In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, more shoppers than ever turned to ecommerce options for everything from groceries to home goods. And for consumer product goods (CPG) marketers, that meant shifting advertising budgets to meet consumers online where they were.
And even though an increasing number of brick-and-mortar shops are back in business, consumer interest in ecommerce is here to stay. For CPG marketers moving into the digital advertising space, gathering commerce intelligence–key pieces of information about both your brand and that of competitors–is the secret to online advertising success.
What is Commerce Intelligence?
Commerce intelligence is the process of gathering, analyzing and distributing data and information with relevant artificial intelligence relating to specific products, customers and competitors as well as the actual business.
Commerce intelligence is often used by large-scale companies with the goal of an organized intelligence system and often have specific departments dedicated to this sector while small businesses are likely to construct these findings themselves. This aims to create a personalized experience and maximize the revenue from every visitor session.
Here are 6 types of commerce intelligence digital marketers need
1. Price Comparison
One of the most important pieces of commerce intelligence for maximizing marketing return with ecommerce is balancing the cost of advertising with product margins and price. This type of commerce intelligence is a major factor for profits and is defined by what a marketer is willing to pay for advertising a particular product is dependent on the margin of that product.
To gather price comparison data, evaluate prices across websites, including historical data. Look for product variations that can affect price, including whether products are new or used, sizes, quantities, and promotional prices, among others. Pay close attention to supply and demand curves.
2. Sales and Traffic
Sales and traffic commerce intelligence are important for forecasting and planning seasonality and promotions. It is important to be ahead of these periods with the right offers and marketing programs. Beat competitors to the punch by picking up on sales trends before they do and encourage early shoppers via ads.
Some ways to gather sales and traffic intelligence include:
- Monitoring sales in near-real time
- Gathering average order value
- Estimating traffic to product pages & brand stores
- Tracking performance of promotions
- Understanding cross-item impacts and cannibalization of offers
- Collecting data around cart abandonment
In order to build a granular understanding of how each product performs based on advertising influence to allocate budget accordingly, pay attention to catalog intelligence. Catalog intelligence comes from analyzing performance at the product and assortment levels while also understanding trends across product and assortment features.
For instance, noting that 75 percent of t-shirts sold were v-necks would be a critical piece of catalog intelligence for a clothing retailer.
4. Competitive Intelligence
Gathering competitive intelligence is an excellent way to find and exploit advertising gaps where you are beating your rivals to double down while discovering where they are beating you to fill those gaps with marketing. Look at the share of voice metrics in order to understand keyword rankings by company.
Pay close attention to competitor prices, sales, and traffic with special attention paid to the timing and discounts of competitor promotions. Additionally, pay attention to competition’s catalog movement, including added, removed, and out-of-stock products.
Fulfillment is a crucial piece of commerce intelligence for building loyalty and driving positive reviews that will help you stand out on the digital shelf. Ensure advertising is not pointing to out-of-stock items (or longer than expected shipping times) which will waste the budget.
Also, keep track of estimated shipping times, especially in light of recent supply chain issues, as well as delivery times. Also, keep track of which orders are being canceled or returned with special attention to the reasons for those actions.
6. Policy Monitoring
Policy monitoring is a smart piece of commerce intelligence for maximizing ROI on advertising by removing unlawful competition. To make sure your competition is legit, identify unauthorized sellers by calling out specific retailers that are violating min advertised price agreements and other rules and also issues in retailer creatives.
For CPG marketers, digital advertising isn’t about working harder, it’s about working smarter with the right commerce intelligence.
Skai = Omnichannel Marketing
Skai empowers the world’s leading brands and agencies across industries to manage omnichannel digital marketing campaigns. Our omnichannel marketing platform includes solutions for retail media, paid search, paid social, and app marketing. We’ll keep you at the forefront of the digital evolution with data and insights, marketing execution, and measurement tools that work together to drive powerful brand growth. Client results include:
- 461% increase in Amazon Ads ROAS and 57% increase in page traffic for Bondi Sands
- 280% increase in installs for DraftKings
- 10% increase in new account openings for Royal Bank of Canada
- 756% increase in conversions for New York Magazine
- 600% increase in Facebook leads for Inova