7 Ways You Can Win The Digital Shelf In 2024

4 mins

Deliver shopper experiences centred around the consumer with Digital Shelf, increasing sales both online and offline.

The beauty of competing for space on the digital shelf is that all your actions will benefit your business. It’s not a situation where efforts spent in one area could detract from others; all these seven focuses will increase visibility and reduce buyer friction. 

But ultimately, you’re combining all your efforts towards one composite goal. Make sure it’s the kind of success you can measure, which brings us to our first tip… 

1 Building Your Digital Shelf Strategy 

Competing for space on the digital shelf needs to be a distinct part of your overarching eCommerce strategy. Yes, observing best practice for eCommerce in general will go some way to helping product visibility, but a dedicated digital shelf strategy further optimises those results. 

First, set your goals. Are you trying to boost sales, profitability, or grow your market share? Are you looking to raise brand awareness and reputation? Does it make more sense to raise customer satisfaction metrics right now? 

Your goals will ultimately determine your approach to the digital shelf. If you’re focused on raw sales, optimising for a handful of bigger platforms might be the best tactic. On the other hand, brand awareness targets might call for producing more product content across more platforms.

When you know your goals and the platforms that will help you most, you can start to prioritise your efforts. Assess what resources and personnel you have to work with and assign them as efficiently as you can. Are your best people better off breaking new ground or solidifying your presence on big platforms? 

You also need to answer two questions: how is success defined and how can we measure it? Knowing how your goals translate into KPIs means you can invest in the right tools to track them. 

Take time to communicate all this throughout your relevant teams. Let everyone know where competing for shelf space sits within the context of your wider goals. Ensure there’s buy-in from middle management and team leaders who are typically most concerned with the demands of daily business. 

2 Getting A Deeper Understanding Of Product Placement 

Traditional retail has spent centuries and untold sums of money perfecting the art of where to place products in-store to grab attention. Even with eCommerce on the rise, $500 billion is still spent each year optimising physical shelves. 

There is, however, a surprising level of crossover between best practice in physical vs digital product placement. By learning from the past, you can prepare your digital store for the future. 

For one thing, placing products at eye level is invaluable. Instead of on the top shelf by the checkout, eye level now means at the top of the SERPS. Organic clicks are highly unlikely to bring you the same volume of traffic as PPC, even if you’re reliably taking the top organic position.

Standing out is still a major component of winning shelf space. Attention-grabbing headlines are a very wise investment. Adding sitelinks and stacking ad extensions gives people more chances to notice you. 

Taking a fresh look at keywords can also get results. If you think about how you naturally browse in a store, you go to the relevant aisle first, then decide what specific product variant and brand to choose. In eCommerce, this is replicated by targeting non branded category keywords (makeup, cooking utensils) as well as product specific ones (lipstick, crockpots) and your own brand. 

Finally, consider your own physical store. Remember we said most in-store customers are using their smartphones to browse at the same time? Big-ticket items, such as white goods, can be placed prominently in-store. Customers can then browse these and open themselves up to retargeted ads.

3 Making Sure You Never Run Out Of Stock 

It’s no good boosting good visibility for your products if you’ve run out of stock. Listing out of stock items can also hurt the visibility of your listings on online marketplaces like Amazon as it provides a poor customer experience. When your inventory stretches across multiple retailers and marketplaces, it can get tricky to keep track of everything. High-performing platforms need the most stock assigned there. 

If you want to ensure you don’t run out of stock, try using ChannelSight’s Price and Inventory Monitoring tool. You get one central hub showing how your stock and prices vary across your whole digital presence.

You should be asking yourself questions such as: 

  • How does price differ and fluctuate across platforms? 
  • What impact does price have on conversions? 
  • What product variants perform best across different retailers? 
  • Who are your key competitors in both price and marketplace coverage?

4 Creating Product Pages That Stand Out And Convert 

Optimised product pages appeal to customers and convert more sales. This, in turn, pleases marketplace and retailer algorithms and nets you more space on the digital shelf. It’s a virtuous cycle, and it should be relatively straightforward to make sure your product titles, descriptions, and images are up to standard.

Writing Better Product Titles 

Begin with the brand name. People search for specific products, but trusted brands catch the eye. It’s also a good idea to use as many characters as your platform gives you to fill. Using your maximum allowance of relevant keywords gives you maximum chances to grab the customer’s attention. 

A good formula to use when ordering keywords is: 

  • Brand name Product name 
  • Key variants (colour, flavour, etc) 
  • Size or quantity 
  • Typical users 
  • Anything else that’s relevant

So, "Adidas trainers black size 12 men’s for running and sports" might perform well. Avoid vague or fluffy phrases which people aren’t likely to search for; Greatest bestselling shoes for playing ball games top quality is describing the same product but won’t convert as well.

Optimising Your Product Descriptions 

Properly written product descriptions will follow similar principles to good titles. The difference is that you’ve got even more characters, more space to play with, and more opportunities to tell the customer what they need to hear. When writing product descriptions: 

  • Brand name 
  • Use as much space as you can, without resorting to irrelevant or vague keywords 
  • Use bullet points to break up lists 
  • Avoid blocks of text; keep sentences under 20 words and paragraphs to three or four lines max 

Brush up on your spelling and grammar; most people are put off by descriptions with too many mistakes.

Each platform you use could have different best practice guidelines for images, so make sure you’re optimising for each one. If you’re in any doubt, Amazon’s guidelines serve as solid guidance. On Amazon, images should be: 

  • At least 1,000 pixels in either height or width 
  • Either JPG, GIF, or PNG format; sRGB or CMYK colour mode 
  • Showing only your product being sold, no other items 
  • Free from filters, heavy editing, or too much text 
  • At least 85% filled with the product itself 
  • Set against a white background 
  • In context, with the product being used by a model if possible 
  • Showing a product from different angles 

As with images and descriptions, use what you’re given. If a platform lets you upload half a dozen images, use that as six opportunities to show off different variants or use cases. 

To ensure your products are listed consistently across your full digital shelf, try using ChannelSight’s Content Compliance solution. This way you can be sure that you’re showing your SKUs at their best!

5 Leveraging Reviews And Ratings 

Retailer sites and marketplaces are more likely to give your products space on the digital shelf if those products are known to be trusted. Proactively soliciting feedback from customers pleases the algorithm and gives you testimonials for your marketing team to use. That wins more sales and brings in more positive reviews, another virtuous cycle. 

Getting More Positive Product Reviews 

Providing great products and services is the root of winning more positive feedback. But turning goodwill into reviews takes a bit of strategic thought. 

Think of the different touchpoints at which you can proactively ask customers to share their thoughts. Receipts and follow-up emails are the ideal place to make a short, unobtrusive request for reviews. 

Competitions are a great way to incentivise feedback. But make sure people can still win if their reviews are neutral, or even negative. Some platforms frown on incentivising positive feedback by disqualifying negative reviews from winning; it’s the kind of thing that quickly gets called out on social media. 

Speaking of negative reviews, don’t ignore them. Scheduling time for your customer service teams to go out of their way to address complaints can turn angry customers into vocal advocates. 

Using Feedback To Sell More Products 

Showing off your positive feedback builds trust with new customers. People trust the opinion of others way more readily than they trust marketing. Placing reviews prominently on your homepage and including them on product pages is a good idea, but there’s more to making good use of them. 

Ratings and reviews can inform your product and marketing strategies. For bigger businesses selling across multiple marketplaces, you could potentially be sitting on a massive source of data that can be used to help you develop better products and more effective marketing strategies. 

ChannelSight’s Ratings and Reviews solution is the optimal way to gain customer and product insight. Having visibility of product performance across all marketplaces ensures you can optimally allocate your budget. An analysis of reviews also provides a holistic view of customer feedback. This can help you better understand your customers, improve products and address common complaints. 

It’s a good idea to keep all your feedback from all your channels in one place. Don’t silo your teams (and the data they need) away from one another; insights from one platform or product group can be leveraged to help another. 

6 Staying Consistent Across Your Whole Digital Presence

Consistency across your full digital shelf is key. You still only get one chance to make a first impression, whether your product appears on Amazon or on a tiny niche platform. 

If you make a good first impression, the platform’s algorithm rewards you with more future visibility. But if you’re selling on lots of platforms, keeping track of listings becomes a key area of focus. 

If you’re taking the time and effort on your customer experience and branding, failure to ensure consistency needlessly throws all your efforts away. 

Achieving the kind of uniformity required is as much about minimising losses as maximising gains. Complaints and returns over inaccurate or outdated product descriptions can quickly mount up. Anomalies in product descriptions which don’t fit the platform they’re on can damage trust and lose you sales. 

Note that we mentioned outdated descriptions. If you’re selling products which iterate fast, it’s doubly important you devote time and resources to updating your listings. Without centralising where you keep those listings, you’ll need a highly efficient system of your own to track everything. 

It might sound like a daunting task to try to maintain consistency across your full digital shelf, but with ChannelSight’s content compliance solution it’s a walk in the park. With the ability to easily spot inconsistencies in your product details across all your retailers and products, content compliance will ensure you never have to worry about a rogue listing slipping through the net.

 7 Giving Customers The Best Possible Experience

A common theme so far has been reducing friction across your customers’ shopping experience. That experience is broader and more intricate now than ever before. We’ve seen how digital and physical shelves support one another in winning interest. We’ve covered how customers hit a large number of digital touchpoints as they convert and move beyond the sale to promote your brand to friends. 

Making sure that the whole process is relevant, smooth, and engaging for large numbers of people is critical to continuing to win shelf space. Hitting them with the right message at the right moment takes incredible focus, but the rewards are huge. 

Another tool that helps brands gather invaluable data is the ChannelSight Where to Buy solution. This tool goes a step further by proactively guiding customers through their journey. 

A Buy Now button, such as the Where to Buy solution, can be placed anywhere products appear on your brand site. Customers simply tap the button and are shown a list of retailers in their region currently selling that product. This lowers friction and efficiently guides customers through the path to purchase. 

Best of all, it gives you data and insights into the whole customer journey. Because optimising the customer experience is a numbers game, data is king. Being able to pinpoint where people are dropping off lets you devote additional energy to that touchpoint. A/B testing specific messages at specific points lets you optimise down to the finest details.


If we think of the digital shelf as your products’ visibility across all possible touchpoints, winning that space long-term is a matter of tracking and adapting to a changing eCommerce landscape. It can feel daunting even for the biggest online retailers, with platforms tweaking algorithms and best practice all the time. 

Don’t fall into the trap of viewing these partner platforms as the enemy, even when their changes come out of the blue to the chagrin of you and your team. Ultimately, the goal is to create a low-friction environment where customers spend more. Everyone benefits from that. 

Work with the changes, roll with the punches, and don’t try to game the system. If you play by the rules, your partner brands will reward you with more exposure. And for all your hard work, you’re sure to be rewarded with consumer loyalty, better-performing products and higher sales margins.

To learn more, speak with a ChannelSight representative today.

Reducing Friction from the Consumer Journey with Add-to-Cart Report
Download the free report now.
ChannelSight Products
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.