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Glossary
13.10.2022
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What is Online Merchandising?

Online Merchandising is a set of actions to increase sales of products or entire brand categories on retailers’ “shelves”.

E-commerce opens up a wide range of opportunities for consumers to find and choose products. To keep up with the competition, vendors and distributors need to constantly work with partner sites, namely with:

  1. Shelf presence. If your product is not represented on the digital shelf it does not exist no one is going to buy it.
  2. Improvement of product pages content. If your product has no description, no details, few pictures, the buyer will pass by and perhaps even feel annoyed.
  3. Reputation. If your product has no reviews, or if the average rating of your product is lower than that of your competitor’s, you have lost the battle for the customer.

Shelf presence (what we sell), content (how we convey information), and reviews are three important aspects of building an online merchandising strategy.

In this article, we’ll talk about them in more detail and consider a solution to simplify their analysis. After all, you must first collect and process the data before you take action and set goals for your colleagues. Spoiler: now you don’t have to do it manually.

Shelf Presence

For vendors and distributors, it is essential that every product is available on the digital shelf exactly when the customer wants to buy it.

That’s why product availability, or OSA (on shelf availability), is one of the key retail metrics.

Low digital shelf presence equals lost sales and shortfall in profits.

Reduction of lost sales and the number of Out of Stock and Out of Shelf cases starts with implementing tools to collect daily data from partner stores. 

How to Collect Data for Digital Shelf Analytics?

Let’s say you are interested in selling your products on hundreds of sites: marketplaces, online stores, affiliate single-pagers, etc. How do you track product availability taking into account dozens of criteria? Obviously, manual analysis is inefficient, and sampling from the “main” sites is biased. Pricer24 solution can help, namely the Assortment Analysis service.

You will be able to analyze the shelf presence of your products in marketplaces and on other sites, namely:

1. To find out if the entire assortment of the brand is available at the partners’ stores. Availability is monitored by catalog categories, sales leaders, new products, and other criteria.

2. To track how well new products and sales leaders are represented. Catalog monitoring shows the actual position of products in the search results.

Content is King

In e-commerce, the main source of product information is the product page. Improving the user experience on the page also has a direct impact on sales.

A simple example: in 2018, Shopify announced Shopify AR, an option that allows sellers to create 3D models of their products. This move increased product page conversions by 250%.

Will a visitor want to buy your new product if the product page has only a sparse description, one photo, and a couple of features? Maybe, if you sell… bread. In other cases, the more data the product page has, the higher the probability that the product will be purchased.

That’s why apart from the title, product pages should contain a full description, product details, photos from various angles, as well as videos and 3D reviews.

Content Analysis Automation

With our online service in just a couple of clicks you can see:

  • which products lack descriptions and what partners do not show this information;
  • which products lack important details;
  • what description your competitors use;
  • how many photos and videos are on your product pages.

Reviews and Ratings

Another powerful tool for improving the user experience is product reviews and ratings.

Product rating is the number of “stars”. Product review is the text.
Source: ebay.com

All other things being equal (product details or price) the user is more likely to buy the product that has more reviews and higher rating.

Reviews and ratings also affect the visibility of the product in the catalog. For example, the partner’s site can provide:

  • sorting by high/low product rating. Products with a high average rating are listed first;
  • filtering based on the minimum rating in a review (“no less than 4”, for example);
  • displaying products with high ratings closer to the top of the category pages;
  • adding a special icon to the products with the highest rating (similar to “top seller”, “new product”, etc.).

By the way, according to the Baymard Institute, sorting by ratings is the second most popular sorting type. In many online stores it is implemented quite primitively: by average rating without taking into account the number of evaluations. This is exactly how it works on Amazon.com and Ebay.

However, one should not confuse the average rating of an item and the position of an item in the search results, as the position of an item can be calculated taking into account different factors.

Tracking the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings, timely and correct reaction to negative comments is a necessary part of the promotion of a brand and its products. One negative review without consideration and response can lead dozens of customers away to competitors. There are no small things in online merchandising.

How does Pricer24 help to analyze reviews?

With Pricer24 you can quickly understand:

  • which items get the most reviews;
  • which products have low ratings;
  • where the negative reviews appear, whether the partner is working on them, and what actions should be taken.

Conclusion

The growth of online sales requires vendors and distributors to make optimal marketing decisions to stay ahead of the competition. Online merchandising has become an e-commerce standard, and it is impossible to ignore it. Analyzing representation and improving positions (by means of rich content, tracking availability, working with evaluations and reviews) will always allow to be one step ahead and maintain positive sales margins.

Pricer24 is a handy assistant in this process. It helps to automatically monitor:

  • whether your entire assortment is available from your partners;
  • how well your new products and sales tops are represented (first of all, in terms of the quality of content, the number of photos and videos);
  • what is the rating of your products;
  • where your product pages are placed on the online shelf.

In fact, you set the necessary parameters and immediately get the data in the form of a dashboard with a report. You don’t need to waste time collecting data from sites: the software takes care of all the routine.

Pricer24: one glance is enough to make a decision.

Take a consultation
  • Market analytics
  • Price parsing
  • Product visibility
Take a consultation
  • Market analytics
  • Price parsing
  • Product visibility
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