Today, the way we shop is more varied than ever. Traditional high street shopping as we once knew it is in constant decline, and its replacement is the ever-increasing world of online shopping.
Over time, our shopping behaviours, and the technology in which supports them, have changed. Communication and transactions are faster than ever due to the introduction of smartphones, tablets and voice search. Every savvy retailer has a website, and any forward thinking one should be continuously looking for better ways to get their brand seen by more customers, in the right place, at the right time.
Product discovery is now a critical source of a retailer’s revenue. However, how a retailer’s products get discovered remains a big challenge for many. Whether you’re a retailer with a large product profile or a smaller retailer wanting to grow quickly, how you manage your product data feed is the difference between exponential growth and getting left behind.
A feed, which essentially consists of a list of products and their defined attributes, must reflect an organised and detailed product management approach in order to provide optimal results.
The quality of the feed dictates the success of Shopping Ads on Google and Bing, along with Marketplace listings on Amazon and eBay, and consequently, many sellers are rethinking how best to optimise their data in order to best reach their customers.
At Productcaster, we’ve reviewed the retail sector, conducting research across more than 200 brands. Our review of the market has uncovered some key challenges faced and what it means for the future.
Brands do not understand the true value of technology solutions and their ability to grow their business.
Of the brands reviewed, 20% are currently not using a feed management solution. With marketing technology available in abundance for retailers to grow their brand, the question remains why are retailers not making the most of the opportunity?
Research showed that retailers feel overwhelmed by the amount of choice in feed management solutions in the market. With 49.8% of agencies stating that clients taking their marketing services management in house is a key challenge for their business, it is evident that retailers are in-housing not only to reduce cost, but to steer away from the complexity of marketing technology solutions.
There is a 30% opportunity for improvement across the UK retail industry.
At present 60% of marketing is driven through feeds, and according to our market research, this will increase to 80% by 2021. Today, significant revenue is being left off the table as a result of retailers not having a robust feed management strategy. Through our years of experience, we can quantify for every 10% improvement in feed sales, there will be a consequential extra 3% growth in revenue for retailers.
In the UK alone we estimate that in 2019 there is an extra £5.74bn revenue available in online ecommerce sales. This increases by £2.7bn when including offline sales attributed to digital advertising, due to the role of click and collect and advertising opportunities such as local inventory ads.
What this means for retailers and agencies managing brands’ feeds is there is more opportunity now than there has ever been. And yet at the same time, never a more critical time to ensure their feeds are up to scratch to evolve with their marketing and brand growth.
By 2022 ecommerce sales will have grown another 24.6%; combined with the growth of feed driven marketing the absolute growth is 66%. The gap of opportunity is only going to widen if brands do not act soon.
Top 3 tips for developing a robust and sustainable feed strategy
- Ensure your partner is not limiting your growth – avoid partners that charge per product, channel and market
- Review the platform your team will be using on a day to day basis to ensure it’s easy to set up and manage your partners
- Transparency is key – select a partner that can measure the efficiency gains and sales growth from improving the feed