29 January 2021

WHAT MAKES YOUR DIGITAL SHELF WORTH SHOPPING?

Michael Duffy, Global Creative Director shares his views

No matter what business we are in, we are all keen to demonstrate our adaptability; to show that we have grown from the lessons we have learnt in the astonishing nine months that have passed since the pandemic began upending our personal and professional lives.

As individuals and businesses, we are still in the thick of it, dealing with ongoing economic fluctuations and emotions… and the world of private brands is no different. For better or worse, we are accelerating into a “next normal”, which will see ecommerce and in-app purchases expand with an ever greater market size, as brand after brand is faced with investing in their online offering, with mutual overarching aims to extend and enhance consumer experiences.

Savvy brands are leveraging the sophisticated interfaces and algorithms that help to deliver a highly satisfying consumer experience; one aligned with the values of today’s socially and environmentally aware customers. In return, they build brand equity and customer loyalty, while gaining shopper intelligence by measuring clicks and dwell times.

Slow adopters of digital technology, on the other hand, tend to view the online experience as nothing more than a series of clicks. Unfortunately, private brands of this ilk are now finding themselves on the back foot when it comes to ecommerce.

The digital shelf of some private brands has been left dusty and dishevelled, but the good news is that it’s not too late to pivot towards ecommerce technology. What’s critical is to make this pivot as smooth and successful as it can be, and here are a few of the areas to consider as brands do so…

 

Ease navigation and make suggestions

As online shoppers click through from the search engine results page to the product page, and click ‘Add to Basket’, it may seem to be a short journey, but a lot can happen between these simple moves.

Since every retailer’s site is in competition with the distraction of the internet, not to mention the websites of other retailers, it’s important to give the online shopper ample reasons and means to engage with the product and brand. What makes your customer journey different?

Rather than leaving the onus on the customer to search, navigate, create lists and research recipes, it’s important to ease their journey wherever possible.

Break down and analyze the way consumers navigate the site and, based on directions consumers are taking, along with the questions they are asking via search fields, build in the pathways and supporting content they are craving. Creating shortcuts such as these works even better in segmented offerings, such as in a special dietary needs range like gluten-free or vegan, for example,  which can help online shoppers to create healthier and more interesting weekly menus, or to shop for batch cooking ingredients.

Another enormous – but largely unsung – benefit of online is that it allows retailers the opportunity to organise the journey around the private brand, and promote it first, above the national brands.

Telling its own brand story in its own distinct way allows the retailer to enhance the experience opportunity, as it blocks out the noise from other brands, occupies own its stage and ultimately forges a more memorable journey.

Brands can also build a more satisfying journey by finessing the search facility, product suggestions, supporting content and app-based features, such as push notifications – polishing points across the marketing spectrum really.

 

Present clear value

Private brands have an opportunity to guide and suggest products, inform customers of their options and highlight what other consumers are choosing, all of which helps to ease the decision-making process in a way that delivers value in and of itself. Consumers are keenly aware of the time they spend in the ordering and payment process, and convenience is still a key driver.

For this reason, having information that is easily accessed – including product origin, ingredients, nutritional information, testing and legally supported health benefits – gives them confidence that the products they are selecting will perform well and contribute to the health of their family or the planet – or even help their communities if the goods are locally produced.

 

Create a connection

The online shopping “event” constitutes an interaction, which, from start to finish, is an opportunity to amplify the private brand story and relay the brand’s attributes. Whether you are using compelling call-outs, video, lifestyle images, testimonials, endorsements or other means, you can communicate with consumers – or frame the content provided by end-users – in the private brand’s own distinctive voice.

Today’s private brands should aspire to give back to their customers in both money and time, all while

creating enriching experiences that appeal to their emotions.

Imagine for a moment what it would look like to have the same mix of value-adding content in store: it would look something like a food shelf mixed with racks of food magazines. On the physical shelf, POS and signage is our nearest equivalent. But with a rich menu of content, online can be a powerful driver that ensures the values of your brand are conveyed.

Private brands, meanwhile, must not stumble into a trap where the online and physical packaging do not match, because mixed messages undermine the sense of trust the consumer places in the brand, and this influences feelings around quality and value for money.

For private brands that may be relying on low-resolution thumbnail pics, for example, one immediate consideration should be optimization of the product’s appearance for viewing on screens. Crisp product renders help to give the brand a consistent look and feel, which supports engagement and perceptions of value.

The creation of simple, optimized renders involves removing bar codes and small-print call-outs, while magnifying critical buying information, including the brand, the flavor/variant and the multipack numbers, making the product much more shoppable in desktop and mobile environments. Renders such as these form a key component in an online journey characterized by easy navigation, compelling value-adding content, quality visuals and smooth checkout – all of which should be underpinned by strong messaging and clear voice. Careful construction of this journey is crucial to any pivot to ecommerce.

At Equator, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing brands. We believe it is possible to turn the strong positions that food and drink retailers now hold and apply the lessons we have gleaned from the last half-year, to lay the digital groundwork needed to deliver strong performance as recovery unfolds. Brands’ adaptability, and power to pivot, will be a deciding factor in determining long-term resilience in both the near and distant future.

A survey of 60,000 US shoppers released last month by Mercatus/Incisiv suggests that e-commerce will account for 21.5% of total grocery sales, worth $250 billion, within five years. We believe now is the time to maximise your sales tools, to ensure you are positioned to stake your claim in the future of e-commerce.

For further insights or to discuss refining your approach to digitization of your packaging, get in touch.

More Insight

View All
Unveiling the Future: Top Five Design Trends Transforming Retail Brands in 2024

Unveiling the Future: Top Five Design Trends Transforming Retail Brands in 2024

07 May 2024 07/05/24

Unveiling the Future: Top Five Design Trends Transforming Retail Brands in 2024

As we journey further into 2024, the design landscape for retail continues to evolve with cutting-edge trends that are reshaping brand aesthetics. Our team, comprised of photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and brand strategists, has delved into the near future to identify the top five design trends poised to make a significant impact. From sustainable packaging […]

Read More
Exploring the Culinary Delights Shaping Our Food Choices

Exploring the Culinary Delights Shaping Our Food Choices

04 April 2024 04/04/24

Exploring the Culinary Delights Shaping Our Food Choices

As we find ourselves immersed in the fourth month of 2024, the culinary journey of this year has been nothing short of a gastronomic odyssey. April unfolds as a chapter rich with the flavours and trends that have intricately woven themselves into the fabric of our food choices. Casting a retrospective gaze, let’s savour the […]

Read More
Celebrating Together: Equator’s Milestone with West Michigan and Minneapolis Offices Integration

Celebrating Together: Equator’s Milestone with West Michigan and Minneapolis Offices Integration

05 March 2024 05/03/24

Celebrating Together: Equator’s Milestone with West Michigan and Minneapolis Offices Integration

Hello to our incredible community! We’re thrilled to share a momentous update straight from the heart of Equator. A few months back, we embarked on a transformative journey, integrating West Michigan and Minneapolis into our family. This monumental move has significantly impacted our in-house capabilities and doubled our reach in the dynamic landscape of the […]

Read More
Navigating the Refrigeration Divide: Exploring Ambient Crossovers in Brand Expansion

Navigating the Refrigeration Divide: Exploring Ambient Crossovers in Brand Expansion

16 February 2024 16/02/24

Navigating the Refrigeration Divide: Exploring Ambient Crossovers in Brand Expansion

In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer goods, brands are continually seeking innovative ways to expand their offerings and capture new market segments. A notable trend in recent times is the crossing of the refrigeration divide, where brands traditionally associated with chilled products explore opportunities in the ambient space. One compelling example of this is Tropicana’s […]

Read More
The Evolution and Future of Plant-Based: Navigating the Peaks and Valleys

The Evolution and Future of Plant-Based: Navigating the Peaks and Valleys

02 February 2024 02/02/24

The Evolution and Future of Plant-Based: Navigating the Peaks and Valleys

Has Plant Peaked? In recent years, the plant-based movement has experienced a surge in popularity, with an increasing number of consumers embracing a plant-centric lifestyle. However, as with any trend, questions arise about whether plant-based has peaked and what lies ahead for this burgeoning market. In this blog post, we’ll explore recent fluctuations in customer […]

Read More
2023 ‘unwrapped’ – another year of creativity and change

2023 ‘unwrapped’ – another year of creativity and change

02 January 2024 02/01/24

2023 ‘unwrapped’ – another year of creativity and change

With 2024 finally upon us, it comes a time to look back and reflect on another fantastic year we have had at Equator. While not everyone may be up to speed with the endeavours of our collaborative creatives over the last twelve months, fear not – now is your chance to catch up! In this […]

Read More
What is Sunrise 2027 and how can brands prepare for it?

What is Sunrise 2027 and how can brands prepare for it?

19 December 2023 19/12/23

What is Sunrise 2027 and how can brands prepare for it?

Throughout history, finding new and better ways of doing things has been a driving force for innovation. Not much is immune to optimisation, which is why it’s so strange to see things remain unchanged for decades. Funnily enough, one of those things is the barcode – specifically, the Universal Product Code (UPC), which has been […]

Read More
People Power and Private Brand – Global Creative Director Michael Duffy’s End of Year Review

People Power and Private Brand – Global Creative Director Michael Duffy’s End of Year Review

06 December 2023 06/12/23

People Power and Private Brand – Global Creative Director Michael Duffy’s End of Year Review

With the end of the year fast approaching, I’ve found myself reflecting on the experiences we’ve had over the past 12 months; from the projects we’ve worked on to the trends we’ve observed. I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few insights, including the developments we’ve seen in the world of private brand, […]

Read More
Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Our Predictions For This Year’s Festive Trends

Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Our Predictions For This Year’s Festive Trends

13 November 2023 13/11/23

Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Our Predictions For This Year’s Festive Trends

At Equator, we use every tool at our disposal to identify, analyse and predict seasonal trends. It helps us track and plot how they evolve year on year, giving our clients an edge when it comes to creating seasonal designs that sparkle on shelf. Last year, before summer had even drawn to a close, we […]

Read More
What pet food trends should producers focus their development efforts on in 2023/24?

What pet food trends should producers focus their development efforts on in 2023/24?

04 September 2023 04/09/23

What pet food trends should producers focus their development efforts on in 2023/24?

As a design agency that frequently handles innovative pet food packaging projects, our team turned its attention to the pet food trends producers need to know, to stay ahead of the pack. In this blog post, you’ll find all of our insights consolidated into an easily digestible format (uh oh, we’re drifting into on-pack parlance) […]

Read More
Previous Slide Next Slide