Bricks to Clicks: Chapter Three Summary
In our third post in our “Bricks to Clicks” summary series, (you can read our last post HERE) this week, we’re talking about chapter three 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.
Chapter 3: First Insight, Then Action
Content Analytics developed our proprietary dashboard after taking very specific client feedback into account. Our KPI measurement tool is entirely client-driven, with the overall metrics we collect and monitor inspired directly from meetings with consumer goods companies that reviewed the platform in its early stages.
The Dashboard provides analysis for six vital metrics (we call it SPARCS for short):
- Assortment and availability
- Ratings and reviews
- Content and Content Health
- Shelf and search
Our software takes regular snapshots of those metrics so clients can compare any two points in time, as well as how you compare to another site or brand. Out of stock (and other) alerts keep teams responsive and customers happy. The Dashboard is easily configured, something we work closely with clients on so we know, and can respond to, their needs. It’s as robust or as concise as you need it to be.
- Supports multiple retailer sites (Amazon, Walmart, Jet, Target, etc.)
- Displays KPIs with scannable graphics and intuitive design
- Includes roll-up and drill-down reports and views
Content Analytics Measurement Solutions at a Glance
The Dashboard simplifies the revenue reporting process. We retrieve sales data from other retailers and vendors, convert that information into a common data set, and display it automatically. (If you were really attached to your various sales spreadsheets, we promise you won’t miss them.) You can layer that sales data into other customized reports to determine how campaigns and programs have impacted revenue.
Put simply: we keep an eye on your pricing so you know when and how a retailer re-prices your items. You can easily configure our charts for a visual summary of pricing over time. This information is recorded from multiple retailers, so you have a constant view of which major sellers are impacting your bottom line.
MAP violations are a constant headache in this industry. Suppliers need a mechanism to monitor those violations so they have some documentation to show a retailer the moment the price dropped. Our email notification system alerts clients of price violations, giving our partners as much evidence as possible to help enforce contractual MAP guidelines.
Price visibility is the other side of the MAP violations coin. The Dashboard also keeps clients aware of products listed without prices to keep pace with how retailers sell their products, decreasing the likelihood of MAP violations and increasing revenue.
The Authorized Seller module keeps clients abreast of unauthorized sellers listing their products on third-party sites. Marketplaces are the wild west of online retail, so this report automatically verifies that any product listing matches your database of authorized resellers.
Assortment and Availability
Customers can’t purchase products if they can’t find them. Out of stock warnings tells you what a retailer’s website says about the availability of your goods. The system also checks for variants, like color and size, ensuring a true “shopper’s view” of all your third-party seller product pages. This feature is nearly instantaneous to set up and could have almost the same immediate impact on revenue upticks.
There are several reasons why a product may suddenly appear to be out of stock (seasonal popularity, software hiccups, human goofups). Let’s say your very popular television is suddenly #1 in the search results on Amazon. It could, therefore, without warning, sell out during the holiday season. Without monitoring: you may not otherwise know the product sold out for weeks. We work closely with clients to define their individual out of stock parameters and flag products on that basis.
Buy Box ownership is another unanticipated result of third-party sellers and marketplaces (that mostly compete on price). To keep your margins up: all big brands need to know whether a marketplace or a first-party retail channel (Amazon) was responsible for the sale. The report tells you the exact percentages on a daily basis so, if there is a problem with pricing or a seller, you can take action to fix it immediately.
Big brands often have trouble tracking down whether or not agreed upon goods are listed at all on retailer sites. For product assortment monitoring: we start with a specific list of products (from a supplier/brand) and compare those products to items that are being sold on third-party sites.
Most online consumers use reviews to help them make a buying decision.
Our software alerts sellers about:
- New negative reviews
- Products with low review counts
- Well-reviewed products
The report tells you how successful your review campaigns are going for new products, as well as keeping you aware of chronic issues that may need to be addressed.
In previous chapters, we’ve covered why content health is vital to online success. Our report, which is central to our dashboard and content management system (CMS), measures your content health of individual pages based on best practices for product listings. The Content Health Report tells you what items are missing or broken (product descriptions, images, product titles, etc.) so you can fix the priority items as quickly as possible.
We focus on areas that impact search results. If an item is missing an image on Amazon or has a short product description, your goods may not rank well in product search. The Content Score indicates the priority work you have to do on crucial items and top-selling products to increase visibility in search engines.
Share of Shelf and Search
Share of shelf measures the percentage of items on a store’s digital shelf (when consumers drill down by category through the site navigation). Most sellers, of course, want to show up on the first page of the results, so this reporting mechanism helps you narrow down which pages may need improvement.
Share of Search measures performance by key search terms. Most SEO teams can tell you from memory what their share of search is for Google and for which keyword strings. We can also tell you how those terms are doing on first-party sites and third-party marketplaces. The report includes a view that shows you how your competitors compete on specific terms.
Customizing the Dashboard
Whether you want to import a product list based on product URL, UPCs, product collections (i.e., Spring 2018), ASINS (Amazon) or tool IDs (Walmart), we can import product list to your specs. Content Analytics also works with companies that have products broken down into granular taxonomies (especially true for large CPG companies).
We’ve created custom dashboard views that include Content Health scores based on parameters the client requests. Global views tell you how your products are performing in different jurisdictions. Heatmaps and charts that visually track side-by-side performance of multiple brands for one client. This automatic tracking cuts down on manual reporting on product segments.
Bricks to clicks companies that are serious about competing in the online marketplace need to get equally serious about monitoring the aspects of their outward-facing product pages. We’ve developed and deployed a system that does all that heavy lifting so brand managers, catalog managers, online marketers, and product teams can focus on improving discoverability and revenue.
Get your copy of David Feinleib's latest book at Amazon.com.
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