The Ultimate Guide to Content Management on the Digital Shelf

Maximize Ecommerce sales With Optimized Content

What’s inside?

  • Why Reach Your Digital Shelf Potential - jump to ›
  • What Are PIM and DSA? A Quick Overview - jump to ›
  • Core Fundamentals for Product Content Excellence - jump to ›
  • How PIM and DSA Support Product Content Excellence - jump to ›
  • Going Beyond the Basics With Enhanced Content - jump to ›
  • Building an Ecommerce SEO Strategy - jump to ›
  • Increasing Share of Search: An Actionable Example - jump to ›
  • How to Measure the Impact of Your Product Content Online - jump to ›
  • PIM and DSA: A Dynamic Duo for Digital Shelf Growth - jump to ›

Why Reach Your Digital Shelf Potential

Grocery shopping like we know it has changed: eMarketer predicts online grocery sales will surpass $100 billion in 2021, accounting for 12.4% of U.S. ecommerce sales. [1] As 2020 pushed nearly 150 million consumers globally into trying shopping online for the first time, retailers had to quickly adapt by optimizing online shopping experience on direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels or through grocery delivery apps.

Similarly, brands underwent strenuous efforts to transition in-store tactics for growth to drive profitability online.

One of the things that hit brands incredibly hard was realizing just how fast everything moves online and the complexity in managing, updating, and optimizing product content across multiple retailers and channels. Manually checking and updating product pages was no longer going to help brands keep up with the fast-evolving marketplace.

The "findability" of your product is critical to conversion. If shoppers can't find your product, the switch to your competitor is just one click away. Consumers have become more demanding about the content experiences they expect a brand to deliver at each individual touchpoint of their buying journey.

It's not enough to have an image and title against a price online. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have to be highly strategic about the role product content management plays in their digital shelf growth strategy. These brands must also know how to continuously monitor, measure, and optimize performance at the speed and scale required to build a competitive advantage.

Learn more about the importance of product content management, including why it’s critical to your ecommerce success. Also, explore how combining a reliable digital shelf analytics (DSA) platform with a robust product information management (PIM) system is a winning formula for securing a long-term leadership position on the digital shelf.

What is a PIM? What is a DSA? Your Quick Overview

"The goal of PIM is information organization and accuracy. It provides the source of data your brand needs to sell across the digital ecosystem." 
— Salsify

Ecommerce has taken centre-stage in the ongoing consumer packaged goods (CPG) growth discussion. Leaders have started to examine their current workflows and tech stacks to keep up with the speed of change. Brands must reduce manual labour and complicated processes with urgency.

As shopper journeys have become more varied, so have sales channels, promotional purchasing formats, and buyer content preferences. And these changes will only continue to expand.

To keep up with these shifts, brands need a clear strategy for keeping up. Part of this includes having the right systems in place, such as product information management (PIM) and digital shelf analytics (DSA).

But what are these systems — and what value do they bring to brands? Learn how these systems can help your team avoid time-consuming processes like manually updating spreadsheets and chasing the latest version of product content.

PIM and DSA can help you focus on creating engaging content experiences, ensuring content accuracy across online retailers, and building a winning commerce strategy.

System Benefits
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.

Takeaway:

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. 

Core Fundamentals for Product Content Excellence

“When there are personally relevant images, videos, text, and reviews on a product page, 51% of shoppers are ‘very likely to buy.’” 
— Salsify

Engaging shoppers online is imperative to reach the add-to-cart goal. Unlike in a brick-and-mortar store, product content like text, graphics and images, and other product-related information are the only ways shoppers can experience your products.

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 may feel unsure about moving forward with their purchases. (It could also lead to problems if a shopper buys a product based on the wrong information, as negative reviews or brand abandonment may arise from these inconsistencies.)

Product pages are essential for brands to stand out on the digital shelf against the competition. These pages empower shoppers with the information they need to buy. Learn about the core fundamentals for product content excellence, and walk through our best practices for driving engagement.

Feature Product Page Best Practices
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 and 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.

How PIM and DSA Support Product Content Excellence

PIM and DSA systems empower consumer CPG frontline teams to disseminate content at speed and scale across all digital commerce channels. Learn how they can help you build the perfect product page, supporting product content excellence.

DSA

PIM

The Perfect Product Page

A central tool for daily monitoring and optimizing the perfect product page.
A single source of truth for managing and syndicating the perfect product page.
A top-performing page that drives sales on the digital shelf.A top-performing page that drives sales on the digital shelf.
Identify if “gold standard” title naming conventions are in place, spot content inconsistencies, and finds missing keywords.
Update product titles to match SEO and brand guidelines and redistribute versions according to individual retailer requirements.
Product titles
Find missing or out-of-date images, check availability of new promotional inventory, and check out the competition.
Update individual assets across online retailers, and receive automatic alerts if inventory is not mobile-responsive.
Image and video carousels
Monitor share of search, check if keywords are still relevant, and identify if SKUs are listed with regulatory and correct package information.
Easily update product content and quickly syndicate to priority retailers to ensure consistent, engaging product content experiences.
Product descriptions
Track shopper sentiment for your products and competitors' products, and gain insights into recency and volume.
Syndicate reviews from your website to select retailer websites and add valuable reviews to your rich assets.
Ratings and reviews
Ensure that all visuals display correctly across online retailers, and find out if competitors are trying something new.
Test and distribute new layouts to respective online retailers, aligned with the correct formatting, and create alerts to monitor performance.
Enhanced content
Ensure pricing is aligned with retailer agreements, and check out the promotional strategy of your competitors.
Leverage instant pricing and promotional adjustments to prevent loss of sales.
Pricing

Going Beyond the Basics With Enhanced Content

Enhanced content is an untapped opportunity for CPG brands, as it helps them stand out on the digital shelf — an increasingly important goal in recent years. Enhanced content helps brands create engaging product experiences, which help drive conversion and sales.

It allows shoppers to connect with your brand beyond static product text and images. This below-the-fold retailer real estate offers brands an opportunity to highlight their values alongside product features. Enhanced content helps deepen the relationship between brands and shoppers, driving brand loyalty and, ultimately, repeat sales.

What Is Enhanced Content?

Enhanced content, also called A+ content and rich media, allows brand manufacturers to create engaging product pages using a wide range of multimedia elements. From editorial image galleries and instructional DIY videos to comparison charts highlighting the differences between best-selling products, enhanced content goes beyond giving buyers “just the facts” when learning about products.

Enhanced content features include:

Image galleries

360-degree image spins

Graphics

Comparison charts

Videos

Downloadable PDFs

Salsify’s module-based enhanced content templates give freedom and flexibility to CPG brands to help make products stand out.
Digital Shelf content monitoring and analytics
e.fundamentals helps you identify gaps in content, increase share of search and measure retailers e-Retail media performance to better engage shoppers and influence conversions.

Building an Ecommerce SEO Strategy

There are an estimated 2.5 million sellers on Amazon alone, and U.S. grocery is predicted to reach 12.4% of ecommerce spending in 2021, according to eMarketer. These points illustrate why it's critical for CPG brands to review their ecommerce strategies for standing out on the digital shelf. Product discovery is critical, and ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) can help you meet shoppers at the top of the search results.

Ecommerce SEO leverages relevant keywords to help buyers find (and buy) your products, further fueling your competitive advantage.

Ecommerce SEO Strategy Checklist

Define your ecommerce SEO goals:
These goals could include increased conversion, sales, or share of search using DSA. Know what you want to measure, and start tracking it with daily insights in your DSA to spot optimization opportunities. These then feed into your PIM strategy, including updating and syndicating specific product content across important retailers.

Use insights to refine keyword strategy:
Insights can help you check on your competition, including insights into whether they've added new keywords or have changed their promotional tactics. Go through your ratings and reviews to understand what's driving organic conversion. You may be able to use positive reviews on your product page, which you can easily update across all retailers using your PIM.

Create a compelling brand story:
Leverage relevant keywords and immersive content experiences using your PIM to distribute relevant content. Buyers won’t buy if product pages only provide static images and the minimum text. Use image carousels, videos, and comparison charts to keep shoppers engaged on-site — and more likely to add to cart. In your DSA, you can see what competitors are doing and update what you’d like to test with your PIM.

Prioritize continual optimization:
Keep optimizing product content as retailer requirements using DSA and PIM systems. Adjust your workflows to match the effort involved in reproducing and syndicating content across myriad channel specs. Agile work practices and digital shelf insights allow you to optimize current formats and online profitability continuously.

Takeaway:

Bring agility to your workflows, optimize efficiency and strategic output by automating insights and content syndication.

Increasing Share of Search: An Actionable Example

A DSA system can show you brand- and product-related keywords across all of your priority retailers and top competitors. It allows you to check benchmarks against relevant periods.

This insight could be helpful, for example, if it becomes apparent that your core SKUs are losing their page-one position against your competitor across several top retailers. Armed with this insight, you could then review your keyword lists and content held in your PIM and further cross-reference this insight against your competitors' pricing and promotion strategy.

This data could help you answer important questions: Are they doing any paid activity? Have they changed keywords recently? Are paid promotions influencing their "organic" search? During this analysis, you could notice that you're actually missing a critical keyword opportunity on your product page and decide to test long-tail keywords.

It's at this point where your PIM takes centre stage: Based on your data, you update the existing product pages and syndicate the content instantly across all relevant retailers. An automatic alert then goes out to all team members, informing them that the updates have been made. A future notification will even alert you to check your DSA to see the impact these changes have made.

How to Measure the Impact of Your Product Content Online

If product content is the key to higher-ranking product pages and converting shoppers into buyers, how can CPG brands best measure its impact? Learn more about the most important ecommerce key performance indicators (KPIs) that could help you measure and mark digital shelf success.

Essential Ecommerce KPIs

Search rankings

Tag enhanced content accordingly and track keyword performance over time and on individual retailer level.

Share of search

Compare the percentage of the search results, including your specific brand, before and after implementing your enhanced content strategy.

Sales

Enhanced content can help increase conversion across product content categories. Enhanced content is your chance to educate shoppers and instill brand loyalty.

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Track if user-generated content has increased. Track ratings and reviews and combine them with data from customer service.
The relation between PIM DSA and Retailer image

PIM and DSA: A Dynamic Duo for Digital Shelf Growth

As shoppers continue to evolve, content management will continue to increase in importance for digital shelf success. Taking steps to implement tools like PIM and DSA to support product content excellence could help your brand reach your digital shelf potential.

With the support of PIM and DSI, your brand could maximize its ecommerce sales with optimized content, go beyond the basics with enhanced content and ecommerce SEO, and measure the impact of your work.
These tools are an essential part of an effective digital shelf strategy and serve as a dynamic duo for lasting success.

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