Never before have brand owners felt the need to discard their long term plans, roll up their sleeves and try to understand how to grow their sales online. In the first part of our series “How to build a stronger brand with eCommerce analytical tools, Part I”, we’ve given you a breakdown of how eCommerce analytics works and how brands winning on the digital shelf exploit retail analytics tools. In part II, we’ll explore the remaining parts of why today's CPG brands require eCommerce analytic insights to drive growth online. Bookmark the series and refer to it whenever you feel stranded.
One of the most critical aspects of selling products online remains understanding your shopper's perspective. Understanding their search behaviour, but more so what they’ve got to say about your product. In store there is no label or list of reviews from previous purchasers attached to the physical shelf. Online this is very different: shoppers read reviews and these inform online buying decisions. By gaining access to a solution that aggregates product feedback and reviews across multiple online retailers you can identify critical opportunities for brand building while recognising risks to your category performance filtered down to each of your products.
Shopper feedback permits you to see the impact on your sales driven by positive and negative feedback. The right analytics solution will facilitate an understanding of your shoppers' feedback and how it differs across categories and retailers. If you really want to know how that new product is being perceived by online shoppers, e.fundamentals can help you access the relevant analytics data and infer the sentiment of what your customers are saying online. Beyond your own products, customer review data will also allow you to gain a better understanding of how your competitor's comparable products perform. In turn, you'll be both proactive and effective when it comes to what you can do to level the playing field.
Besides getting a closer look at customer reviews and how they're driving or deterring sales across multiple retailers' channels, you'll also need to consider ease of buying. Good retail insight data allows you to see the buying experience like your customers. Start with an analysis of search performance across online retailers to get a true understanding of your online brand visibility. After all, if 40 percent of online consumers begin their purchase experience by searching online, you must know how easy it is to find your products and purchase them. Across online retailers this purchase driver is no different, shoppers need to find your products. Online retail offers two a few options for your brand to optimise for, search by category, offer or be found via keyword search. Additionally, it’s invaluable to know how your competition holds up to these standards.
The critical element will be to learn which of your products aren't ranking and developing a plan to fix this. In other words, having the right data at your hand will help you to ensure all of your products rank well. You'll also have the resources you need to identify competitor changes in search as compared to your products. Sometimes it's about thinking like your shopper. Our eCommerce analytics can tell you what is ranking by category based on terms, our eCommerce experts however will offer the human intelligence and insights to best position your product for maximum visibility. Our team calls these the gold standard names you need to win visibility online.
“Before signing with e.fundamentals we were struggling for visibility on shelf which was really affecting our online sales. Now, with the new platform, we have an ecommerce service that shows and prioritises the actions we need to take to not only fix the basics, but also improve the positioning of our products on retailer sites.” Karen Hill, HiPP Group Product Manager
As a present-day brand owner you’d want to equip your commercial teams with tools that allow them to gather information about pricing changes across your categories. With e.fundamentals you’ll be able to create price alerts that will inform your sales teams when competitors change up their tactics. Together with the insights from the fundamental Smart Pricing & Promotions, the platform acts as an early warning system letting you know when in store or online promotional issues arise. What’s more, it provides you with an overview of changes in the marketplace across promotions and pricing which can be viewed for today, this month, or this year; this way you can use it to test promotions against strategy at any point in time.
For commercial teams looking to unlock more growth, pricing analytics can help you understand how to remain competitive and where to avoid a race to the bottom. With real time data that highlights promotional activity ending or competitor price changes, you can keep your sales teams finger on the pulse, ensuring they're proactive and effective.
For brands looking to compete effectively online you need to have a full 360 view of the category landscape across all your online retailers. Since the recent pandemic, one area of focus has been product availability, ensuring you have the stock in the retailers you need to achieve sales and volume mix. As promotional activity takes a back seat during times of crisis, brands need to have the retail insight to understand their range availability to ensure they can meet consumer demand. Brands also want to avoid making commercial decisions around price and promotion that would exasperate supply chain issues further. The Deliver Value that Counts fundamental enables you as a senior leader to plan and adapt eCommerce strategies to ensure operational effectiveness across your online retail partners. Plan where to distribute stock smarter, avoid running promotions where stock is low, and plan to uplift stock when you know you are going to run promotions in the future.
With an eCommerce analytics platform you can use the data to plan ahead and win. The right data platform ultimately helps to solve this mystery by instantly reviewing, contrasting and comparing each retailer's range to identify critical opportunities for distribution. As a brand or category manager you’d want to be able to compare multiple retailers so that you can learn more about impacts within each category. The right ecommerce analytics tool will help you do that and further equip you with the resources needed to build profitable retailer relationships. Besides, you'll have the ability to see which products are found on any given day within a retailer's online stock. Segmented range reporting will help you identify opportunities for expansion, too.
Would you like the capability of tracking new product performance in real-time? How about the tools to identify opportunities to sell more (e.g., larger pack sizes)? You'll get that and more when you invest in a robust ecommerce data analytics tool. The right retail insights platform will give you an "at a glance" assessment of your category strategy and each retailer's support. You'll also be able to track new product launches and identify trade-up opportunities through product positioning. The right provider should provide you with this information in an intuitive manner, easily actionable with clear metrics for scoring and reporting. Look for an application that comes with an insights dashboard for the utmost in convenience for your teams to make impactful decisions.
Last but not least, look for eCommerce analytics software that supports your teams where they need it. For on the commute or during client meetings, choose a provider that works to the form factor of your teams needs. Ecommerce is an ever evolving target, ensure your team has the access it needs to be effective at achieving your company goals for eCommerce. With e.fundamentals for example you can get a solution that works across a range of devices and comes with no expensive user licenses, in fact whoever needs the data can access it within your organisation without paying more.
There's no better way to stoke your company's key accounts managers (KAM) and field sales team than by providing them with the digital shelf data when they need it most. The platform that can give visibility to your KAM’s both in store and online not only saves time, but it enables smarter and faster decision making. That way, they can influence your product sales and brand performance wherever and whenever they deem it necessary. What's more, choose a provider that gives you true access to the data, link and integrate with your sales data to allow your teams to get a deeper understanding of what is driving growth and use eCommerce analytics data API’s to ensure data gets to your teams in the format you need it to for big data analytics and number crunching to help inform and drive your global eCommerce strategies.
Together with part 1 of our series "How to build a stronger brand with eCommerce analytics", you've now got a greater appreciation for how eCommerce data analytics can help you maximise your brand’s sales and profitability, you might be wondering which platform you'll need to get started. Let’s summarise what we believe is key to your success:
Are you ready to grow your brand with eCommerce analytics data? Get in touch and let's devise a master plan for your path to online growth.