What You Need to Know About Retail Readiness Across Platforms
Retail readiness could be considered a buzzword as it caught on like wildfire over the last several years. For our clients, it has become much more than that as they lean into marketplace expansion. When navigating platforms beyond Amazon, ensuring products are retail ready should be a primary focus. After all, it can make or break a brand’s potential and ability to scale. We support our clients through this as retail readiness can look different across the main online marketplaces. Here we share an overview of the concept, why it matters, and insight into how to succeed.
Reminder: What is Retail Readiness?
So, what is retail readiness? Broadly defined, a product is considered retail ready when the listing is complete and optimized. In other words, elements like the title, description, and image library provide shoppers with everything they need to know to make a purchase.
As we mentioned, what it takes to become retail ready can vary depending on the platform or marketplace. For the purpose of this blog post, we're going to focus on the three main marketplaces of interest for our clients; Amazon, Walmart.com, and Instacart.
Below is a high-level overview of what's most important for each platform and what to look out for.
- Copy, imagery, A+, and video
It's important to note, all of the above is self-service. However, when it comes to variations, third-party sellers can pose a challenge. And review acquisition on Amazon is always changing and updating. Overall, Amazon is the most mature platform and advanced in terms of creating testing opportunities. For example, brands can run A/B tests for images and titles. These features help brands become more sophisticated with their content and marketing abilities.
- Copy, imagery, enhanced content, and video
- Spark Reviewer program
Most of the above are self-service except for enhanced content that's only available via a third-party provider. Another worthwhile mention is the Spark Reviewer program. Our teams have found it to be more effective than Amazon's Vine Reviews.
- Copy and imagery
At the point of this writing, variations and reviews are not a capability on Instacart. And copy and imagery can be sourced from various places such as retailers and syndication programs. There are some ways to make manual adjustments although it’s challenging.
On any channel, retail readiness will have an impact on your ability to drive searchability and conversions.
We touched on how important retail readiness is to scale across platforms. And, while strategy and tactics are crucial, the process you use could make or break your brand's success. When it comes down to it, a product's listing content is what matters most. More specifically, the elements of a product page that are most visible and prominent.
Many brands can scale their product across platforms relatively easily. However, a strong approach needs to be in place. Especially since product pages and search results display differently via mobile and desktop. We use a four-step approach to channel-specific content creation, outlined below.
1. Start with your base product content or content that's already in use. For most brands, this likely comes from their product listings on Amazon.
2. From there, take note of the platform-specific content fields, character counts, and other guidelines you need to follow. Be sure you're clear on what you can and cannot say or do to prevent any issues.
3. Next, compile a list of the retailer-specific keywords your brand should use. This requires a tight keyword research process to discern what terms perform best on each platform. Usually, search terms are similar across platforms. However, it's not uncommon to find a search term that performs much better on a given marketplace compared to the others.
4. Finally, re-write your base content from step one for each retailer. We've found it helpful to use a template to save time and keep track of the differences for each platform.
We've shared tips and tricks to optimizing your product detail pages on Amazon and other marketplaces many times. However, it has taken on a new meaning and level of importance as the number of online marketplaces increases. If you could use the support of a strategic partner to ensure your products are retail ready, schedule a free consultation. And, as always, we’re here to answer any questions about Amazon, other marketplaces, and any major digital platform.
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