Golden rules to grab top ranking for your product on e-commerce websites

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July 1, 2016 - In today's fast paced world, when most of the sales channels are struggling to remain even flat; venture capital & investors funding, logistic advancements, digitally savvy and time-pressed consumers are fueling the growth of e-commerce websites to double digit. As a manufacturer/supplier, there is no reason to ignore this budding marketplace but actually strive for a better ranking of your products every time a consumer visits an e-commerce website. It's a black-box for most companies, and online sellers have been smart enough to continually tweak their logic codes — better known as “search algorithms" — in order to maintain ambiguity around what factors drive the ranking of products on their websites. Here are some golden rules that will help you get a good ranking every time a potential consumer of your category comes online:

  • Keyword is king: You don't see fur-coats when you search for smartphones, and you shouldn't see shirts when you search for sneakers. While keyword is an obvious driver for the rank of your products, the interesting insight is the extent to which it is important. Search keywords the words/phrases entered by a consumer when they are searching for a product on a website. It has been seen that it is one of the biggest drivers for the rank of your product, almost to the tune of 40%-50%. As a marketer, you must identify those golden keywords for your product and have them embedded in the product descriptions in the most efficient way without compromising your product's selling proposition.
  • More margins are merrier: No, it's not customer experience or rating that takes the second spot but actually the margin that the online seller makes on your product that decides the rank. The higher the margin, the better the ranking! Among all other factors, it has been an influencer to the extent of 15%-25%. While it directly dilutes your bottom line, this is what helps e-commerce players make the most money, and hence they want to maximize it all time. You will need to strike a fine balance between list price and cost to the e-commerce player to strike an optimal offer at hand.
  • Discounts are distractors: This one is a myth breaker! All this time you imagined that discounts offered on your products help you get a good ranking, when in fact it works against the online player's mantra of maximizing the revenue and profits. Studies have proved that as discounts go deeper, rankings start to worsen. Discounts have the potential to influence the ranking of your products by approximately 10%-20%. Given how widely this tool is used to promote sales online, it is important that you realize the true implications of discounts on your product rank and, eventually, sales.

The above factors are obviously not exhaustive — type of category and geography are also important factors that drive the rank of products online; but these rules of thumb will be relevant in most cases. Also, remember that these factors are not carved in stone, as e-commerce players keep on innovating ways to attract consumers to their websites, and continually experiment with their algorithms in order to maximize revenues and profit.

Author: Deepika Goel - Vice President, CPG & Retail Analytics