The Digital Shelf: Why It’s So Important

Digital Shelf
October 27, 2022

The Digital Shelf – Why It’s So Important

We all know what a store shelf is and why it exists, but have you ever thought about a digital shelf? So much of a consumer’s journey is online, and the process of shopping from discovery to purchase can be constant, non-linear, and random. Digital experiences are a key part of educating consumers about products and influencing what they buy. Whether they’re buying in a retail store or via an influencer’s online post, a shopper creates their own digital journey.

The digital shelf is how and where a brand’s product is displayed online and is the online equivalent of how someone shops in a brick-and-mortar store. To succeed with your digital shelf, you must manage the combination of all the digital touchpoints used by consumers to engage with brands, influence purchase decisions, and ultimately lead to buying a product.

Why Invest in the Digital Shelf?

The digital shelf is a very important part of any online retailer’s strategy. As mentioned before, the consumer digital journey now is non-linear, meaning that someone may visit multiple digital touchpoints before visiting a brick-and-mortar store or vice versa. They might see a product in-store and validate their purchase choice by doing their research online. By making sure that your business’s digital shelf is optimized for every step of the customer journey, you’re ensuring that you don’t miss out on customers because a competitor is doing it better.

With eCommerce capturing 14.3% of total U.S. retail sales in Q4 2021 and growing, we can see a huge business incentive to optimize for the digital shelf. Leading multinational companies are heavily investing in this space already, as evidenced by Coca-Cola’s 2021 plans to "accelerate its digital transformation journey” with a new digital hub based in Dublin to help support the execution and efficiency of its own digital shelf.

Best Practices for Winning on the Digital Shelf

To win on the digital shelf, there are five key points along the customer journey that you need to be aware of and have KPIs to measure in order to ensure success:

  1. Availability: When an item is out of stock, brands can experience a weekly loss of up to 22% for each day an item is not available. Take measures to ensure product availability and identify stocking issues.
  2. Findability: Paid search should be a top priority. Identify items that are currently unfindable, and benchmark your search performance against competitors.
  3. Display execution: Content is king here. Making sure that content is both accurate and high-quality is one of the best ways to attract potential buyers to your product. Optimize keywords within titles and descriptions to bolster findability.
  4. Value proposition: Pricing and promotions should be regularly monitored across your brands to ensure compliance. Take a look at your competitors to achieve a consistent, competitive edge.
  5. Brand equity: Reviews and ratings should be top-of-mind, as this is where many customers go to finalize their buying choice. Optimize copy with user-generated keywords to help drive conversions.

How We Can Help You Win the Digital Shelf

Engaging consumers wherever they are is a key principle of the digital shelf, and this means making sure that your content is available to all markets in their preferred languages. It also requires keyword research in-language to be done from scratch to optimize search results.

We can optimize or create product content on marketplaces and retail websites to maximize sales and audit your competition to discover any opportunities. TransPerfect has all the resources required to make sure your brand and products are winning the digital shelf no matter what markets you’re targeting.


Click here to get in touch with one of our experts to start your digital transformation experience today.

Benjamin Watt, Senior Director, Digital Marketing Solutions