If someone were to ask you what the top-selling items were today on any major online marketplace, whether it’s Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or any other, could you answer quickly? What if they asked what the most popular product was during the last hour?
Most retailers and brands know that tracking best sellers across online marketplaces is vital for making smarter assortment decisions at scale. But all too often, this data is pulled and analyzed manually. Even worse, the data provided by the marketplaces often makes it difficult to compare how well a product is selling within a category.
Understanding how well best sellers are rated, their review quality, and the number of reviews they have month-over-month can be difficult. That’s where a best seller intelligence tool comes into play.
A best seller intelligence tool provides you with a configurable dataset that shows your and your competitors’ best-selling products and their attributes in a near-real-time flow of information. In this article, we’ll look at why that matters and five potential use cases for best seller intelligence.
Best seller data can be incredibly helpful for making a number of critical decisions.
The Importance of Best Seller Intelligence
Brands and retailers need daily, and in some cases, hourly, data about the products that are having the greatest impact on the various marketplaces where they sell products.
This information is essential for making effective decisions about assortment, pricing, positioning, and more. Seeing your product climb the best-seller list on a crowded online marketplace is great, but seeing your competitors climb the list and being able to counter their strategy quickly is arguably more powerful. Making decisions faster is a competitive advantage.
The problem is that turning best-seller data from most online marketplaces into actionable intelligence can be very difficult to do. That’s to say nothing about analyzing the data in a timely manner. Manually analyzing best-seller lists is an activity that does not drive immediate sales or revenue, nor is it agile enough to act quickly in competitive categories.
What happens when you don’t use best seller intelligence to be more competitive in online marketplaces?
- Lost time – Manual data analysis takes time and rarely provides you with a consistent view of your data across categories or entire marketplaces.
- Missing/incomplete data – Manual data analysis can give you best seller data at a given point in time, but the data still needs to be trended over time given the frequency of change.
- Missed market trends and opportunities – Without best seller insights, it’s easy to assume you’re selling the right products in each category, but it’s also easy to miss trending opportunities reflected in the current top sellers. You also lack the ability to update your understanding of where your brand and products fit within market trends.
What You Can Do With Best Seller Intelligence
Best seller data can be incredibly helpful for making a number of critical decisions. The problem is that this data is often hard to gather and make useful. Using a best seller intelligence tool can help you extract this data and organize it to make decisions around pricing, marketing, sales, merchandising, and business intelligence. Here are five ways that’s possible:
1. Gather Product Positioning and Assortment Data
Retail marketing teams need to be up-to-date on the trending brands within categories, consumer sentiment shifts, and competitive positioning on every online marketplace where they sell.
Best seller data can show you competitive best seller rankings alongside data such as Ratings and Organic Ranks, which are strong indicators of consumer sentiment. Understanding what your competitors are offering and how consumers are reacting to their assortments can help you more quickly adjust your product positioning or promotional efforts.
Additionally, by tracking how your best seller ranks are trending, your marketing teams can have another data point to attribute success to their campaigns and promotions.
2. Understand Your Current Sales Effectiveness
Sales teams responsible for hitting their numbers need to know if they are doing everything they can to be competitive in digital marketplaces.
A best seller intelligence tool will give them insights into which products are gaining sales velocity and climbing in best seller rankings. This is crucial information for sales teams to have because it allows them to rethink their brand’s positioning in the market. Positioning can often be overly qualitative. Best seller intelligence gives sales teams a data-driven way to position products based on what is happening both in real-time and historically.
It also shows you which competitors are more popular with consumers so you can focus on the market leaders. Many retail categories are crowded with big brands and small niche competitors. You can’t possibly try to win against everyone, but you can use best seller data to pinpoint key competitors and focus your efforts on winning where it matters most.
By knowing which products and brands are “hot” at any given moment, you can be much more agile in providing an assortment that can compete with the top competition on price and positioning.
3. Set an Appropriate Price
In most online marketplaces, the main goal is to win on price relative to other marketplaces and retailers. It openly favors sellers who can provide the best products and services at the lowest prices.
Adding best seller data to your decision-making process around pricing is key because it allows you to see if you are competitive with the top sellers. If you notice that you’re consistently dropping in rank relative to your competitors, you can react much quicker.
4. Provide a Competitive Assortment
eCommerce and merchandising teams are always looking to ensure they have a competitive assortment.
Understanding your best seller rankings in real-time can answer the question of “What should I be selling today/this week/this month?” By knowing which products and brands are “hot” at any given moment, you can be much more agile in providing an assortment that can compete with the top competition on price and positioning. For example, if during the holiday season you have several products in Toys or Games categories, you want to understand exactly how well these products are selling compared to other toys and games and change your assortment as the season goes on if needed.
This intelligence can also fuel product research and make your future offerings more likely to align with what consumers want right now.
5. Determine Your Competitiveness Across Marketplaces
It’s hard enough to determine your competitiveness in just one marketplace, let alone several at once. Brands and retailers not only need an index of their general health across marketplaces, but they also need to understand the different contexts of each individual channel.
Understanding which products are helping or hurting your strategy within a given marketplace can give you a leg up in terms of guiding major decisions across functional areas. A best seller intelligence tool gives you all of the historical data you need regarding competitive positions, your past performance on each marketplace, and the health of individual products.
Best seller intelligence isn’t a magic bullet for eCommerce success, but it can be a central part of your marketplace strategy by giving you insights that impact marketing, sales, merchandising, competitive analysis, business intelligence, and beyond.