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April 24, 2023

How the Right Ecommerce Metrics Can Impact Sales on the Digital Shelf

Written by: Circus Street

The digital shelf is much like the brick-and-mortar shelf. It’s full of merchandised products and descriptions designed to catch the consumer’s eye.

Rather than vying for customers with local high-street retailers, however, digital shelves compete on a global scale. And within this ever-expansive ecommerce ecosystem, one low-quality image or lackluster product description could mean a lost conversion.

The modern consumer has hundreds of retailers clamoring for their attention every day. But it’s the businesses that truly understand those consumers’ needs that win their business.

That’s where ecommerce metrics and digital shelf analytics can make all the difference.

Explore how you can use these analytics to ensure your digital shelf is doing its job.

Ecommerce Metrics Every Business Should Monitor

To effectively manage your digital shelf and avoid making changes blindly, you first need to understand how your content is performing. Here are some ecommerce metrics to watch.

Conversion Rates

Conversion rate is the biggest indicator of how well your digital shelf is performing. Getting a customer to the point of conversion means your digital shelf has done its job successfully. It’s critical to monitor this metric closely and aim for somewhere around the average ecommerce conversion rate, which is between 2.5% and 3%, according to BigCommerce.

Also, be mindful of the evolving ways consumers are convertingStatista reports that 60% of total retail online sales were on mobile, for example, so ensure your digital shelf is well organized and optimized for mobile to boost the chances of conversion.

Search Rankings

Search ranking metrics — such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, click-through rate, and more — give you insight into how high your products are ranking in search results. A low ranking generally means that consumers are less likely to find and click through to your pages. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to optimize your product listings to improve their visibility on the shopping tab.

Optimize your product listings by:

  • Rewriting your title and product descriptions to include relevant keywords.
  • Checking for spelling errors.
  • Ensuring you stay within recommended character counts.
  • Refreshing your product images.
  • Providing competitive and transparent pricing.

Product and Company Reviews

Reviews play an important role in the customer buying journey, with 36.4% of shoppers reading between one and three reviews before making a purchase, and 31% reading between four and six, according to Statista.

By monitoring your customer reviews, you can glean valuable insight into customer sentiment. What do consumers like about your products or brand? What don’t they like? What patterns are you seeing across reviews?

The way you respond to and interact with reviewers can also help build customer loyalty and enable customers to make informed purchasing decisions. Take note of consumer feedback and implement changes wherever possible to continue improving your digital shelf and boosting the shopping experience.

Click-Through Rates (CTRs)

CTRs can tell you a lot about how customers navigate your digital shelf. If customers are clicking through to different product pages and not purchasing, chances are there’s a disconnect between the messaging across pages. To provide a more consistent experience, audit your pages and ensure your messaging is cohesive across your entire digital shelf.

You can learn more about how users navigate your digital shelf by utilizing heatmap, scroll map, and click map tools like those at HotJar. Understanding how customers use your site is crucial to reducing barriers to conversion and engaging a reactive optimization strategy. 

4 Real-World Examples of Effective Digital Shelves

Analyzing your digital shelf using the right ecommerce metrics can help drive conversions and build strong customer relationships. The best businesses take their digital shelves a step further by using top digital tools to optimize their brand. Here are a few examples.

1. Very: Enhancing Product Discovery Experience With Artificial Intelligence (AI)

British online retailer Very is stepping up its user experience by using AI-powered natural language processing and machine learning in partnership with Constructor, an AI product discovery platform designed explicitly for ecommerce retailers.

These tools enable Very to learn about shopper preferences and provide users with faster and more personalized product discovery results.

“Finding the right products quickly is a vital part of the overall digital customer experience, and we’re excited to be taking product discovery to the next level,” says Very customer experience director Paul Hornby.

Very’s approach demonstrates how innovative tools like AI can propel a brand to the forefront of digital shopper engagement.

2. Amazon: Beating the Competition With Dynamic Pricing

Today’s consumers are smart, active shoppers who can find the best, cheapest product online in just a few clicks. That’s why dynamic pricing can play such an important role in a strong ecommerce strategy, as evidenced by Amazon.

Amazon uses dynamic pricing algorithms to adjust pricing in real time, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. These prices are based on demand, competition, and inventory levels, which helps the retailer maximize revenue and profitability. 

With this algorithm, Amazon is able to offer discounted products and drive more consumers to its marketplace.

3. Lucy and Yak: Building Personal Connections With User-Generated Content (UGC)

According to Bazaarvoice, 53% of shoppers prefer social images from customers rather than professional photography, noting that these images give them confidence in their purchasing decisions. 

Take Lucy and Yak as an example. The retailer sells independent, organic, and recycled clothing and encourages customers to share selfies using the hashtag #inmyyaks, which they then feature. 

They’ve built a community of trusted shoppers through this UGC tactic, generating more than 21,000 user posts to date — and boosting brand awareness as they go.

Image Source: #inmyyaks 

4. Sephora: Delivering Personalized Omnichannel Experiences

Savvy customers shop via several channels before making a purchase, so it’s important for brands to provide personalized, connected experiences no matter where their customers shop. French retailer Sephora merges online and in-store experiences perfectly by helping customers find products they’ve sampled virtually when they visit a brick-and-mortar location.

The personalization journey starts when a customer becomes a Sephora member and books an in-store makeup consultation. The consumer and their makeup artist both receive data around what the consumer has bought or browsed online, enabling the artist to make personalized recommendations.

Focusing on their loyalty program has meant that 80% of their transactions in recent years have come from their members, according to Shopify.

Optimizing Your Digital Shelf for Growth

Every ecommerce store wants to optimize for sales, ROI, and business growth. And by crafting an impactful digital shelf strategy, you can do that too.

Digital shelf ecommerce training helps empower your teams to learn better and work smarter. From covering the digital shelf essentials to diving into strategy and best practices, the right training platform can help set you up for ecommerce success.

To learn more about how your brand can reach maximum growth and efficiency on the digital shelf, listen to “Moving through the Digital Shelf Maturity Curve,” an episode of the DSI’s podcast “Unpacking the Digital Shelf.”