Retail media management (RMM): How to measure and optimize your digital shelf success
Simplify ecommerce analytics reporting with Digital Shelf Analytics
This post has been updated and was originally published November 2022
How’s your ecommerce analytics reporting?
With products and variations across multiple digital retailers and geographies, managing ecommerce analytics is no easy task. We’re constantly mixing and consolidating product content, pricing and other inputs across SKUs and retailers. And after hours, we create a report that mostly resembles the information we need. The fact is, traditional ecommerce reporting is complex, time consuming, and pulls focus from other value-added activities.
Many brands recognize that managing data manually isn’t scalable, and that their lack of competitive performance visibility turns sound decision making into guesswork. They know their ecommerce reporting isn’t as good as it should be, yet they’re slow to address the problem. It seems too difficult, time consuming, or costly. It’s easier to maintain the status quo. But the status quo puts your business at risk. Your profitability directly hinges on your ability to understand and improve your digital shelf performance.
Why is retail ecommerce reporting so challenging?
It’s no wonder that so many retailers struggle to measure the performance of their digital shelf. Data backlogs cloud the budgeting process and hide true performance numbers, complicating the strategic process. Ad hoc software solutions and lack of centralized information create silos across your organization, which hampers communication and effective workflows. Worst of all, outdated or bad data can inspire terrible campaign decisions and consume valuable resources.
Top ecommerce reporting challenges:
- Manual reporting methods – Reporting share of voice, price, and product content across disparate retailers can’t keep up with the speed the digital shelf changes
- Too much data, little insight – There’s no shortage of data, but there is a lack of actionable insights
- Inaccurate data – Lack of centralized digital shelf analytics leads to inconsistencies in metrics, data, and calculations
- Insufficient data – Unable to track omnichannel digital shelf health in real time at a store level, total category data, or across mobile apps or new fulfillment methods like GoPuff and Instacart.
- Misaligned teams – Ecommerce reporting isn’t integrated into the business and there’s limited visibility into profitability across finance, sales, marketing, supply chain and other teams resulting in information silos.
Most companies lack the tools to measure ecommerce analytics effectively
Whether it’s how much you’re spending to how much your audience spends on you, the right ecommerce reporting tools can help retailers better manage and plan for the future. From performance across retailers, categories, or SKUs, improved reporting tools equip ecommerce leaders with the insights they need to monitor brand health and make more proactive decisions.
Retailers mistakenly purchase point solutions based on the immediate need.
So, they get one tool for inventory management, one for competitive analysis, one for optimizing their Amazon listings, and in turn, create a complicated network of competing platforms and web apps. These disconnected systems are rarely built for integration. Instead, they serve one purpose quite well and assume you’ll find another solution for whatever problems you may face in the future.
This tangled ecosystem leads to an organization mixed up in competing operating models across regions, divisions, and workflows and drags performance to a halt anytime tools have to consolidate. The easiest way to tame this mess is to establish an adoption strategy before tools are ever onboarded. But, even organizations already deep in the mire can trudge their way through by:
- Identifying what solutions are needed today and for the future
- Determining where there is crossover or consolidation opportunity
- Discovering how the tools integrate with their current processes and systems
- Evaluate how various retail ecommerce management platforms meet their budget and needs
Similarly, selling across multiple retail ecommerce channels creates multiple streams of data, each with its own reporting structures, metrics, and limitations. Most platforms provide a glance into your performance across their properties, but consolidating those insights across channels to gather a holistic view of your organization takes expertise and time—assuming the KPIs are consistent across each seller. The right solutions can automate the compilation process and deliver a single source of truth across each of your ecommerce properties.
Do more with ecommerce analytics
Better reporting starts with better data, and better data comes with three big questions:
- How do I collect ecommerce analytics?
- What do ecommerce metrics mean?
- What can I do with ecommerce analytics?
1. How do I collect ecommerce analytics?
Maintaining consistently accurate data across multiple retailers needs an always-on solution. Because those metrics are constantly changing, yesterday’s data could be utterly useless in a matter of hours. Effective reporting tools maintain real-time data to ensure you’re making the most informed decisions.
2. What do ecommerce metrics mean?
Data without analysis is just numbers. Organizations big and small collect petabytes upon petabytes of data, but it’s the analysis that gives those ecommerce metrics a purpose. For example, what observations can you gain from a change in Average Order Value (AOV)? Do you see higher Conversion Rates (CR) on one channel compared to another?
3. What can I do with ecommerce analytics?
What can you infer from those observations, and how does that impact your business? If we take the examples above, what outside factors may shape a reoccurring change in AOV? Is it worth putting more marketing dollars towards the channel with the highest CR? Or, is it better to shore up those slacking platforms with additional spend? The real value of gathering and analyzing data is in how you apply it to your retail ecommerce engine.
It’s this action that gives so many businesses trouble. With hundreds of listings generating thousands of data points every day, deciding where to start is incredibly intimidating. Every pain point needs attention; every product needs resolution. But, without forward momentum, the entire organization slows to a crawl. For retailers to thrive in a digital-first market, you need the right metrics and strategy.
Making sense of your ecommerce metrics
Unfortunately, finding the right ecommerce metric isn’t as simple as just monitoring Return on Investment (ROI) or CR across your listings. It’s a balance of observation and adjustment based on your overall goals. Add to Cart Rate can have just as much to do with the quality of your images as it does your price. Net Profits can just as easily be a reflection of ad spend as it is listing placement.
As you start your ecommerce analytics reporting strategy, consider which metrics are the most important to your outcomes. Don’t be afraid to adjust as observations roll in. Often, the things we expect to see at the beginning of a data initiative evolve into something very different once the plan is in action. Optimization is a constant ebb and flow of adjusting to new learnings and inputs.
With the right metrics in place, it’s time to put that data into action:
- Where is your brand selling effectively?
- Where are you winning versus your key competitors?
- How can you optimize your plan to improve sales and profitability?
- What changes can you make to impact category leadership and grow category sales?
Maximizing your metrics means constantly developing new questions as you hone your strategy and improve performance.
Adopting Digital Shelf Analytics to overcome reporting challenges
What are digital shelf analytics (DSA)?
Digital shelf analytics providers scrape thousands of retail platforms and marketplaces across the web for price, search rankings, and other key details to measure product performance. This process combines categories, keywords, and competitive rankings to help retailers understand their current state without the attention of a dedicated team of analysts. By pulling daily product data from hundreds of digital retailers, digital shelf analytics tools centralize ecommerce reporting into a single version of truth that is easily distributed across teams.
Uniting your brand from top to bottom ensures that each stakeholder is working from the same real-time data and that each offering and category gets the attention it deserves as you continue to grow. This level of visibility equips teams to track sales and shipments, monitor keywords, and gauge revenue while laying the foundation for future automation.
Make better-informed critical business decisions with CommerceIQ Digital Shelf Analytics
At CommerceIQ, our e.fundamentals digital shelf analytics provides a transparent data quality dashboard to help your teams monitor every brand, SKU, price, and promotion under your umbrella across over 450 ecommerce platforms.
“CommerceIQ has enabled my team to operate at the pace needed to win in the market. Issues that would take weeks to identify are now being flagged and resolved on the same day.”
—Stephen Mischel, ecommerce Sales Team Lead, Bayer
We promise no setup fees, user limits or hidden costs. Our comprehensive training program, monthly reviews, and bi-annual workshops ensure your organization can step seamlessly into the CommerceIQ experience—no matter how tangled your existing environment may be.
Organizations that choose CommerceIQ to consolidate their ecommerce technology stack not only eliminate managing as many as nine siloed vendors, but cut costs by 20% and increase growth plus profitability by another 20%. Click the link below to learn more about how you can consolidate and save with CommerceIQ.