Receiving holiday gifts from friends and family is a joy—a highlight of the season for some. Shopping for said gifts, on the other hand, is known to bring some of the most stressful moments of the year.
During the holidays, wallets are tight and patience is short, especially this year as student loan payments resume and consumer debts continue to rise. Today’s shoppers aren’t just looking for presents; they want stress-free shopping experiences that are convenient, trustworthy and delightful, too.
When it comes to creating a better customer experience, there’s always room for improvement—with 61% of shoppers saying that retailers and brands still have room to grow when giving them the products, services and experiences they want online. Shoppers who have a seamless and enjoyable experience are more likely to return, becoming repeat customers and brand advocates.
Luckily for retailers, this presents the perfect opportunity to cultivate happy, loyal customers. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by leveraging digital shelf analytics (DSA), where to buy and shoppable solutions, which work together to help brands streamline the customer experience and gain valuable data to make better decisions.
Digital shelf analytics do this by helping brands ensure that their product detail pages include high-quality imagery, accurate pricing and brand consistent copy to build consumer trust. Then, with where to buy and shoppable solutions, brands can build seamless paths to purchase that allow users to buy products when, where, and how they want.
Here are six ways brands can use digital shelf analytics together with where to buy and shoppable solutions to convert holiday rush shoppers into long-term brand advocates.
1. Build a more trustworthy customer experience
When it comes to building customer trust, brands need to assure customers that the products they’re searching for are actually what they’ll receive. One of the best places to do that is on the product detail page (PDP), as 46% of global shoppers say accurate product descriptions are important to them. Inconsistent pricing, grammatically incorrect product pages and low-quality product imagery weaken that trust by making it difficult to understand what they’re buying and whether the brand (and seller) they’re buying it from is trustworthy. By crawling relevant product detail pages across thousands of ecommerce sites, digital shelf analytics solutions help brands pinpoint inconsistent content across thousands of online sellers.
Then they can take action on unauthorized sellers or brands that break their minimum advertised price policies by using MAP enforcement solutions, which can not only monitor for pricing violations—but also let brands send automated communications to the offending sellers.
2. Focus on convenience
The holiday season can be hectic, making convenience a key facet in driving conversion. And for shoppers, what’s more convenient than knowing there’s a way to purchase a product at any online touchpoint they come across? Whether encountering products through social media posts, landing pages, videos, or elsewhere, shoppable and where to buy solutions give users a path to purchase so that there’s minimal friction keeping them from converting.
In today’s online marketplace, shoppers are accustomed to online purchasing and more than half of US adults have either used shoppable commerce before or are interested in it. That makes now the perfect time to experiment with shoppable and where to buy solutions that make online shopping a breeze.
3. Ensure brand consistency across the digital shelf
When pricing, messaging and style are inconsistent among a brand’s online product pages, it’s easy for shoppers to assume the brand itself isn’t trustworthy. In fact, 14% of shoppers cite a consistent brand image as the most important factor in cultivating brand loyalty. Digital shelf analytics help brands ensure that product content on the digital shelf is accurate and consistent across platforms, so shoppers feel they’re getting the best price possible and purchasing the correct products from authorized sellers. And when customers encounter consistent brand information wherever they shop, brands win—gaining the potential to boost revenue by 10-20%.
4. Cash in on the visual element
Visuals play a crucial role in attracting and engaging shoppers, with 46% of online shoppers saying imagery provided by a brand is the leading factor impacting their purchasing decision. This is especially true during the holiday season when customers are fully immersed in the loop of evaluating and comparing products online.
Shoppers want to see products in detail, particularly when they’re buying gifts for loved ones. DSA solutions ensure that product images offer variety and quality. Meanwhile, shoppable and where to buy solutions provide customers with a clear visual path to purchase from a wide variety of touchpoints. Whether they’re looking to purchase a product they see in a video or a social media post, or are simply part of the 32% of users who purchase products from their mobile phones, building visually-focused paths to purchase is a key to driving conversion.
5. Assess your competitive strengths
When everybody is offering promotional discounts, it becomes harder to stand out in the digital marketplace. To stay competitive and attract holiday shoppers, retailers need to understand and respond to what their competitors are doing. Digital shelf analytics use crawling technology to help brands monitor the competition’s product stock levels and keywords in real time. From there, they can adjust their own approach by heavily promoting products that a competitor has run out of, or target more lucrative contested product keywords.
To win new market share and get a head start on the process of building loyalty, smart brands will compile data on the competition and adjust PDP approaches accordingly.
6. Make informed decisions
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. During the holidays, when sales are at their peak for many brands and retailers, data-driven decisions help them make the most of their online presence and ultimately sell more. With a holistic brand commerce platform that captures data across the entire customer journey, retailers can gather vast amounts of data about their products, competitors, and customer behavior. These can be paired with shoppable and where to buy solutions, which track the path to purchase and provide end-to-end data on campaign performance from first impression to final sale.
Armed with the right data, brands can create effective marketing strategies based on insights rather than assumptions—informing more personalized shopping experiences that keep customers coming back even after the holidays are over.