Ecommerce has fundamentally changed how brands bring products to market. Online product detail pages, search rankings, and customer reviews have created “digital shelves” alongside physical retail displays. These digital shelves are crucial sales channels that brands must optimize.
At the same time, advertising through retail media networks has exploded as a way to promote products on retailer websites and apps. As online shopping continues to grow, retail media represents a major opportunity for brands.
Success in this new environment requires understanding how digital shelf content and retail media efforts connect to drive product performance. By linking analytics across organic and paid channels, brands can make smarter optimization decisions and get the most from their retail media budgets.
The power of connected data with mimbi
Digital shelf analytics extend beyond gauging the competitive landscape; they are also a mirror for reflecting on a brand’s internal performance. Alongside providing competition data like market share, pricing, and promotional strategies, these analytics delve into a brand’s own product visibility, content effectiveness, and consumer sentiment. They measure a brand’s share of search, the impact of its content on consumer behavior, and the efficacy of its promotional tactics. This dual lens not only benchmarks a brand against its competitors but also reveals its strengths and weaknesses, offering a holistic view that is instrumental in refining marketing strategies, enhancing product offerings, and ultimately, bolstering the brand’s presence on the digital shelf.
Meanwhile, retail media campaigns deliver paid traffic and sales for specific product pages or searches. Detailed performance data reveals how different types of ads influence consumer behavior across the purchase journey.
Linking data from digital shelf analytics and retail media provides a complete view of how organic and paid efforts combine to impact product performance. This connected perspective enables brands to:
- Identify high-potential products based on organic and paid metrics
- Understand how ad campaigns influence organic page metrics
- Shift budgets between products and campaigns based on measured impact
- Continuously optimize product content as organic and paid dynamics evolve
Making this data actionable requires the right technology integrations. Brands should pursue unified digital shelf and retail media dashboards to enable continuous optimization.
This is why linking retail media data with ‘market data’ provided by any modern Digital Shelf Analytics providers through API or data export (alongside sales and product catalogues) is a core component of the mimbi platform.
Key optimization opportunities
Connecting digital shelf and retail media data opens several major optimization opportunities for brands.
Optimize for in-stock products
There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than clicking on an ad only to find out that the product in question is out of stock or unavailable.
Yet limited inventory remains a common issue. Connected data helps brands understand how availability impacts conversions and prioritize retail media spending on in-stock SKUs.
Granular analytics show how factors like product models and color/size options affect conversion rates when stock runs low. Brands can adjust product detail page content to highlight available options and shift ad budget to in-stock products to avoid losing sales.
For CPG brands, optimizing based on local inventory data is crucial when running retail media with online grocery partners.
Promote high-performing products
Customer ratings and reviews greatly influence product discovery and selection online. Connected data enables brands to double down on proven winners.
By linking ratings sentiment and review metrics from product pages with retail media sales data, brands can identify star products with the highest potential. Increased paid promotion reinforces organic momentum for these products. Brands may also consider expanding product lines based on attributes driving success.
Boost underperforming products
On the flip side, retail media presents opportunities to improve conversions for weaker organic products. Driving additional traffic to product detail pages allows brands to experiment with better content and messaging.
For example, a brand may promote an underperforming product with new lifestyle images through retail media ads. Connected data shows whether the paid traffic and content test improves organic performance metrics. These insights inform ongoing optimization.
Optimize keywords selection
Incorporating digital shelf analytics not only allows for an introspective look at a brand’s own data and a comparative view against competitors but also aids in strategic keyword selection for marketing campaigns.
This includes answering critical questions such as whether to bid on branded keywords or allocate budget towards sponsored products when the brand already ranks high organically.
By analyzing search term performance and cost implications, brands can make informed decisions to optimize their advertising spend, prevent cannibalization of organic traffic, and ensure that each marketing dollar is utilized for maximum impact on the digital shelf.
Content compliance for product pages
An essential optimization consideration is ensuring product pages comply with content guidelines and regulations. This includes displaying accurate product information and descriptions along with high-quality images.
Beyond protecting customers, content compliance enhances organic discovery and conversion. Search engines penalize pages with inconsistent, incomplete, or incorrect product details.
These insights inform investment priorities to maximize ROI while setting retail media strategies.
Balance investment across retailers
Brands must allocate retail media budget based on product sales potential across different retailers. When allocating budgets across retail media networks, brands should focus spending on retailers adhering to Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies.
Choosing MAP-compliant networks preserves integrity in the market and prevents products from being under-valued through discounts or promotions.
Optimizing the Buy Box on marketplaces
For brands selling on marketplaces like Amazon, owning the buy box is imperative for sales. When vendors sell through marketplaces, the platforms themselves should hold the buy box to ensure an optimal customer experience.
Connecting buy box percentage data with sales helps brands maximize the buy box through competitive pricing, content, and retail media strategies. This prevents inadvertently funding unauthorized resellers or counterfeit products.
Competition: seize out-of-stock opportunities
When competitors have low product inventory, connected data instantly signals opportunity for agile brands. By spotting areas where key organic search terms or product alternatives rank lower, brands can react quickly with targeted retail media.
Promoting substitutable in-stock products when competition can’t meet demand makes retail media shine. The combined analytics identify and quantify the sales potential to prioritize appropriate ad spending.
Align with trends and seasonality
Timely alignment with external trends, events, and seasonal demands is critical for marketing success. Connected data helps brands identify organic search spikes and seasonal best-sellers to inform retail media budgets.
Ad spend can flex to emerging interests uncovered through digital shelf analytics. As organic demand for certain product categories or attributes rises and falls, retail media emphasis can shift dynamically. Syncing efforts to real-time trends captured in analytics keeps promotion timely.
The impact on strategy and budgets
The optimization opportunities above demonstrate the power of connecting digital shelf analytics and retail media data through a platform like mimbi. For brands, the implications are clear:
- Retail media strategy and budgeting must factor in digital shelf content performance. Approaches based on only paid media metrics are incomplete.
- Optimizing retail media for incremental value requires comparing performance across organic and paid channels. Spending based on siloed campaign data misses key synergies.
- Building the capacity to act on connected insights is essential to capitalize on seasonal and competitive shifts in market dynamics.
For retailers, providing brands with transparent analytics and sales attribution is now table stakes. Leading retailers will go further by actively helping brands harness insights from connected data.
In today’s digital-led retail environment, brands can no longer view organic product content, paid retail media, and offline sales as separate domains. The glue connecting these critical data sources provides unmatched potential to understand and influence how consumers discover, evaluate, and buy products.
For brands and agencies, the bottom line is clear — combining digital shelf analytics and retail media data is mandatory to optimize budgets and drive stronger results across channels. Only connected insights enable continuously improving omni-channel strategies and responsive budget allocation.
As retail media grows from a futures market to a major advertising channel, its performance must mesh with broader brand objectives. This requires unifying data across organic and paid channels to get a complete view of how product experiences interact and influence consumers. Brands that connect these dots will make smarter decisions and reap major rewards!