At the Whiteboard: Protecting Your Brand on the Digital Shelf
Peter Crosby | January 30, 2018
Today, the digital shelf is where most shoppers find and interact with your brand. Your online strategy plays a crucial role in communicating the value of your products and winning each shopper’s trust. But you don’t have full control over what a shopper sees about your brand when he or she searches for it online. Salsify Co-founder Rob Gonzalez offers advice for what brands can do to protect their pages – particularly when it comes to selling on Amazon or Walmart.com.
As Rob points out, there are some simple tactics and strategies you can use to protect your brand on the digital shelf when selling on third-party retailers, like Amazon or Walmart. This is important because these retailers will source content from wherever they can find it to build a compelling product page. As the owners of the site, they determine what the final page looks like and may adjust that content based on customer behavior, their own merchandising priorities, or other factors without the brand knowing what’s changed.
Here’s how to protect your brand on the digital shelf:
- Participate or register your products in each retailer’s inventory tools. Amazon has its brand registry. From here you can list all of your 1P products and protect your brand’s trademarks and intellectual property. Similarly, through Walmart Supplier Center, you can register your products. Walmart will prioritize content you send them as a registered supplier brand over any other third-party information that might contradict or compete with your listing.
- Submit ALL possible content for ALL of your products. The more comprehensive product content you can supply to retailers, the less motivated they will be to fill in the gaps with content that you haven’t approved and could be out of date or misleading to your shopper.
- Audit your content on retailer sites. Even if you send all the best content and stay on top of registering your product inventories – there are still things that retailers like Amazon or Walmart might change. Automated brand auditing tools can help you stay on top of edits made to your digital product catalog. Look for tools that can provide real-time notification so you can understand what has changed and act on it quickly before it impacts your bottom line.
You can no longer rely on the idea that a shopper will follow the buying journey you’ve curated for them. As more and more shoppers research purchases on web or smartphones first, your brand’s reputation relies on what they find – and that often means the touchpoints are happening on Amazon, Walmart or their other trusted retailer sites or search engines. Working closely with each of your retailers and other third-party sites, can help you get more control over protecting the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.