3 Steps to Optimize Your Brands' Digital Shelf (|||)

It's time for step 3! In my first blog, we discussed how to improve digital shelf performances by minimising online stockouts. In step 2, we touched on enhancing product content on the digital shelf. In todays' last step, we'll discuss how you can monitor customer feedback and utilise this valuable feedback. 

Step 3: Monitor Customer Feedback

Product reviews can make your products stand out, give shoppers confidence in your brand, and eventually influence a shopper's purchasing decision. 81% of all online purchases occur on product pages with ratings and reviews content.

You probably notice it yourself when shopping online - You're more likely to buy a product with enough positive reviews and buy from the seller with a high star rating and authentic feedback. Even if a product might be the same, there can be a noticeable difference in, for example, the service sellers deliver or their return policy. 

High- & Low-Involvement Purchase Decisions

According to PowerReviews Centennial Shopper Study are, after price, reviews the second-most important factor to customers making a purchase decision. Positive and realistic reviews can significantly impact someone's decision to buy a product or not, but for certain products, customer feedback is more important than for others.

We can distinguish between high-involvement decisions and low-involvement decisions. Product reviews are extra powerful for high-involvement buying decisions since these decisions involve research, and shoppers are more personally involved. Having more information via reviews helps decrease risk - whether it is a financial risk, social risk, or psychological risk. Also, in the early stage of a product, consumers pay more attention to online reviews.

Analyse, Set KPIs, & Zoom In

  • Assuming a shopper wants more information when dealing with a high-involvement purchase decision, it's useful to focus on new, higher-priced, and safety and health-related products first. Map a set of products you want to start optimising.
  • Then define the number of reviews and star ratings your products currently have for the products and sales channels selected by you. Review monitoring software such as SiteLucent can help you with this job. 
  • Set your KPIs: Map the minimal number of reviews you aim for these products to have and the minimal star rating, using content quality scorecards such as SiteLucents' DCC score.
  • With all the requirements and KPIs set in place, you can start zooming in on underperforming products - Reviews with low numbers of reviews or those with 1- or 2-star ratings. As shown in the image below, it becomes easier to get a clear overview of your products' star rating & review distribution when using scatter plots.

Digital Shelf - Reviews Scatter Plot

  • Use language used by your customers. Shape content to meet the buying needs of the consumer on each specific shopping channel. Think of essential retailer-specific keywords that your product page should contain. Try to match the keywords with the language of the target group of a specific retailer. 
  • Fresh review content is super important to improve search rankings, both on Google shopping and on the retailer's shelf.

Use Negative Reviews

It’s never fun to hear negative feedback about your products, but negative reviews are inevitable. Turn them into something positive:

  • Negative reviews can help you identify issues with your products or services that you may not have known about otherwise. 
  • Negative reviews can help a shopper make a more informed purchase decision.
  • Both points mentioned above can help you lower return rates.
  • One and two-star reviews add authenticity to your content and let shoppers know you’re a brand they can trust. Shoppers perceive a perfect 5 star as too good to be true.

Research of PowerReviews and Northwestern University has shown that purchase probability peaks when a product’s average star rating is between 4.2 and 4.5. Once you've monitored and analysed your products' reviews with the help of a review monitoring tool, you know which underperforming products you need to take action on.

There can be many reasons why customers leave negative reviews, but, likely, the buyer's expectation does not match reality. Dive into the review texts to find out if something went wrong and if you can utilise valuable feedback to improve.
Digital shelf numbers - Reviews
Maybe product content holds inaccurate info, and it is an easy fix. If the reviews indicate that something is wrong with the product itself, you can leverage that information for product development. Product development might be more of a long-term goal, but constructive feedback from buyers is precious.

Generate reviews

The first step to maximising review collection is asking. Reach out to buyers and convince them to leave a review. The most effective way is sending review request emails that are on brand, simple and to-the-point.
To define the right questions, monitoring and analysing reviews beforehand is crucial. This way, you can ask questions that you know will address key known customer issues.
The timing of sending a review request email should be between 7 and 21 days after purchase, depending on the product type. Keep in mind that you can’t ask for a review right away. Customers need time to receive the product and try it out.
If appropriate for your brand, incorporate an incentive in one of your review submission request emails:
  • Send customers who bought your product a coupon to make leaving a review about their product experience more attractive.
  • Set up a review and win- campaign. Spread it via email and social media channels.
  • If you are selling a completely new product or seasonal products, you can think of running a product sampling campaign, sending out samples to the target group who agree to write a review to boost reviews.

A quick recap

Steps to optimize your brands digital shelf

  1. STEP 1: Minimize online stockouts
    Running Out-Of-Stock can cause a loss of sales, but there can be more significant consequences that hurt your brand in the long run: Your products' search rankings can go down, issues on marketplaces can occur, and you can jeopardise customer loyalty.

    To prevent stockouts, start by defining star products that you always want to have in stock. Monitor your essential products daily with a Digital Shelf Analytics tool to anticipate any availability issues instantly. Predict Out-Of-Stock patterns, making it easier to manage your inventory optimally.

  2. STEP 2: Enhance Product Content
    Don't underestimate the power of every element on your Product Detail Page (PDP): the top touchpoint where the sale should happen! SiteLucents' DCC score helps you setting up the desired (retailer-specific) content criteria. Receive periodical content quality scores and zoom in on content compliance issues. Optimise your PDP to help shoppers make a good buying decision! 

  3. STEP 3: Monitor Customer Feedback
    Analyse, set KPIs, and zoom in. Once you've monitored and analysed your product reviews with a monitoring tool, you know what products are underperforming, and you can take action.


Winning on the Digital Shelf

Winning on the digital shelf is a challenging and time-consuming process. Your products first need to be visible and findable. Then you need to attract and convince shoppers with complete, correct, and attractive product copy on detail pages, including reviews.

Making your products visible and brand-compliant on each channel is not something that happens overnight. However, following my three steps and using the right tools is a start to make the job easier for you and your team. The next step is to download the complete guide to Digital shelf optimisation. 

Download our 'Guide to Digital Shelf Optimisation'. A guide to help you optimise your brands' digital shelf step by step!

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