Commerce Everywhere needs Digital Shelf Analytics 2.0

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We now live in the Commerce Everywhere era. Purchases can be made anywhere and at any time – and an ever-increasing proportion of these purchases take place online. In 2019, the share of e-commerce in total retail sales worldwide was only 13.8%. In 2021, it had already reached 19.6%, and by 2025 this figure is expected to be almost 25%.

In contrast to the American and Asian e-commerce markets, the European market is highly complex, competitive and fragmented in terms of languages, platforms and habits. When dealing with the multiple challenges posed by selling online, tasks rise quickly to a level which makes manually tracking of product performance data nearly impossible. Brands and retailers are left helpless. This is where the Digital Shelf Analytics 2.0 concept comes into play. Our CEO, Mickael Froger, gives his vision and thoughts on the topic.

What changes and developments are you seeing in the market right now? What is gaining in importance?

I start with an observation that seems banal at first glance: commerce is literally everywhere today. Customers can purchase products anytime, anywhere – no matter where they are, no matter what time it is, no matter what channels they are on. It is important to keep this simple fact in mind. Brands need to respond to it, but not all of them do.

One particular observation over the last years and months is that online marketplaces are definitely on their way to replace the department stores of the 20th century. The way consumers shop and discover products online has led to a boom of marketplaces. Everyone is into these platforms: retailers want to become marketplaces, brands must sell on marketplaces and shoppers prefer marketplaces. It is now estimated that by 2024, more than 2/3 of all online B2C sales will take place on these platforms.

We are also seeing this with our brands and retailers at Lengow who are relying more and more on marketplaces. Accelerated direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategies play a role here. This D2C model is in fact very compatible with the marketplace model. On the other hand, technology, analytical capacity and adaptability are becoming increasingly important in the market. If you want to succeed in ferocious e-commerce competition then speed and scale are the key elements that can make a difference.

What is your vision? Where is Lengow heading right now?

Since its creation over 13 years ago, Lengow’s vision has been to help brands and retailers to unlock their online potential and succeed in the e-commerce era. We’ve been a pioneer in product syndication and feed management with our platform and have continuously been innovating to enable brands and retailers to optimise their digital commerce strategies. Lately we saw the critical need to gain a comprehensive global view of the potential of their products online, with the ability to collect richer and actionnable product data. This is why we acquired in April this year the leading pricing and market intelligence tool Netrivals which offers an even more comprehensive view of the market through competitive pricing analysis to help brands and retailers make better-informed pricing decisions that will boost sales and revenue.

We also strengthened our Professional Services offer. It was never so important to get technical experts for best configuration and integration to reduce your time to market. Other strategic elements are recommendations and guidance on marketplaces and marketing channels, enhanced market insights and benchmarking, and direction on the e-commerce ecosystem.

The acquisition of Netrivals seems to be a game changer. Can you tell us more about that and how do you think this will be affecting the market?

The acquisition of Netrivals is enabling Lengow to nourish our analytics offering, providing intuitive and dynamic insights which help brands to further optimise their digital commerce strategies and ultimately get better performances. We create a unique offer on the market, for global online brands and retailers to operate at scale, while having a very targeted approach for each product and market combination. This is an important move for the market, as it combines two offers with a wide reach, if not the widest (in terms of data collection for Netrivals and data activation for Lengow). This is especially key for brands operating in the European market, more complex by nature, due to the weight of local players alongside global leaders, where a granular approach is needed to succeed and be profitable.

We now have the capacity to shape a modern and actionnable Digital Shelf Analytics 2.0 platform, thanks to 30,000+ websites monitored, 10 years of historical data and our know-how in terms of data activation across marketplaces, retailers and marketing channels. It will give the ability to gain a comprehensive global view of the potential and the competitiveness of products online. Brands and retailers will be able to monitor prices and other attributes (reviews, stock level…) from any website (competitor, reseller…) and act accordingly (reprice, activate/deactivate products…) on their e-commerce websites, but also any marketplaces supported by Lengow. Ultimately, we want to leverage even more data and more advanced capabilities, to, among other things, help them increase the return on ad spend from their top marketing channels and react more rapidly to market changes. We have some great use cases and requests from joint customers!

You refer to the Digital Shelf and shaping the future of Digital Shelf Analytics. Can you please elaborate on that?

I’m sure you already know it, but the Digital Shelf is where a company’s products can be purchased online. Shoppers use different digital touchpoints and channels to discover, assess, and purchase products. Everything from search engines and product pages to your website and marketplace presence falls under this category. The Digital Shelf spans the whole online buying experience. But how to make sure that shoppers find your products on the Digital Shelf? That’s the real question. For this it is important to have the reflex (and capacity!) to evaluate the relevant e-commerce data. This is Digital Shelf Analytics (DSA). It provides insight for brands and retailers when monitoring product content and pricing on digital channels in order to help them outmanoeuvre their competition and improve their sales.

The lack of understanding and analysing the Digital Shelf might be the currently biggest problem for brands and retailers. Everyone needs to understand that the shift to Digital Shelf Analytics is not only a choice, but an inevitable reality.

Our vision of the Digital Shelf is founded on different key pillars which we started to build a couple of years ago when we first launched our Insights tool. Netrivals will enable us to strengthen these different pillars: 

  • Visibility: Richness of product data with the ability to easily add multiple relevant sources across pricing, content accuracy, ratings/reviews, stock availability, assortiment, return on ad spend, etc.
  • Actionability of the data: With the next level of predictive and automation to ensure higher return on investment (ROI) 
  • Unification of performances and product data

We’re strengthening our analytics and reporting capabilities, which is key for our clients. In the meantime we also improve our product and price recommandation. This is a move we initiated with our Insights vision a few years ago: it is all about selling the best product at the right price and the right place.

Adrian Gmelch

Adrian Gmelch is a tech and e-commerce enthusiast. He initially worked for an international PR agency in Paris for large tech companies before joining Lengow's international field marketing & content team.

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