Have you ever viewed products online? Of course you have; it’s the 21st century!

But do you notice they often look similar to how you find them in-store?

From browsing all the way through to checkout, a company’s digital shelf is basically the online equivalent of buying their products IRL (in real life).

With the element of touch taken out of the equation, businesses are having to be more and more creative when it comes to replicating the feel of in-store shopping online.

So, how do you go about getting your brand ready for the digital shelf?

In this article, we ask, ‘What is the digital shelf?’, as well as looking at why it matters and providing ways of bolstering your own digital shelf space.

Digital shelf examples

At first, the digital shelf may seem like a mystery; however, it’s actually rather straightforward. 

Imagine creating a dedicated space for customers to review and (hopefully) buy your products online. That’s your digital shelf!

Digital shelf examples include:

  • Retailer sites – domains associated with your business and what it sells
  • Third-party marketplaces – partner websites that market your products
  • Shops on social media – platform-based marketplaces that list your products for sale
  • Apps for mobile – digital stores where people can buy your products via their phones

Technically, the digital shelf is limitless. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. Just think carefully about what’s best for your brand and how you can use the digital shelf to improve it.

What makes a strong digital shelf strategy?

Having a strong digital shelf strategy in place before any changes happen is key.

Succeeding online means giving your digital shelf strategy the consideration it deserves. Not only does this help focus your efforts and encourage brand growth, but it also lays a solid foundation on which to build any future digital plans.

Consider these key points when building your digital shelf strategy:

1) Forward planning

Every digital shelf strategy has a solid plan behind it. Research your business and decide where you want it to perform best online; this will give a clearer indication of the end results.

You can make your digital shelf strategy even more effective by:

  • Choosing relevant KPIs – e.g., share of search, brand awareness, increased sales, etc.
  • Identifying key pain points – i.e., where your business needs to improve and why
  • Establishing timelines – this will help your team implement any important changes without delay
  • Running ideation sessions – this allows you to brainstorm possible strategies and workflows in an efficient manner

2) Setting goals

The digital shelf is not an open playing field where you can just target everything and hope for the best. You should set achievable goals for your business from the start, and accomplish them before moving on to the next thing.

Creating a matrix with your key focus areas may help, as well as laying out clear criteria for success.

3) Stakeholder management

There must be enough team members within your organisation to take ownership of and support with the digital shelf strategy. Everyone should get involved at the same time; this ensures they’re all on the same page, establishing one cohesive vision.

Once your strategy is signed off, you can then kickstart production without losing any momentum.

4) Leveraging ratings and reviews

It matters a lot what customers say about your brand.

Whether it’s influencers plugging products via social media or everyday opinions left in the comments section of YouTube, your business will be affected by testimonials.

You should always encourage shoppers to review your brand; it shows confidence. Also, they may share their experience with your business on their public/private social channels, which – if positive – could boost your clientele.

5) Effective tracking and monitoring

Without relevant, actionable data, you cannot hope to achieve success with your digital shelf strategy! Magpie DBX will not only help collect the information you need, but also collate it all in one place for easy analysis.

Why is your share of the digital shelf important?

Recent research by Statista shows that the UK has around 50million online shoppers. As technology continues to advance, with developments in the metaverse and other areas, this number will only go up.

Even as businesses reopen their physical stores, many people still feel like they get a better shopping experience online. It could be that there’s more product choice available, or simply because they prefer browsing from the comfort of home.

Either way, online shopping is more popular than ever, and standing out among the crowd on the digital shelf has become a necessity for all companies embracing e-commerce as the future.

Using digital shelf analytics

Digital shelf analytics (DSA) should be monitored to ensure your brand is performing at its absolute best online!

A few things to consider when looking at digital shelf analytics are:

  • Share of search – how well your products are currently ranking on search engines and ways you can better optimise them
  • Product content – keeping technical specs and descriptive copy up-to-date across all active channels
  • Pricing strategy – how well your products are currently priced within the market and changing the price if necessary
  • Promotional activity – creating competitive online promotions and adjusting them to be more in line with market fluctuations
  • Buyer sentiment – taking into consideration what customers are saying about your products, whether they’re responding positively, and acting on their feedback
  • Stock levels – making sure that your products are readily available and can be shipped within a reasonable time

Tracking any or all of the above means you’re more likely to get customers’ attention online, thereby maximising your digital shelf space.

Optimising your digital shelf with Magpie DBX

From Stock & Delivery monitoring to tracking brand performance, Magpie DBX has various features that can help you make your company stand out on the digital shelf.

Many of the world’s biggest brands use Magpie DBX to maximise their digital shelf potential, so you’ll certainly be in good hands with us.

Want to learn how we can help make your digital shelf dreams come true? Get in touch and request a demo today!