Between SEOs and product rankings, the digital success of a brand can be atomised down to some essentials of digital discoverability.
As brands gallop through the ever-evolving digital world, seeing their expenditure yield desired results remains paramount for all participants. The essence of digital marketing is to either build awareness, or drive e-commerce sales, both of which require a great deal of strategised ad or product placements, compounded with the right mix of consumer outreach.
For a brand to see any success in its digital marketing, to be discoverable is the first brick in the wall. According to Search Engine Journal, 70% of Amazon customers never click past the first page of Amazon SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). In fact, The first three product listings displayed in Amazon SERPs account for 64% of clicks.
All industry reports indicate that the major chunk of the online business pie is devoured by those at the top of the search lists. Multiple studies indicate that 93 percent of the online experience for a consumer begins with a search engine such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing, making online discoverability the most fundamental requisite for any success in digital.
Girish Ramachandra, founder & CEO, of Shopalyst, a digital ad and marketing platform, opines that with the proliferation of choice for consumers, brands find it harder to cut through the clutter to gain visibility. He says, “ Given that consumers make buying decisions not just while shopping on eCommerce, but also on popular video, social and search platforms - brands need a multi-channel communication and commerce strategy.”
Discovery by consumers with purchase intent plays a significant role in driving online sales for a brand. Digitally native brands that are successfully competing with large multi-channel brands in categories like beauty and personal care have demonstrated the efficacy of this strategyGirish Ramachandra
Amongst the key factors that determine the optimal discoverability for brands online, the share of digital shelves tops the list, as per Ramachandra. “The digital shelf for a brand has become ubiquitous now and not just a part of the e-commerce site. Consumers make buying decisions while on social and video platforms - brands need to augment their presence on these platforms with contextually relevant storefronts to ensure easy discovery and purchase.”
For larger enterprises that have already accumulated consumer trust and recognition, digital discoverability is not that big of a challenge. But for smaller businesses, the task isn’t just to be discoverable, but it is also to chart a place within the mix of bigger competitors.
“Discovery by consumers with purchase intent plays a significant role in driving online sales for a brand. Digitally native brands that are successfully competing with large multi-channel brands in categories like beauty and personal care have demonstrated the efficacy of this strategy,” Ramachandra points out.
According to Kanishka Jain, who is the director at Incredible Indriya (Eze Perfumes), the online visibility and sales of a newer brand can be greatly influenced by the clutter of brands competing within the space. She says, “The increasing number of brands going online has intensified competition, making it difficult for a young brand to stand out.”
New or old, brands can overcome any challenge by focusing on effective targeting and ongoing optimisation.Kanishka Jain
While creating impressions through ad campaigns with a sufficient budget for performance marketing, a new brand may find the cost for customer acquisitions (CACs) to be really high.
“It is, therefore, crucial to adopt a smart approach that targets the right audience and continuously refine the strategy to enhance brand awareness and drive better sales. New or old, brands can overcome any challenge by focusing on effective targeting and ongoing optimisation.”
Among the core strategic focus points to build a formidable online presence, Jain points out, “It is also important to escalate and calibrate the online presence through crucial steps like optimising the search engine visibility through SEO techniques and building a strong social media presence. Maintaining consistency in brand voice and visual identity across digital channels also helps in establishing brand recognition.”
Shweta Sharma, partner and CBO at AGL, who heads eBuX, an eRetail Analytics solution, highlights that the blueprint for successful eRetail discoverability is contingent upon many factors such as product listings and customer reviews. She says, “Optimizing product listings with keywords to the category and mobile-optimized images that assist the shoppers to make a purchase is essential. e-commerce platforms search algorithms rely on these keywords to match user queries with relevant product listings.”
“Customer reviews and ratings influence the conversion rates of a brand's portfolio online. Positive reviews not only build trust among consumers but have a direct impact on the brand’s sales online.”
Sharma also points out that beyond digital shelf placements, brands can instantly dial-up their sales by leveraging in-platform paid search ads.
“An effective paid search strategy lifts your sales velocity and drives the organic rank of your product listings. However, having a paid search strategy for search-led platforms like Amazon may suffice, but it alone cannot work for browse-led platforms like Flipkart, Instamart, etc. Having an effective strategy that covers search and display ads together has an incremental impact of 2-3x in total off-takes.”