Your retail shelf strategy empowers you to take hold of your market. In this guide, 1WorldSync’s experts will walk you through everything you need to know about successful retail shelf strategies and how your brand can win the digital retail shelf.
What is a Retail Shelf Strategy – and Why Does It Matter?
The retail shelf, also called the digital shelf, refers to how and where a brand’s products are displayed online.
In the past, brands invested significant resources to win the prime spot on a store’s physical retail shelf. Today, those efforts are focused on winning prime spots on the digital retail shelf.
Nearly all consumers –– almost 90 percent –– do at least some of their shopping online. 1WorldSync’s 2021 report found that even among consumers who shop in-store, a whopping 98 percent of them have researched products online before going to the store. Retail exists in an omnichannel market, and brands must understand how to create and leverage a digital shelf strategy to maximize product page conversions.
Winning the Digital Retail Shelf
As you can see, a powerful digital retail shelf drives your e-commerce business. And in an oversaturated market, brands must do everything they can to beat out their competition and set themselves apart to win the retail shelf.
Below are our top six most important steps you can take to create a successful retail shelf strategy.
1. Maximize Product Visibility
When consumers conduct a search for a product, they aren’t going to spend time scrolling through multiple pages of search results. To win the retail shelf, you must maximize your product visibility, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to optimize your content for SEO.
SEO allows you to earn organic traffic to your site and your pages. And when done right, SEO puts your products at the top of the SERPs. The coveted top spots on the first page of Google earn significantly higher click through rates (CTRs) than other positions. A recent study found that moving up just one spot in the SERPs will increase your CTR by 31 percent.
Amazon sales work similarly. Almost 100 percent of sales from the retail giant are garnered within the first three pages. Ultimately, you want to do whatever you can to get as close as possible to the number one spot on SERPs, because it’s here where your products will receive the most attention and the most clicks from potential customers. The more clicks, the higher your engagement and revenue. Together, these factors contribute to a successful retail shelf strategy.
In today’s omnichannel commerce market, brands must go beyond SEO basics to drive digital experiences. Optimizing product content for omnichannel SEO allows you to earn more traffic on every channel to make the most of your online presence.
2. Understand Customer Shopping Habits
Cultivating a successful retail shelf comes from understanding the consumer and their shopping habits. Today’s consumer does much of their shopping online. 1WorldSync’s 2021 Consumer Product Content Benchmark report noted the significant uptick in online shopping since 2020, and that trend is here to stay.
The pandemic shifted buying trends toward an e-commerce focus, but consumers have continued to shop online even as in-person buying options have returned. The overwhelming majority of consumers (87 percent) purchase items online that they previously bought exclusively in store.
As online shopping continues to dominate the retail industry, brands must know how to cater to an online audience. This includes optimizing product data, creating an informative and enjoyable e-commerce experience, and providing the support consumers want and need even if they don’t get the in-person shopping experience they are accustomed to.
3. Streamline the E-Commerce Customer Journey
Your customers want a seamless product content experience wherever they interact with your brand. In fact, 1WorldSync’s market research found that 84 percent of consumers expect a streamlined shopping journey as they engage with your products on multiple channels.
As omnichannel retail grows in popularity, so does the omnichannel product content imperative. The lines between in-person and e-commerce retail continue to blur, and as they do, the retailers that create seamless customer experiences are the ones that will come out on top.
4. Optimize Product Content
Your product content drives the success of your brand and your retail shelf strategy. 1WorldSync found that 81 percent of shoppers believe quality product content is more important than even brand recognition when making purchase decisions. More than half of shoppers also say high-quality media encourages and incentivizes them to buy items they didn’t think they needed. Quality product content is the difference between a sale and a shopper going elsewhere to find what they’re looking for.
Rich product content is key to standing out and earning the ideal spots on the digital retail shelf. At 1WorldSync, we know that every detail counts in a digital retail universe where your images are your products. From hi-resolution marketing assets to 360-degree spin photography and AR-compatible images, we craft product image strategies that win on the digital shelf.
Below are 1WorldSync’s image capture solutions that meet every retail need:
- 360-Degree Spin Product Photography
- Hero Images
- Marketing Image Sets
- Augmented Reality
- 3D Rendered Product Imagery
Through these enhanced image options, you can optimize your product content to engage consumers and increase your sales, earning you choice spots on the retail shelf.
5. Ensure Product Content Consistency
As we’ve learned, retailers and shoppers operate within an omnichannel market. Many brands manufacture hundreds or even thousands of products, making manual product data entry impossible, especially when you multiply those numbers across multiple channels.
Manufacturers need data synchronization and disbursement technology to seamlessly deliver data in real time across all channels and to all trading partners. 1WorldSync’s ContentCast is the solution to these needs.
ContentCast syndicates merchandising content online in our omnichannel world. The program allows for streamlined delivery of your brand experience, marketing campaigns, and rich product content to retailer sites. When you become a ContentCast partner, you can trust that your product data is accurate and consistent across all channels among thousands of trading partners.
Data consistency is crucial to earning trust and sales as shoppers engage across channels and on multiple platforms.
6. Know Your KPIs
You can measure the success of your digital shelf strategy if you know which metrics to track. The following KPIs give insight into the efficacy of your strategies.
Page traffic is a clear indicator of how many users interact with and are exposed to your products. Your digital shelf strategy should uncover traffic sources you aren’t capitalizing on and promote initiatives that help you earn the kind of traffic that converts.
Your conversion rate gives insight into how effectively your products and marketing content persuade users to buy. The greater your conversion rates, the more successful your shelf strategy.
Social proof is the kind of marketing every brand wants to access. And by optimizing your content for socials, you incentivize and encourage more shares, which leads to marketing your audience trusts.
Regardless of what consumers shop for, one thing is certain: they’re going online to do it. Creating and implementing a successful retail shelf strategy is key to increasing engagement, sales, and, ultimately, your profits.
The team at 1WorldSync knows what it takes to win the retail shelf, and we’ve got the tools and solutions to help you do it. Contact our team today to get started building out a retail shelf strategy that gets you the results you’re looking for.