Today, according to eMarketer, Amazon accounts for about 37% of all retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. But with additional entrants such as Walmart and Target, the e-commerce field is diversifying. That means brands now have a more complex ecosystem to support and grow. Each marketplace has unique attributes to optimize for their digital shelf success, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
For many brands the question is not selecting a single marketplace but understanding how to expand effectively into new commerce ventures to achieve revenue and profit goals. Many brands are failing at creating meaningful consumer experiences within each marketplace, and as a result, they lose revenue to their competition. But here’s the good news: Based on our experience and research powered by Profitero (a leading-edge eCommerce analytics partner), we’ve found that brands have considerable revenue growth opportunities when they improve their marketplace strategy, including:
- +50% sales lift when moving from page 2 to page 1 of search results, after SEO optimization
- +40% sales lift from enhancing product content pages
- +100% sales lift from increasing review velocity.
To enable this growth, here are some of our most common tips and tricks to help any brand maximize its digital shelf ROI.
1. Build an immersive product experience across the entire consumer journey in each marketplace.
In the past, marketplaces focused on immediate transactions, rather than on product discovery. But today, 56% of consumers start their online product shopping experience at Amazon—meaning, they utilize a marketplace search engine in the same way they use Google. It’s therefore critical to develop an immersive brand experience no matter where a consumer might be in their path to purchase. Take this into consideration by being prepared to support both engagement and conversion content messages.
2. Tailor product information to target audiences by marketplace.
As a data-driven marketer, you wouldn’t rely on only one performance marketing message to support an entire marketing campaign, and the same holds true here. It is imperative to provide your consumers with the right message and in the right channel, as shopper personas vary across platforms such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Brands should utilize these marketplaces as platforms for sharing their story with key audiences, regularly updating the messaging to align to moments that matter. Holiday sales, specific membership days, and seasonal mentalities can all be incorporated in ways to bring relevancy and a connection to each product.
3. Be accurate when sharing product information details.
It sounds simple enough. But you’d be surprised how much product description information gets abandoned over time, creating disconnected experiences. Misspelled words, obsolete information, incorrect product details, and poor imagery are all too common. As these inaccuracies add up, page rankings suffer. These negative consumer experiences can quickly lose you market share when your competitors are only one click away to fulfilling consumer needs.
4. Give reasons to believe by sharing product benefits and product features together.
When developing content, include product benefits and features to improve keyword rankings and search returns for your products. It’s important to understand that shoppers are utilizing the marketplace search engine for organic product discovery. When building information descriptions, ensure that copy is aligned to your audience’s mindset with reasons to believe. Take advantage of organic SEO by maximizing your character count limits with a compelling value proposition to acquire both branded and generic search terms whenever possible.
5. Proactively manage product reviews and responses.
Reputation management is critical for making sure your products appear front and center in search results. When searching for “best product”-type searches, consumers take into account both quantity and quality of reviews, which help build authenticity for those ready to convert with high purchase intent. Consumer reviewers are an enthusiastic community who can help brands identify product favorites to amplify as well as improvement areas for things such as product communication, out-of-stock inventory, and discrepancies between product benefits compared with consumer perceptions after purchase.
With an always-on strategy, brands can continuously gain market share by optimizing product pages against the competition. Product descriptions, media content, brand store development, and retail SEO optimizations all require constant attention from your commerce teams to be successful. As teams operationalize this approach, iterative changes become faster to implement with fewer resources. Rapid optimization improves both existing marketplace performance and ensures that your brand can expand quickly into new ventures when the time is right.