From Data to Dollars: How Digital Shelf Analytics Drives Tangible Business Impact and ROI for Brands

From Data to Dollars: How Digital Shelf Analytics Drives Tangible Business Impact and ROI for Brands

16th Oct, 2023

Vaibhav Khaparde

By Vaibhav Khaparde

For consumer brands, the digital marketplace presents an unparalleled landscape of opportunities for engaging with consumers and expanding their market presence. Within this dynamic environment, Digital Shelf Analytics has emerged as a crucial pillar in a brand’s eCommerce strategy. This technology provides valuable insights into a brand’s organic and paid visibility on marketplaces, content quality, pricing strategies, promotional efforts, and product availability. These insights help brands gain a comprehensive understanding of their competitive positioning and overall market performance.

Nevertheless, many brands often grapple with the question of whether this understanding translates into tangible actions that drive real business impact and return on investment (ROI). This uncertainty stems from a lack of clarity about the direct correlation between digital shelf insights and key metrics such as enhanced sales conversions.

Nonetheless, there is compelling evidence that when these insights are effectively harnessed and strategic actions are taken, brands can realize significant, measurable benefits.

So, the question arises: does Digital Shelf Analytics genuinely deliver on its promises?

At DataWeave, we’ve partnered with numerous brands to fuel their eCommerce growth through the application of digital shelf analytics. In this article, we will delve into these insights, uncovering the concrete and quantifiable results that brands can achieve through their investments in digital shelf analytics.

Digital Shelf KPIs and Their Impact

Digital Shelf Analytics is a robust system that analyzes specific key performance indicators (KPIs) about the digital shelf, furnishing brands with precise recommendations to not only bolster these KPIs but also to monitor the enhancements over time. The following is a brief explanation of digital shelf KPis and their expected impact areas:

Product Availability: Ensuring Shoppers Never Hear “Out of Stock” Again

Timely insights on the availability of products ensures brands reduce replenishment times at scale, which can significantly impact sales, creating an unbreakable link between product availability and revenue. With Digital Shelf Analytics, procurement and replenishment teams can set up notifications to promptly identify low or out-of-stock items and take swift action. This can also be done for specific ZIP codes or individual stores. In addition, availability plays a crucial role in a brand’s Share of Search and search rankings, as online marketplaces often ensure only in-stock products are shown among the top ranks.

Share of Search: Dominating the Digital Aisles

If a product isn’t visible, does it even exist? In fact, 70% of consumers never go beyond the first page of search results on major online marketplaces. Therefore, as a brand, the visibility of your products for relevant search keywords and their appearance on the first page can heavily determine your awareness metrics. This is where the concept of Share of Search comes into play. Think of it as securing prime shelf space in a physical store. Digital shelf insights and benchmarking with category leaders for Share of Search help ensure your products command relevant attention on the digital shelf.

Content Quality: Crafting the Perfect Product Story

Creating engaging product descriptions and visuals is akin to giving your products a megaphone in a crowded marketplace. By enhancing content quality, including product names, titles, descriptions, and images, brands can climb the search result rankings, leading to increased visibility and subsequently, more sales.

Ratings and Reviews: The Power of Social Proof

Public opinion holds immense sway. Research indicates that a single positive review can trigger a 10% surge in sales, while a multitude of favorable reviews can propel your product to a 44% higher trajectory. The correlation between ratings and sales is not surprising—each step up the rating ladder can translate to substantial revenue growth.

While it’s reasonable to anticipate a connection between these KPIs and downstream impact metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions, we were driven to explore this correlation through the lens of real-world data. To do so, we meticulously monitored the digital shelf KPIs for one of our clients and analyzed the improvements in these metrics.

It’s essential to acknowledge that not all observed impact areas can be solely attributed to enhancements in digital shelf KPIs. Still, it’s evident that a robust correlation exists. The following section presents an in-depth case study, shedding light on the results of this analysis.

A Success Story: Real-World Impact of Digital Shelf Analytics

Let’s dive into the journey of one of our clients – a prominent CPG brand specializing in the sale of baked goods and desserts. Through their experience, we will illustrate the transformative impact of our DataWeave Digital Shelf Analytics product suite.

Over a period of one year, from August 2022 to July 2023, the brand leveraged several key modules of Digital Shelf Analytics for Amazon, including Share of Search, Share of Category, Availability, Ratings and Reviews, and Content Audit. Each of these digital shelf KPIs played a vital role in shaping the brand’s performance across various stages of the buyer’s journey.

The buyer’s journey is typically delineated into three key stages:

  • Awareness: At this stage, shoppers peruse multiple product options presented on search and category listing pages, gaining an initial understanding of the available choices.
  • Consideration: Here, shoppers narrow down their selections and evaluate a handful of products, moving closer to a purchase decision.
  • Conversion: In this final stage, shoppers make their ultimate product choice and proceed to complete the purchase.

Let’s now examine the data to understand how digital shelf KPIs helped drive tangible ROI on Amazon for the brand across the stages of the buyer journey.

Stage 1: Raising Awareness

Enhancing Share of Search and Share of Category can help brands boost product visibility and raise brand awareness. The following chart demonstrates the steady, incremental improvements in our client’s Share of Search and Share of Category (in the top 20 ranks of each listing page) throughout the analyzed period. These enhancements were achieved through various measures, including product sponsorship, content enhancement, price optimization, promotional initiatives, and more.

This amplified Share of Search and Share of Category directly translates into improved product discoverability, as evident from the surge in impressions depicted in the chart below.

Stage 2: All Things Considered

In the consideration stage, shoppers make their product selections by clicking on items that meet their criteria, which may include factors like average rating, number of ratings, price, product title, and images. For brands, this underscores the importance of crafting meticulously detailed product content and accumulating a substantial number of ratings.

The subsequent chart illustrates the year-long trend in both average ratings and the number of ratings, both of which have displayed steady improvement over time.

The enhancements in the number of ratings and the average rating have a direct and positive impact on product consideration. This, in turn, has led to a noticeable year-over-year increase in page views, as indicated in the chart below.

These improvements are likely to have also been influenced by the overall enhancement of content quality, which is detailed separately in the section below.

Stage 3: Driving Decisions

As buyers progress to the next stage, they reach the pivotal point of making a purchase decision. This decision is influenced by multiple factors, including product availability, content quality, and the quality of reviews, reflecting customer sentiment.

Our client effectively harnessed our Availability insights, significantly reducing the likelihood of potential out-of-stock scenarios and enhancing replenishment rates, as highlighted in the chart below. The same chart also indicates improvements in content quality, measured by the degree to which the content on Amazon aligns with the brand’s ideal content standards.

Below, you’ll find the year-over-year growth in conversion rates for the brand on Amazon. This metric stands as the ultimate measure of business impact, directly translating into increased revenue for brands.

As the data uncovers, growth in key digital shelf KPIs cumulatively had a strong correlation with impressions, page views, and conversion rates.

It is also important to note that the effect of each KPI cannot be viewed in isolation, since they are often interdependent. For example, improvement in content and availability could boost Share of Search. Accurate content could also influence more positive customer feedback. Brands need to consider optimizing digital shelf KPIs holistically to create sustained business impact.

Impact on eCommerce Sales

After the implementation of digital shelf analytics, the results spoke for themselves. Sales consistently outperformed the previous year’s records month after month. As shown in the chart below, the diligent application of DataWeave’s recommendations paved the way for an impressive 8.5% year-over-year increase in sales, leaving an indelible mark on the brand’s eCommerce success.

From boosting product visibility to catapulting conversion rates, Digital Shelf Analytics serves as the key to unlocking unparalleled online success.

While the success story detailed above does not establish a direct causation between Digital Shelf Analytics and sales revenue, there is undoubtedly a strong correlation. It’s evident that digital shelf KPIs play a pivotal role in optimizing a brand’s eCommerce performance across all stages of the buyer journey. Hence, for brands, it is vital that they collaborate with the right partner and harness digital shelf insights to fine-tune their eCommerce strategies and tactics.

That said, the eCommerce landscape is in a constant state of flux, and there is still much to learn about how each digital shelf KPI influences brand performance in the online realm. With more data and an increasing number of brands embracing Digital Shelf Analytics, it’s only a matter of time before a direct causation is firmly established.

Reach out to us today to know more about how your brand can leverage Digital Shelf Analytics to drive higher sales and market share in eCommerce.

- Vaibhav Khaparde
16th Oct, 2023

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