The Digital Shelf

Optimize Product Content On The Digital Shelf

Optimizing product content on the digital shelf is essential for your brand to win. How do you keep the overview? and where do you start optimizing?

The more touchpoints your brand has on the digital shelf, the more challenging it gets to check product content on all (indirect) eCommerce channels. Being brand-compliant and maintaining a consistent brand on the digital shelf is essential to winning. How do you keep the overview? And where do you start optimizing?

In part one of my triptych blog series about optimizing the digital shelf, the consequences and ways to preventing online stockouts were discussed. In this blog, I will touch on optimizing product content and improve the findability of your brands' product pages.


Digital Shelf Optimization: Where to Start?

You have hundreds or perhaps thousands of products in your assortment, listed on multiple online sales channels; it may be difficult to figure out where to start. Each Product Detail Page (PDP) can be improved, but more interesting is: what can you achieve the most impact with?

Analyze per sales channel the page traffic and conversions. Start with products with high page traffic and low conversions. Focus on optimizing search rankings for products with low page traffic and high conversions.


Map Retailer Content Requirements

Before you start optimizing content, we recommend you map (platform-specific) content standards. Why? What is required or works on one retailer site may not always be the best fit for another. A growing number of retailers have their own content standards and guidelines in place for you to follow. 

Gather all retailer requirements such as recommended number of characters in product titles and descriptions, image quality, and the option to deliver rich content such as videos or HTML content. For instance, your product titles ideally contain the following elements: [brand] [serial name] [product type] - [relevant specification(s) /distinguishing characteristics etc.]. But this can slightly change from retailer to retailer. 


Get the Basics Right

Do not underestimate the power of the basic elements on a Product Detail Page (PDP). A PDP is a place where shoppers view all the information they need to make that buying decision. It's the top online touchpoint at the time of purchase! 

Essential elements on a PDP are:

  • Product title: Use up to 100 characters, starting with your brand name
  • Product image: Showing the product itself on a neutral background
  • A strong product description that sells

Especially at a time when consumers can’t see, feel, or test products in a physical store, the importance of basic content elements skyrocketed in importance. 

SiteLucent analyzed +12.000 product detail pages across popular Tools & Home Improvement Categories. We looked at product content on retailers Amazon NL, bol, Gamma, and 3 other leading online retail sites in the Netherlands. We found that, on average, product titles contain 45 characters, 8% of titles exceed 70 characters, and 11% of product titles are missing a (correct) brand name. Download the full report here.

Digital shelf product titles


Content Quality Scorecards

Use content quality scorecards to identify gaps, inconsistencies, and opportunities for growth.

  • The SiteLucent team created the DCC score to measure content compliance on all channels.
  • You can fully customize (retailer-specific)content criteria and their weights.
  • The three layers - Minimal, Basic, and Extended, help you prioritize what to optimize first and bring product content to perfection.

Content Quality on the digital shelf

Once your content KPIs are set, you can start monitoring your product listings and presentation to see if the content has been published correctly on the digital shelf. The key is to analyze content quality on each channel. Not only after publishing new content, but continuously monitor the quality of content to avoid wrong data to be published.

Get immediate answers to: 'Is my brand- and product name mentioned correctly on all PDPs?' and 'Are my products' categories and dimensions clearly stated?'


Premium Content

How can you deliver a great Product Experience - the digital equivalent of in-store merchandising? How to give shoppers that in-store experience on the digital shelf?

Once your basic product content is correct, complete, and optimized for perfection, it is time to focus on premium content - Enhanced Manufacturer Content or A+ content (Amazon). I recommend you to:

  • Add videos to PDPs
  • Increase the number of images on PDPs - The more images, the better!
  • Increase the word count and quality of product descriptions

Product descriptions on the digital shelf

SiteLucent analyzed +12.000 product detail pages across popular Tools & Home Improvement Categories. We found that 79% of product detail pages show a product description of fewer than 100 words, and 9% are missing a product description. Download the full report here.


Optimize for Ecommerce Search Engines

The relevance of keywords on a PDP is worth clarifying. You can present all the basic and premium product information on your PDP, but if your product does not rank in the top search results, big chance you will lose the opportunity to sell.

Product content needs to be published to help online buyers make a purchasing decision. If it helps your buyers, it will help you rank higher since usability is the primary concern for (eCommerce) search engines. For instance, when a shopper searches for the specific keywords 'Logitec H600 Wireless Headset', he will likely be ready to buy this product.

Make sure your PDP is optimized for these keywords because you want to be the one who sells to these shoppers. If you understand your target group and how they search for your products, make a list with potential keywords and narrow down each keyword with benefits and features.

eCommerce search on the digital shelf


Remember that customer reviews are also unique content on your PDP. Reviews can help increase eCommerce search rankings, among the use of search keywords and other factors such as:

  • Price and delivery
  • Product performance
  • Quality of the product page (speed and usability)

Read step 3 of my triptych blog series about optimizing the digital shelf, where I dive deeper into monitoring customer feedback on the digital shelf.


Digital shelf Search Ranking


Download our free Digital Shelf Optimization Guide!

Guide Digital Shelf Optimization

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