How Manufacturers Can Find Success in E-Commerce
E-commerce is accessible anytime, from anywhere, by anyone. And while that convenience for shoppers is driving the e-commerce revolution, it means digital "store checks" can also be done just as easily. That’s not an issue if the product manufacturer also owns the retail platform. However, it is a much bigger issue for product manufacturers that supply retailers like Amazon.com, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Without direct control of product listings, e-commerce managers are often fielding many questions of issues and opportunities that impact growth, such as “Are we winning online?” “Why is our best offline product not coming up in search online?” and “What are the right KPIs?”
Having the right data that generates easily accessible and actionable insights can save time and speed resolution. The challenge is sourcing the right data, analyzing it to understand what it's telling you, and using it to prioritize, shift or even know where to start.
Companies need to be passionate about making it as easy as possible for manufacturers to access and understand the insights and analytics needed to maximize digital shelf performance. Any company that works with multiple manufacturers, possibly thousands of brands and users globally, experiences the challenge of data overload.
The proverbial questions arise:
- Where do we look?
- What are we looking for?
- What do we need to know? What’s next?
Manufacturers need clarity regarding how to organize and prioritize e-commerce analytics and actions that will drive success. To help, we’ve created the six Ps e-commerce Intelligence™ framework, a powerful extension of the familiar marketing four Ps (product, place, price and promotion) that has been adapted to reflect the nuances of e-commerce, thus providing manufacturers with the clarity of how to organize and prioritize e-commerce analytics and actions that will drive e-commerce success.
Manufacturers Can Directly Influence the First 5 Ps:
- Product: assortment and availability to purchase
- Placement: categorization and retailer hierarchy
- Price: cost of goods and competitive price monitoring
- Promotion: media, merchandising and traffic
- Perfect page: product detail page content, shopper-generated content
These represent the key levers available to drive business growth.
The Results and Impact of Your Efforts Are Measured With the 6th P, Performance
Winning the online store search performance and optimization battle is fast emerging as brands’ biggest challenge in the digital shopping era.
Brands have long been aware of the importance of search engine optimization when it comes to their own websites. But achieving the top spot in search results for each of your key online retailers is a different day's work. However, the good news is there are a few things you can focus on that will deliver significant improvements in online store search performance and optimization across many different online retailers. Monitoring product availability, optimizing product content, balancing price and promotions, and increasing quality shopper reviews will all positively impact your products’ search rankings at online retailers.
Here’s a look at what to consider under each in order to maximize performance and win the digital shelf:
- Product: Is my product consistently in stock? Is my assortment optimized by the online retailer?
- Placement: Where in the retailer hierarchy is my product categorized? Can I cross-list in other categories?
- Price: What’s my price and does it vary by location? What are my competitors’ prices?
- Promotion: Are my promotions active? Are they competitive?
- Perfect page: Is my content accurate and optimized? Do I have a minimum number of reviews, and what are shoppers saying?
- Performance: Am I growing sales and share? Am I dominating search on priority search terms?
Success in E-Commerce
Understanding the details behind your brand’s daily online performance helps to identify the actions you need to take to optimize your presence, performance and sales in key online retail channels. Ongoing analysis, including sales analytics, consumer engagement and representation are vital to drive sales growth, support brand awareness and protect brand equity.
Danny Silverman is vice president of business consulting services at Clavis Insight, a provider of e-commerce intelligence and online channel analytics for product manufacturers.
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