E-commerce & Internet Retail

Consumer Search Insights: A Product Content Must-have

  • April 17, 2018
  • Julia Dalton
  • 4 minutes

For CPG brands, brick-and-mortar success largely depends on shelf placement in physical stores. The old adage “eye level is buy level” reigns true, meaning that products that are placed at or near eye level are likely to sell better than those placed higher or lower on shelves. Manufacturers often pay top-dollar for this prime placement.

But it’s not just in physical stores that shelf placement is important. When it comes to e-commerce, success relies on how well your products rank on search results pages. This digital shelf placement is just as – if not more – important than placement in stores; according to a study by Millward Brown, 70% of consumers don’t click past the first page of search results for a query.

Below we will outline how you can align your product content and marketing efforts with consumer search insights to maximize search visibility and sales across retailers.

Dig into the data.

The first step is gaining access to a tool that provides keyword search volume data across retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target and any others that are important to your e-commerce strategy. There is tremendous value in knowing the top keywords shoppers are searching for, specifically within the categories that are most important to you.

Consumers who are searching on retailer websites are very close to purchase; they’re looking for specific products with the exact features they need. As a result, there tends to be more variety in the keyword phrases they use. Opportunities for sales exist across a wider range of keywords than one can imagine. That is why understanding the exact terms consumers are searching for and optimizing your content accordingly nets the best results.

Because there’s so much variety in the keywords shoppers use, the most effective way to discover the terms you should target isn’t by starting with a single query. For example, if you want to dominate search results in the Cat Food category, wouldn’t it be nice if you could browse the most popular queries in that category? At OneSpace, we have mapped keyword volume data across 17 of the major retailers into a single, comprehensive category structure. This allows you to quickly uncover variations in consumer search patterns and keywords you may not have originally included in your product content.

Look beyond Amazon.

The next step is learning how consumer search behavior varies across retailers. Are the top keywords in your category different on Walmart.com than they are on Amazon? Gaining insight into the differences between retailers enables you to optimize your product listings in a much more targeted fashion.

According to our data, for example, the term “cat food,” is searched for nearly the same number of times on Chewy.com as on Amazon and only 4% less on Walmart.com.

“Toilet paper,” on the other hand, is searched for 112% more times on Amazon than it is on Walmart.com. However, if you get more specific and add a brand qualifier to the query, the results change considerably; the specific branded term we tested is searched for 148% more times on Walmart.com than it is on Amazon, and 223% more times than it is on Target.com.

While the CPG industry tends to be focused on Amazon, the reality is that there are ample opportunities to gain sales across other retailer websites, specifically those where consumers cluster for certain products and categories. Placing targeted focus on your product content within these pockets of opportunity can make a sizable impact to your e-commerce sales.

Analyze share of voice.

The third and final step is using consumer search data to understand your brand’s share of voice. How often do shoppers search for your brand specifically, and how often do they search for your competitors?

The popularity of branded search terms is an effective benchmark for where you stand in the e-commerce market. And the greater your share of voice, the more command you have over shoppers who are close to making a purchasing decision; on most retailer websites, only products from the matched brand appear in the results for branded search terms, essentially eliminating competition on those keywords.

Optimizing your product content for these branded keywords is one way to increase your brand’s share of voice. However, you should also track this metric over time as you make changes to your other marketing efforts, such as paid ads, organic rankings, and general brand awareness campaigns.

Next steps

Success in the e-commerce space requires a deep understanding of consumer behavior. If you have access to tools that give you these insights, utilize them to strategically optimize your product content.

OneSpace’s toolset was designed to help today’s brands dominate the digital shelf. From consumer search insights to on-demand product content optimization, we provide everything you need to execute your e-commerce strategy at scale. Try it now.

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