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    Report: Digital Shelf Institute Identifies Primary Drivers of eCommerce Profitability and Ways to Improve It

    Qualitative Research with Digital Commerce Leaders from Multinational Brands Offers Critical Insights and Prescriptive Recommendations for Winning on the Digital Shelf

    BOSTON, Mass., – July 22, 2021 –

    The Digital Shelf Institute (DSI), a commerce community for manufacturers, today announced the results of a new report, “The Primary Drivers of Profitability Across the Digital Shelf.” The report, authored by Kiri Masters, founder of Bobsled Marketing in collaboration with the DSI, features insights based on qualitative interviews with digital commerce leaders from multinational brands across health and beauty, electronics, grocery, and home with annual revenues over $250M.

    Interviews for the report were designed to uncover trends across category, company size, and channels, and answer the question, “What drives profitability in ecommerce and how can we improve it?” The insights were generated through anonymized data from ecommerce and digital leaders at large brands, and sourced from members of the Digital Shelf Institute Executive Forum, an invitation-only community of digital and commerce executives.  

    A key finding from the report is that many companies state profitability as an objective, but oftentimes aren’t investing meaningfully in efforts to address it.

    Additionally, respondents cited the biggest obstacles to ecommerce profitability are internal silos, inconsistent targets, and conflict around resources and budget allocation.

    As brands prepare for the highly competitive year-end shopping season, traditionally the busiest and most lucrative time for ecommerce sales, the Digital Shelf Institute report provides critical insights that will empower them to gain a competitive advantage. The report summarizes the key drivers for ecommerce profitability and offers more than 20 solutions for improving it.  

    “As the proportion of ecommerce sales dramatically increases, there is a heightened urgency for a better understanding of what drives profitability on the digital shelf, what’s holding it back, and how to resolve obstacles,” said Masters. “Our findings uncovered what’s standing in the way of growth for ecommerce and what the C-Suite needs to address in their quest to drive cross-functional conversations and transform into a digital-first omnichannel organization.”

    The report was authored by Kiri Masters with contributors Molly Schonthal, founder of the Digital Shelf Executive Forum, Chris Perry, co-founder of  FirstMovr, and Peter Crosby, executive director at the Digital Shelf Institute.

    “The topic of ecommerce profitability is so important to brands right now,” said Lina Racaniello, vice president, marketing, brand management, and D2C Sales at Dorel Home. “The customer journey used to be quite linear pre-digital media and eCommerce, and we also had fewer sales channels. Today, that journey can best be described as a network as consumers jump from one digital channel to another as they consume content to be able to make a purchase decision. When you couple that with offline physical stores, apps, social commerce or mobile experiences from which to buy, it makes the measurement of profitability at a product level much more complex.”

    To download “The Primary Drivers of Profitability Across the Digital Shelf” go here.  

    About the Digital Shelf Institute

    The Digital Shelf Institute is the commerce community for manufacturers. In the digital age, manufacturers have more opportunities to control their commerce destiny than ever before. The Digital Shelf Institute brings together an ecosystem of experience to share ideas, outcomes and the strategies in the form of virtual content, podcasts, reports, and articles that will drive revenue in the years ahead. The Digital Shelf Institute also hosts the Digital Shelf Executive Forum, an invitation-only community platform for digital shelf executives of leading brands.

    For more information on the Digital Shelf Institute, visit:

    Kathy Keating, Salsify