The digital shelf is where consumers go to discover, research, compare, and purchase products online. Even in brick-and-mortar stores, shoppers often spend time reviewing products on the digital shelf while they examine them on the physical shelf.
Brands that win the digital shelf have a major advantage. If you can stand out on the digital shelf, you’ll become the brand people find first and prefer to choose, whether you’re an unknown brand or a household name.
Here are five ways to help your products stand out on the digital shelf.
1. Use seasonal copy
Holidays and seasonal events often change the terms consumers use to discover products. Searches like “graduation presents,” “Father’s Day gifts,” and “Valentine’s Day gifts for her” will pull products from a wide range of product categories, but the products that show up will have one thing in common: seasonal copy.
If you want your products to show up in seasonal searches, then you’ll want to add seasonal keywords to your product title and description a couple of months ahead of the relevant holiday. Not only will this help you show up in seasonal searches, it will help people confirm that your product is the perfect choice for the holiday when they read your product page.
2. Create videos that enhance the shopping experience
Videos are a great opportunity to make your products more appealing than the competition. But it’s important that you create videos that actually improve the shopping experience–don’t just throw a repurposed video ad on your product page! Use a 30- or 60-second clip to explain or show something you can’t adequately communicate in your copy and images. Show people how your product works, or what it looks like to use it in a variety of settings. Walk customers through each of the features or benefits.
3. Experiment with new types of content
Your product page doesn’t need to have every type of enhanced content. But you should experiment with the options each retailer gives you because using enhanced content can give you a major advantage over your competitors.
And don’t forget: your product pages on your own website are part of the digital shelf, too. When consumers arrive on your site, you should aim to provide a shopping experience they won’t find anywhere else. You could use guided selling tools to help people make the selection that’s right for them, or interactive pages to let them explore your products in unique ways. When you provide a superior experience, consumers will remember that (and be thinking about it) as they try to learn about your competitors.
4. Fill the gaps your competitors leave
Most retailers have a space for customers to ask questions about products. These questions often reveal information that should’ve been included in the description or another section of the product page, and they highlight things your potential customers are looking for as they compare options in your space. So see what people are asking on your competitors’ pages!
If your competitors aren’t doing a good job of answering these questions, all the better, but even if they are answering them, the questions will likely reveal information that should be more visible. By elevating those features, specifications, claims, and use cases, you’ll be doing a better job serving your audience.
5. Create product pages that rank
Obviously, the surest way to stand out on the digital shelf is to rank for the terms consumers use to find products in your category. Every retailer has their own algorithm (and you should get familiar with them all), but one of the biggest things that will always determine how well you rank is the keywords you include in your product title and description. Create a prioritized list of the most common terms your customers use to find products like yours, then work them into your title and description. Just make sure that you don’t force them into your description if it lowers the quality of your copy.