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5 common challenges companies face when selling online

February 08, 2022
5 min read

Winning market share on the e-shelf is quite complicated. The digital shelf is crowded with many brands and products and consumers can access whatever they need with a click of a button. Standing out in the crowded space requires brand recognition, rich content, being in the right place at the right time, and efficient processes so you can move quickly. We’ve outlined 6 different challenges that we see many brands face when trying to sell their products online.

Challenge 1: Complicated Approval Process

Usually the process of approving any changes on a product page requires the confirmation of a dozen of people, and it’s often frustrating to get the approval of every stakeholder. It is a mundane task that takes a lot of valuable time and company resources.

Here are the steps to overcome it:

  1. Determine the most critical members of the team needed in the approval
  2. Optimize the process: set time limits and assign roles to each team member to clarify responsibility.
  3. Maintain a centralized location where everyone can be confident the most recent content is available.
  4. Ensure that the stakeholders are easily able to access the information they need and can quickly give their approval. Be sure that the process is clearly communicated.

Those steps would help companies make the process of approving changes easy and fast, so content can be refreshed & optimized more frequently.

Challenge 2: A large number of products or SKUs

Companies that have thousands of SKUs are often unable to give each product the attention it deserves. In a fast-moving environment and data-rich environments, it can be overwhelming for some brands. It takes time and effort to manage product data for each SKU and analyze each one’s performance.

To solve this problem we recommend companies to use the Pareto principle: concentrate 80% of your optimization efforts on the top 20% of company’s products. By using this approach, you can better coordinate your resources and efforts and drive more revenue from fewer products. Eventually you can move to focusing on other products once you have mastered your processes.

Challenge 3: Not enough dedicated staff to digital commerce

The way companies manage the digital shelf really varies from company to company. Some companies have dedicated teams, while others have specialists dispersed among several departments. It is also common to see the e-commerce responsibilities be picked up by various employees who must split their time between digital shelf tasks and other tasks.

In today’s digital world, hiring workers specifically with e-commerce or digital retail in mind is a necessity. Whether you are looking to create a dedicated digital retail team or have specialists distributed across multiple departments, it is imperative to raise the visibility of these employees.  Put in place performance KPIs directly related to digital commerce for individuals and departments, so that it remains front of mind regardless of your organizational structure

Challenge 4: Complex or diverse retailer networks

It’s not uncommon that companies can’t keep up with retailers and optimize product page content as fast as it is required. When you have dozens of digital sales’ channels you should take into consideration specific data requirements for each. Retailers often request different data formats, product attributes, units, etc.

Brands should collaborate closely with their retailers, so they know the requirements. It helps to have employees who intimately understand each retailer, but the best solution is having the right tools in place, so this can be automated or at the very least completed without errors.

Challenge 5: Complicated tech stacks or even a lack of tools

Many brands have multiple tools such as master data management solutions, digital asset solutions, proprietary in-house software, and more. Others have no solutions and perhaps even work out of local or shared spreadsheets. Whether there are many tools or not enough, data dispersed in different places can make getting the right product data to the right place in a timely manner.

The best solution to this problem is to have a simple technology stack that can automate repetitive and menial tasks. Highly integrated solutions can make your company’s work even easier.  Brandquad’s Product Experience Management solution has empowered many brands to sell online. It offers one centralized repository, one interface with 4 must-have modules: Product Information Management (PIM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Data Syndication, and E-commerce Intelligence (ECI). The platform is modular and can be integrated with nearly every data source and other solutions.

A user-friendly, centralized solution makes it easier for every stakeholder to complete the necessary tasks to sell more online.

The Bottom Line

As the digital shelf is constantly evolving and brands are required to keep up to maintain or grow market share. That means constant monitoring of e-commerce trends, optimizing content and using modern technologies to get in front of consumers.  Brandquad has the solutions and expertise to help brands overcome the common challenges and start winning the digital shelf. Get in touch for a personalized demo or informational session!