Bricks to Clicks: Competing in an Omnichannel World

Bricks to Clicks: Competing in an Omnichannel World

Bricks to Clicks: Chapter Nine Summary

In our ninth (and final) post in our “Bricks to Clicks” summary series, (you can read our last post HERE), we’re talking about chapter nine of Content Analytics founder and CEO David Feinleib’s book Bricks to Clicks: Why Some Brands Will Thrive in E-Commerce and Others Won't.

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Chapter 9: From Bricks to Clicks to Omnichannel

Amazon’s looming expansion other channels (e.g., grocery), stiff online competition, and the cost realities of both online and physical retail are having a constant impact on e-commerce. Many physical stores are closing, but at the same time, retailers that once made products available online exclusively have opened physical stores (Bonobo, Warby Parker, etc.). 

There’s no question that retail growth is coming from online sales, and that there is a massive shift that will continue in brick and mortar retail into the future. Retailers need a system that fuses inventory, content, marketing, and data management for both their online and physical sales. Sellers and vendors also have to contend with the exploding popularity of mobile shopping.  

Chatbots are filling a void in online retail, providing customers with immediate attention and interaction that mimics the in-person experience. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of consumer interactions will be managed without a human, and that by the end of 2018, automated systems will recognize customers by face and voice. Amazon is currently scaling their automated grocery stores, which may (or may not) impact how customers shop at Amazon-owned Whole Foods. Voice controlled devices like the Echo will surely have an immediate effect on all kinds of online behavior, including shopping. It’s not out of the question to assume that someday soon, Echo and its AI could order you a pizza.  


Content Analytics’ E-commerce Playbook

By following our recommended best practices, many brands new to online sales established strong positions in e-commerce.


Brand Playbook for E-commerce Success



Item Setup

Be present online.


Be in stock.

Content Health

Have best-in-class presence.


Be priced right.


Implement ongoing operational visibility.

Master Catalog

Implement centralized content management.

Your Organization

Implement an agile methodology.


Be Present Online (Item Setup)

We provide data and intelligence for suppliers so they can take back control of items online from third-party sellers on sites like Amazon and Walmart. We also make the online setup process far less of a headache than brands are used to, with more visibility and flexibility. The Master Catalog capability enables sellers to update and upload improved content, with updates going live in minutes.


Be In Stock (Inventory)

Our platform identifies inventory issues immediately so items are always available when shoppers look for them. Our platform uses data we comb from both the web and internal inventory sources to prevent items from going out of stock. Many suppliers use out-of-stock alerts to notify them when a product is showing as out of stock on a website. Our software alerts suppliers when their internal stock reports differ from what’s showing up on retailer sites. The result: millions of dollars in revenue that otherwise would have been lost.

Our Buy Box analysis helps brands understand why they are losing out to third-party sellers. This keeps them aware of all of all pricing issues to capture as many sales as possible.


Have Best-in-Class Product Presence (Content Health)

Our Content Health reports establish a baseline for the core content on product detail pages (PDP). We provide additional intelligence on best practices for PDP content (high res images, product descriptions, reviews, etc.). This data drives PDP health improvement, which results in better SEO results, increased engagement, and other metrics that brands reliably expect from improved merchandising.

Brand audits compare content on e-commerce sites with the content suppliers send us. We find discrepancies between brand-approved content and what’s actually live, alerting the supplier where they need to focus. We use a sophisticated, proprietary image matching algorithm to identify differences between supplier imagery and what retailers are displaying. Our end-to-end content development services put the control of content health back where it should be: in the hands of suppliers and brands.


Be Priced Right (Pricing)

Suppliers can’t always control pricing, but they always need visibility into it. They need to know if, and when, third-party sellers undercut first-party retailer prices. They need to know the impact of digital coupons, gift cards, and other promotions on the final product price. Our software flags suppliers which retailer lowers a price and when, giving our clients further insight into how aggressive retailer pricing strategies impacts their brand value. As soon as a retailer lowers product pricing below the minimum advertised price (MAP), we provide the intelligence that suppliers need.  


Implement Ongoing Operational Visibility (Dashboard)

Suppliers also need visibility to run omnichannel businesses effectively. Our SPARCS dashboard provides real-time data for:

  • Sales reporting
  • Pricing
  • Assortment and availability
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Content
  • Share of search and shelf

Suppliers in the past had to use several different tools (or build them) to gather this intelligence. We bring all reporting into one tool to help our suppliers increase online revenue.


Implement Centralized Content Management and Syndication (Master Catalog)

We help brands centralize storage of their digital assets and pushing them live, making it far less time consuming and more intuitive to update and publish online content.


Implement an Agile Methodology + MVP

The speed of online retail is both a threat and an opportunity for brands. We suggest a rapid approach using the minimum viable product (MVP) methodology. We find ways to make quick improvements through small changes to workflows that instruct brands where to focus larger long-term efforts. This agile approach often flies in the face of traditional business practices which took months and cost millions. Our suppliers are often both surprised and pleased with how our minimally invasive, iterative changes work quickly and stay in line with long-term business objectives.


Looking Ahead

There is no shortage of challenges brands face online. Private-label products sold by the likes of Amazon are a big threat, as is the sheer influence and footprint of Amazon. Suppliers need to move quickly and aggressively to stay in front of shoppers. We think that those aggressive suppliers have an excellent chance to stay ahead and even succeed if they move quickly and make changes to their online business practices now.

Large retailers have their own sets of problems, too. Walmart remains a challenge for Amazon, and specialty retailers have shown that niche products have a real path to success.



Content Analytics has built our software and our entire business model to position suppliers and retailers for success. Online sales are paced to increase for the foreseeable future. Our intention is to keep pace with sellers and buyers into that future, to make sense of massive quantities of data, to point our partners and clients into the right direction so they’re all following the right data, and to be a part of the exciting and unexpected innovations to come.


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