What Is Digital Shelf Software?

Want to visit outer space? Simple, spend billions of dollars on your own space ship. Need to rejuvenate your movie franchise? No sweat, create a cute baby version of one of your most beloved characters. Need to appeal to a customer base that is quickly evolving away from traditional shopping habits in favor of shopping online? Hey, modern problems require modern solutions. 

Digital shelf software is a tool ecommerce brands use to monitor, measure, analyze, and optimize their position on the digital shelf. Perhaps more accurately, it’s a suite of tools that give brands actionable data about their product pages, their competitors, and the opportunities that arise in online marketplaces and retail websites.

Brands use digital shelf software, such as Brand Monitor, to improve their brand integrity and provide consistent customer experiences, as well as glean insights about their performance in retailer search engines and ecommerce websites. By solidifying your position on the digital shelf, you ensure more of the right people find your products and that your PDPs win more sales.

Let’s look at some of the specific capabilities of digital shelf software.

What can digital shelf software do?

Digital shelf analytics is the key to successful ecommerce. But depending on who you ask, you might hear some very different understandings of what digital shelf analytics solutions should do, and what digital shelf analytics even means.

Digital shelf software can encompass tools with a wide range of functions, but ultimately, this is about metrics. What can you measure, and how can you explore the data? Here are some of the insights a quality solution should give your brand.

Evaluate your share of search

Your position in retailers’ search results is one of the most critical digital shelf metrics. You want to know if your product pages are showing up for the right product categories and search queries, so people find you when they look for you. Unfortunately, every retailer has its own search engine. So while they use similar factors to determine which products to display, searching for the same phrases on different websites can yield different results.

Digital shelf software can help you track your position over time at each website your products appear on. So let’s say you just rolled out a product page update and swapped all your assets. With Brand Monitor’s Share of Search feature, you can look back at your rankings over the last quarter and see if the update made a difference — for better or for worse.

You can also see which rankings come from ads, comparing your paid search terms to your organic rankings. Best of all, digital shelf software presents this information on your competitors too. So you can find out what terms they’re paying to show up for, and be the first to notice if they have substantial changes.

Audit retailers’ content compliance

Content compliance is a major challenge for ecommerce brands. The larger your catalog and the more distributors you have, the harder it is to keep your content up to date. But it’s critical that wherever customers find your products, they have the same experience and see the same assets. Especially when anything about the product itself changes.

Content monitoring is how you make this happen.

Brand Monitor tracks every place your SKUs appear and compares product page assets to a master copy you keep up to date. Any time there are rogue discrepancies, Brand Monitor flags each variation and tells you which retailers are out of compliance and why. This way, you can hop into your product information management (PIM) system or contact your representative.

Track stock availability

Paying attention to stock availability over time can tell you a lot about the health of your distribution system. Is there a problem you need to address in the supply chain? Perhaps more importantly, stock availability creates short-term opportunities to optimize your ad spend. 

Think about it: your competitor just went out of stock. People who search for them by name cannot buy their product. Some of these customers will look somewhere else, but others will try to grab the first viable alternative. Why shouldn’t that be you? The moment your competitor goes out of stock, it’s the perfect time to advertise on their branded search terms. Your product will be the first available alternative shoppers see.

Similarly, when your own products go out of stock, it’s an important time to turn off any ad spend associated with that product. You don’t want to pay to send customers to a page where they can’t buy; spend that ad budget elsewhere.

Digital shelf software lets you track stock availability for your own products and your competitors so that you can spot the sales and cost-saving opportunities others miss.

Monitor your pricing policy

Your product’s price — especially in comparison to your competitors — creates a strong impression on potential customers. It serves as an anchor, helping shoppers consider what your brand is worth and what they should expect to see when they encounter your products in the future.

That’s why it’s crucial that your sellers follow your minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policy. If they drop your prices too low, anyone who sees that price will be less willing to pay your product’s actual price. They may even think your regular price is simply not worth it.

MAP violations can also trigger a dangerous “race to the bottom,” where nobody makes money selling your products and nobody wants to carry them.

Tools such as Brand Monitor can track your pricing across retail websites, notifying you any time there’s a violation.

Explore your ratings and reviews

How were your reviews last quarter? Last month? Last week? Aggregate ratings make for a nice stamp of approval from past customers, but examining recent ratings can give you a more accurate picture of how your product is doing right now. A sudden dip won’t do much to bring down your average rating, but it might be a sign that there’s a problem in your distribution system or the product itself.

Brand Monitor lets you explore ratings over specific date ranges, allowing you to zoom in and glean new insights about your product’s recent performance.

See the best digital shelf software available

When it comes to digital shelf software, Brand Monitor is top-shelf. Built on PriceSpider’s proprietary “spidering” technology, Brand Monitor offers unparalleled crawling capabilities you won’t find anywhere else. 

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