What Is Digital Shelf Analytics?

A new season of your favorite show is fast approaching. Yay, right? So why is it you feel so bummed? Oh yeah, three new shows you’re interested in are set to premiere around the same time. And you’ve got a life already packed with responsibilities: your kids’ gymnastics, meal prep, home repairs, and that dog of yours isn’t going to walk itself. You also sink at least 40 hours a week into your job. 

If only you could be everywhere at once.

Unfortunately, you can’t clone yourself, but there are ways to make your job easier, especially if you’re managing a brand’s ecommerce strategy. The secret to being everywhere at once in ecommerce: digital shelf analytics.

Digital shelf analytics is the ongoing process of collecting and analyzing digital shelf data to optimize your brand’s performance on retail websites. By examining a wide range of metrics, you can gain insights into product discoverability, brand integrity, consumer perception, and competitive opportunities.

Since retailers don’t send you the data you need to holistically evaluate your digital shelf performance, many ecommerce brands turn to third-party tools such as PriceSpider’s Brand Monitor. While you can collect some digital shelf data manually, the scale of most ecommerce operations often makes doing so both inefficient and ineffective for digital shelf analytics. Keeping this data in spreadsheets also makes it far more difficult to actually analyze.

Digital shelf analytics provides insights into issues that inhibit your product page performance as well as timely opportunities to gain a competitive advantage. 

Let’s break down the three main components of being everywhere at once using digital shelf analytics: monitoring, analyzing, and optimizing the digital shelf.

Monitoring the digital shelf

It doesn’t take long to visit one product page to check price, ratings, and stock status, or even to skim recent reviews and questions. You can manually type out the relevant search terms for your product, and see where you stand. It’s relatively easy to confirm images and videos are up-to-date, though it takes a little longer to scan the text itself for typos and old copy. However, to monitor the digital shelf, you have to do this for every product in your catalog on every website that sells them. To make matters worse, since price and stock status can change at any time, you really need to track some metrics 24/7.

Digital shelf analytics relies on software to monitor the metrics that matter. It automatically crawls everywhere your SKUs appear in real time, so you don’t miss when a seller temporarily changes their price between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. When that same software checks your product page assets against a master copy, there’s no risk of human error letting variations slide. And it notifies you the moment a product’s stock status changes — yours or a competitor’s — so you can turn off ads to avoid wasteful spending, or turn them on to take advantage of a competitor going out of stock.

The digital shelf is constantly changing, and if you’re not watching prices, stock availability, content compliance, ratings, reviews, and your position in search results, you’ll fall behind.

Analyzing the digital shelf

Collecting mountains of data won’t do much good if you don’t mine it for insights. Given the sheer volume of data you have to collect, digital shelf analysis too is next to impossible without software. Digital shelf software such as Brand Monitor lets you organize and filter this data in helpful ways.

For example, you can examine aggregate ratings from every website at once or filter by individual retailer. You can also filter ratings by date range to see how customers rated your products last quarter, last week, or during a specific marketing campaign.

Brand Monitor also helps you analyze your position in search results so you can track your position over time for the most valuable keywords in your category. We call it your Share of Search. As you explore your rankings, Brand Monitor gradually builds graphs showing when you or a competitor falls out of the top 10, ascends into the top three, or gets bumped off the first page. You can also see when your placement is due to organic rankings or paid search ads. This helps you home in on the competitors you need to beat, see where you’re gaining ground, and identify opportunities your competitors are focusing on.

By analyzing the digital shelf, you get the performance-improving insights you need.

Optimizing the digital shelf

Digital shelf optimization is really the entire point of digital shelf analytics. It’s where data collection and analysis becomes a competitive advantage. 

By monitoring your sellers for content compliance, you can identify which pages are displaying outdated or incorrect assets so you can correct the problem before it misleads more customers or further weakens your brand integrity.

Monitoring your prices lets you enforce your pricing policy and eliminate the violations that hurt your margins, damage relationships with sellers, and lead to price erosion.

Seeing changes in your search position allows you to identify the areas you most need to improve. Seeing where the biggest changes took place helps you figure out how to improve. Monitoring stock status allows you to optimize your ad budget. Tracking ratings over time helps you easily see when an emerging problem needs fixing.

The digital shelf encompasses so many disparate pieces and pages that can be hard to know how to optimize your performance. But with digital shelf analytics, you can see the problems facing your brand and opportunities to improve now and in the future.

Get a digital shelf analytics solution

Brand Monitor is the definitive digital shelf analytics software. Building on two decades of specialized ecommerce data collection tools, PriceSpider equips your brand with data and insights you can’t find anywhere else. Many of the world’s leading brands rely on our tools, so if you want to make it to the top and stay there, look no further than our top-tier digital shelf solution.

Ready to see what Brand Monitor can do for your business?
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