How to Use Digital Shelf Analytics to Build a Better Online Strategy
Your digital shelf is where your brand converts shoppers. It includes content for any digital storefront that’s owned by a retailer, like Walmart, Amazon, Kroger, and Target, as well as your brand's direct-to-consumer (DTC) website.
Managing your digital shelf requires comprehensive strategy and support and a strong media plan.
- Strategy and support include everything you have to do to understand the landscape and opportunities for your brand. It also includes building out systems that will work to help connect the internal wiring that makes eCommerce work. For example, links between your DTC store and your accounting system.
A robust digital shelf support system that includes channel strategy and systems integration will provide analytics that can be leveraged to improve supply plans and product development.
- A media plan is how you’ll acquire or retarget shoppers. While a CPG eCommerce plan will typically spend as much as 90% of the media budget on retail media, some budget should be allocated to what we call “Drive to Retail” tactics like Google Shopping ads, Facebook ads, and more.
A “Drive to Retail” effort is especially important if you are growing a direct-to-consumer (DTC) website in addition to your presence on retailer sites. Whether you’re on several retailer platforms plus DTC or only driving sales to Walmart and Amazon, we recommend a “one budget” approach that lets ad performance analytics inform where money is spent. This allows funds to follow performance.
Enabling Technologies for Digital Shelf Analytics
When shopping for the right analytics applications for your brand, be sure to consider not just cost but also who will be your “designated owners.” These are the people who will be responsible for ensuring each tool enables team functioning and is utilized most effectively.
Here’s a look at some of the specific digital shelf analytics you’ll want to track:
- Market Size / Market Share Estimation: Applications like Viral Launch, Jungle Scout, Profitero, and others allow you to understand how attractive the category or benefit space is and allow us to better understand the competition. Over time, they can be used to assess the impacts our work is having (or not) on sales and market share.
- SEO Keyword Research & Tracking: Platforms such as SEM Rush and Helium 10 are great bets for keyword research. Enterprise brands will also utilize Analytic Index available on Retail Media platforms for retailer-specific search trends. For the most part, keywords will be similar from one marketplace to another (for example at Target and Walmart). These tools can allow us to also track progress in keyword rankings.
- User Testing Software: At BOLD we are all in on tracking this information to inform your digital shelf. It’s so important to see things through the eyes of the shopper and user testing allows us to do that. User testing applications allow us to virtually “look over the shoulder” of real shoppers as they interact with a website or PDP on a marketplace. Robust user testing applications will allow brands to ask specific questions about messaging, value, UX, and more.
- A/B Testing on DTC Websites: Applications like VWO allow brands to optimize for conversion by testing different brand messaging, imagery, and more. A/B testing can often provide the quickest results for improving marketing ROI.
- A/B Testing on Amazon: In the case of Amazon, there’s a decent A/B testing capability built into the platform. For brands looking to do more, there are also several 3rd party tools like Listing Dojo that do even more to test various content strategies across the platform.
Building a great system for gathering deep analytics around your digital shelf is a crucial part of BOLD’s Assess, Build, and Grow strategy. Using the data, our brands can improve ROI, expand product offerings or even launch into a new category. This strategy has allowed our clients to achieve an average of 54% annualized growth online.
Ready to talk about setting up the right data and insight solutions for your brand?
Request a 15-minute consultation.