How to Build a Successful Global Digital Shelf Organization

March 22, 2023

How to Build a Successful Global Digital Shelf Organization

Global brands must have an optimized digital presence to win market share. This article explores how to build a successful global digital shelf organization so you can set, meet and exceed your goals. 

Understanding the Digital Shelf and Its Importance for Your Brand 

The digital shelf is an essential tool for every brand, regardless of your industry. It’s how shoppers find your brand, engage with and learn about your products, and, ultimately, buy your goods. 

Shoppers discover, evaluate and compare your products against your competition on the digital shelf. Understanding how the digital shelf works empowers you to build a successful global digital shelf organization. 

Challenges of Selling on the Digital Shelf 

Optimizing your online presence for the digital shelf is non-negotiable if you want to win your market. If you haven’t yet discovered this, you’ll soon face the challenges of selling on the digital shelf. 

By preparing for these challenges, you can mitigate risks and position yourself to capitalize on the many opportunities afforded by a robust presence on the digital shelf. We highlight potential challenges below:  

1. Digital Shelves Aren’t Standardized 

When working with multiple trading partners, your product content must meet their unique standards and requirements. The digital shelf isn’t standardized, which means you need strategies to adapt to evolving retailer requirements accurately and in real-time. 

2. Shoppers Can’t Physically Interact with the Product 

The digital shelf doesn’t allow for in-person product interaction or evaluation, so brands must go above and beyond to instill confidence in their shoppers. 

3. Customer Preferences and Demands are Constantly Evolving 

The digital shelf is fluid. Customer preferences can change daily, and shoppers expect brands to keep up. 

4. High Competition on the Digital Shelf 

The digital shelf allows you to reach anyone on the planet. The opportunities are limitless, but so is the competition. Winning on the digital shelf means outworking local, regional, and global competitors. 

Winning the Global Digital Shelf 

Winning the digital shelf means your brand is showing up in searches, engaging with shoppers, and you’re selling more because of it. Making yourself aware of the challenges of the digital shelf is step one to success. This section explores the best practices that empower you to win the global digital shelf starting today. 

1. Operate from a Central Source of Truth 

 As your brand grows to reach a global market, you need data systems that streamline workflows and automate processes. 

Operating from a central source of truth ensures you’re providing consistent, accurate and up-to-date product content to consumers everywhere they interact with your brand and products. Selling through multiple retailers and channels requires agile data management. By managing your product data and content from a single source of truth, you reduce errors caused by manual data entry and updates, ensure consistency and accuracy, and save time and money. 

A central data system allows for real-time, cross-team collaboration, helping your teams work cohesively to accomplish your organization’s goals. 

2. Highlight Content Consumers Want to See 

Your product content drives your sales. As you build your global digital shelf strategy, highlight content consumers want to see. They need product content highlighting their pain points while showcasing your products as the solution to their needs. 

Rich product content allows users to understand your product –– and brand –– from any location. Providing enhanced content helps you reach and engage a global audience and position your products at the most coveted spots on the digital shelf. 

Rich product content can include

  • 360-degree spin imagery
  • Product video, including tutorial instruction 
  • Hot-spot images and more 

With rich product content, you provide consumers with the visual information they want and need to make a purchase. Ample content cultivates trust in your brand and leads shoppers to a confident purchase decision, increasing your sales and promoting your success on the global digital shelf. 

3. Digital Shelf Placement 

The digital shelf is like a traditional retail shelf in that product placement matters. You want your products, or in the case of digital retail, your links, in users’ lines of sight. 

Your placement on search results pages directly affects your engagement –– and sales. Items near the top of the first page of search results universally see the most traffic. The first result in Google’s organic search results has an average click-through rate of 27.6 percent. And users are ten times more likely to click the first organic result than the tenth. 

Product placement matters on the digital shelf. Your digital shelf strategy must include search optimization practices that get your products to the ideal spots on the shelf. Increasing your organic ranking through SEO allows you to optimize your digital shelf presence, and this can be supported by delivering exceptional product content. 

Webata, a 1WorldSync company, offers placement insights and analytics that helps sellers optimize their listings and keyword strategies on retail e-commerce sites like Walmart. To learn more about Webata, listen to a recent podcast interview with its founder here.

4. Content that Stands Out

As noted above, there are no physical products on the digital shelf. Your content is your product, and as such, your content must stand out from your competition. Here are a few ways to optimize your content for the global digital shelf

  • Prioritize high-quality product imagery 
  • Personalize product descriptions, optimizing for SEO and writing them in the tone and style that cater to your audiences
  • Optimize product content for multi-channel engagement, ensuring brand consistency 
  • Provide ample rich product content, including hot-spots, product comparison tables, and AR/VR experiences 

Your content draws shoppers in and guides them through their journey to purchase. Distinguish yourself from global competitors by creating product content that sets you apart. 

5. Inventory Management 

Maintaining sufficient inventory is crucial for your success on the digital shelf. Earning top positions on the shelf requires significant investment, and once you’re there, you want to stay there. Immeasurable resource waste occurs when a shopper tries to buy your products, but your stock is at zero because of poor inventory management. 

When this happens, you not only lose the sale, but your position on the digital shelf is affected. Every aspect of your online presence affects your success, including your inventory management practices. 

Set inventory alerts that notify you when your stock dips below your set limits, so your customers never have to deal with the frustrations of an “out of stock” notice. 

6. Ratings and Review Management 

Product ratings and reviews are invaluable to securing and maintaining your position on the global digital shelf. 

According to PowerReviews, 99.9 percent of shoppers read product reviews online. And nearly 80 percent of consumers choose to shop from sites with product reviews. If a product has no reviews, 44 percent of shoppers will not buy that item. Reviews are essential for making purchasing decisions, especially as consumers shop online. 

Reviews and review management are also crucial for digital shelf positioning. Effective ratings and review management increase positive reviews, which is the social proof that today’s online shopper demands. The more positive reviews you receive, the higher your position on the digital shelf and the more engagement and revenue you’ll earn. 

7. Scalable Content Systems 

Your brand will evolve year after year. Markets change, as do consumer demands, shifting how your business operates in your market. As you grow, you need scalable content systems that can grow with you to meet your needs. 

As your product options increase, you need a content system that keeps up without creating more work for your content teams. Seamless scalability empowers you to add and subtract content as necessary to meet customer needs and demands among a global audience. 

Global competition requires a global content strategy. Brands must implement repeatable, measurable, and scalable content strategies to build a successful global digital shelf organization. 

Coordinate Efforts Across Local and Global Teams with 1WorldSync

Building a successful global digital shelf organization requires an effective digital shelf strategy. At 1WorldSync, we have the expertise and resources you need to win the global digital shelf. Reach out today to learn how our solutions position your brand to dominate the global market.