Brand and sales managers used to working in a brick-and-mortar retail environment will be familiar with a core list of traditional purchase drivers, commonly referred to as the 4Ps: product, price, place and promotion.

With ecommerce on the rise, many sales professionals may be wondering how those drivers translate to the ‘digital shelf’. Ecommerce focused brand and sales managers focus on similar aspects, but through an online lens, namely visibility (on-page and search), relative price, stock availability, and content (product pages and images).

Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar, ecommerce comes with a greater risk of sales volatility because the environment changes more frequently and significantly. In just minutes, a brand can move from ‘Top Shelf’ visibility (page 1 on a search results page) to being virtually invisible (page 2 and beyond). And since 75% of consumers never even visit the second page of search results, that can mean millions in lost revenue. Because consumers can easily compare prices and receive product recommendations instantly, there’s also an increased risk of product substitution. 

While sales data can provide the what, it doesn’t always explain the why. In this article, we unpack the concept of the digital shelf and break down how an effective strategy will help give you a competitive advantage.


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