughly 40–50% come from search, 20–35% from browse and discover.
It’s no longer enough to have an image and title against a price. Today, consumer brands have to be highly strategic about the role product content management plays in their digital shelf growth strategy. They need to have the tech stack in place to continuously monitor, measure, and optimize performance at the speed and scale required to build a competitive advantage, and also learn how they can benefit from the rapid rise of automations and GenAI.
To help brands do so, we’ve summarized 5 steps to help you level-up your product detail pages, drive visibility and sales. For a more in depth read, check out our ultimate guide to content management on the digital shelf.
1. Fundamentals for product content excellence
Engaging shoppers online is imperative to reach the add-to-cart goal. Unlike in-store, product content like text, graphics and images, and other product-related information are the only ways shoppers can experience your products.
“85% of shoppers surveyed say product information and pictures are important to them when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.” Google / Ipsos
Without the option to touch or try, shoppers are entirely dependent on this product content for information. Product pages with incomplete or incorrect information may lead to buyer
drop-off as shoppers feel unsure about moving forward with their purchases. What’s more, if a shopper buys a product based on the wrong information this may result in negative reviews or brand abandonment.
Product pages online are essential for consumer brands. It’s your way to stand out against the competition and empower shoppers with the information they need to buy.
What are the core fundamentals for product content excellence?
- Product titles: Product titles are an essential factor in ranking on retailer websites, so choose your product page titles wisely. These titles should lead shoppers to your product by focusing on relevant keywords. Use a combination of broad category terms and the common ways shoppers describe your products. Including popular features and product configurations in the title can also be beneficial.
- Image and video carousels: Tell a story using visuals, and leverage carousels and videos where possible and suitable. Assets should highlight benefits and features clearly from all angles. Use it as an opportunity to reinforce your brand story while influencing the decision to buy.
- Product descriptions: Product descriptions must be clear and concise to answer shopper questions quickly. Using ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) also helps boost product discovery and search ranking. Use relevant keywords, including niche keywords. Answer the important questions about your products, highlight their capabilities, and show off any awards or important reviews.
- Ratings & reviews: Ratings and reviews have become increasingly important in recent years. User-generated content is also a helpful way for shoppers to gauge the quality of your products — as well as their credibility. Monitor reviews regularly and track volume, score, and recency. Keeping tabs on this product page feature can help you fuel brand advocacy (or even spot your next product idea).
- Enhanced content: Enhanced content, also called rich media, A+ content, and below-the-fold content, helps brands create a complete picture of their brand story and product benefits. From videos and comparison charts to 360-degree image spins and other engaging content types, this content can help drive engagement and sales.
- Pricing: Pricing information is helpful for comparison shopping, and having transparent pricing breakdowns for different pack sizes or formats, such as economy versus premiums, is essential. Provide clarity here, as pricing is a sensitive conversion point for shoppers.
2. How DSA and a PIM support product content excellence
What is a PIM and what is DSA? A product information management tool (PIM) and digital shelf analytics (DSA) are systems designed to empower consumer brands distribute and optimize product content effectively at speed and scale.
PIM and DSA help teams create engaging content experiences and ensure content accuracy through automated improvement suggestions across online retailers, all aspects of a a winning ecommerce strategy.
What is a PIM? What is DSA? A quick overview
|Product Information Management (PIM)||A PIM system is a central repository to store, access, and update product information like marketing content, product descriptions, and logistics information. This system creates a single source of truth for ecommerce teams. Its centralized system allows teams to access information quickly for editing, updating, and activation to online sales channels, such as Amazon, Tesco, or Instacart.|
|Digital Shelf Analytics (DSA)||A DSA system helps brands analyze, measure, and optimize ecommerce performance across a broader set of key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs include metrics focused on content performance, search rankings, play price, promotions, assortment, availability, and ratings and reviews. It turns complex data from all online retailers, both locally and globally, into actionable insights. This system then enables sales and marketing teams to take fast action that drives sales and conversion on the digital shelf.|
A PIM system offers teams a single source of truth for digital inventory. A DSA system gives teams the ability to closely monitor if online retailers have implemented the provided inventory as intended — effectively with a Digital Shelf Content monitoring solution you can see exactly what the shopper sees and compare it vs your brand standards.
3. Going beyond the basics with enhanced content, automations and generative AI
Enhanced content and gen AI provide untapped opportunities to win shoppers online. Smart consumer brands use enhanced content to create engaging product experiences which help drive sales. And they’re starting to leverage generative AI to amplify their creative and data-driven processes. Enhanced allows brands to connect with shoppers beyond static product text and images. Automations and generative AI on the other hand support teams in doing more with less, more effectively, and at scale. CommerceIQ Digital Shelf Analytics innovative feature, called Content Optimization, helps teams streamline workflows to fix broken content, using generative AI to suggest content improvements.
4. Building a successful retailer search strategy
We can’t stress this enough: If your products do not appear (high up) in search, consumers won’t consider you. Simple as it may sounds, creating and maintaining a retail SEO strategy is hard, but not impossible. Here’s a solid checklist to keep the guesswork at bay.
- Define your goals: Too many teams dive straight into optimization-mode but before you go into creator mode, it pays off to agree if you’re focused on growing sales or share of search. Use digital shelf analytics to identify benchmarks and monitor performance. The insights you gather will feed into your PIM strategy.
- Storytelling 101: While shopping seems a utility and transactional, it’s often emotional. Find ways to tell your story strategically through keywords and enhanced content. In your DSA, you can see what competitors are doing and update what you’d like to test with your PIM.
- Refine keywords: Use your DSA a for a deep dive into the insights, competitor pages and see what surfaces analyzing shopper reviews. Any keywords you can adjust or test?
- Ongoing optimization: Your search strategy isn’t a case of set it and forget it. What’s more, adjust your workflows to match the effort involved in reproducing and syndicating content across myriad channel specs.
5. Track, measure and optimize your ecommerce content
Once you’ve gone through the suggested checklist it’s time to track, measure the impact of your interventions and optimize for ecommerce success. But how? Again, using your DSA and PIM you’ll want to keep a close eye on the following must-check KPIs:
- Search rankings: Tag and track over time on individual retailer level. Check also if retailers have published your recent adjustments via your PIM.
- Share of search: Note your percentage of search results before and after you implement an activity.
- Sales: Are your efforts paying off? Correlate your DSA data with the bottom-line. Tag and benchmark pre-and post figures to understand the impact of any changes.
- Customer life time value: Track if your ratings and reviews are in-/decreasing and watch out for changes in sentiment. Set filters in the ratings & review feature.
Besides critical KPI, it pays off to have a digital shelf analytics tool that helps you set and monitor ‘gold standard’ naming convention for your products, track that your product benefits statements are implemented correctly and help expedite the success of your Amazon listings with CommerceIQ latest innovation feature, the ChatGPT-powered Chrome plug in extension.
Driving ecommerce sales with content excellence
Shopper habits continue to evolve rapidly. Consumer brands must stay ahead of trends and preferences, adjusting their ecommerce strategies in near-real time. Ongoing, proactive and data-driven content management for the digital shelf is at the core of driving your growth results. With the support of a PIM and actionable, automated insights from digital shelf analytics, your brand can maximize product visibility and ecommerce sales.
Need help with achieving content excellence on the digital shelf? Book a demo and see CommerceIQ Digital Shelf Analytics platform in action.