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Ecommerce is booming. Brands across many categories have seen online sales grow since the start of Covid-19. But where do you sit compared to competitors within your space?Stefan Webinar

Finding ways to benchmark your digital performance is an absolute necessity. Share of Shelf highlights how much valuable real estate brands are owning on marketplaces at any given time. They help answer the perennial questions; how much of the pie do I have now, and how much could I possibly get? 

In today’s article, Bobsled’s Stefan Jordev has provided a useful overview of digital shelf fundamentals.

Read on!


What is Share of Shelf (AKA Share of Voice)?

Share of Shelf is a metric that is used by brands to measure their position within the market. On marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart and Instacart, the share of the (digital) shelf is assessed by analyzing the rank of brands on page 1 of the search results page in relation to specific keyword queries.

It’s possible to measure:

  • Organic Share of Shelf (non-ad results)
  • Paid Share of Shelf (ad results)
  • Total Share of Shelf (non-ad and ad results combined)


Why is Share of Shelf on Amazon and other marketplaces important?

Share of Shelf performance can vary drastically marketplace to marketplace. Identifying your direct competition on each platform will allow you to identify growth opportunities.

Even within a single marketplace there will often be many competitors across your catalog, especially if a brand has a large product line or operates in more than one category. Share of Shelf allows brands to learn which keywords are important to their competitors and take action.

Finally, it’s clear that Share of Shelf is a priority for Amazon, judging by the relatively new ‘Search Term Impression Share’ and ‘Category Benchmark’ reports, which are available for Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products ad types. Brands that own the lion’s share of organic and paid placements for high demand keywords get duly rewarded by the Amazon A9 search algorithm.


Sample of an Amazon Share of Shelf analysis for the search term ‘almond butter’

Above: Sample of an Amazon Share of Shelf analysis for the search term ‘almond butter’


How does Bobsled acquire Share of Shelf performance data?

Measuring Share of Shelf is done most effectively by harnessing tools that scrape and store data multiple times per day, which is virtually impossible to do manually. This allows advertisers to retain daily/hourly movement data and compare periods to see the impact of their campaigns. 

Bobsled uses Pacvue, a technology partner to measure Share of Shelf for our clients on Amazon, Walmart and Instacart. Our process is as follows:

  1. Firstly, Bobsled’s ad team identifies the main keywords that are most important for our clients to measure, report and take action on. These usually include general keywords, but also branded terms that are important to the client.
  2. We use the first batch of Share of Shelf reports for initial benchmarking. Such reports help us understand the competitive landscape on a keyword level, and from there we establish short and long term growth goals.
  3. Bobsled monitors and incorporates Share of Shelf data in its reporting and client communication, outlining the current state, the movement in the past weeks and advises on next steps to regain/maintain desired share of shelf.


💡 Check out Share of Voice: What It Means for Brands, and
How To Measure It and Leverage It


How can brands utilize Share of Shelf data?

There are several ways brands can harness Share of Shelf insights:

  • Learn if competitors are targeting your brand and protect your branded keywords if necessary (especially important for established ‘legacy’ brands)
  • Automate advertising campaigns based on Share of Shelf. For example, if the Share of Shelf for keyword X falls below 5% increase bid by 10%.
  • Identify long tail keywords where competition is lower (you can expect better ROI due to the lack of competition)
  • Prioritize and/or combine additional promo efforts such as Best Deals, Deals of the Day, Coupons and Lightning Deals etc for products where a market share increase is a major priority.



Why Bobsled? 

Bobsled Team

  • An Amazon-focused digital agency established in 2015
  • 40 team members who share best-practices across industries, programs, and processes
  • Works with 70 mid-market Vendors & Sellers across Amazon’s key western markets
  • Thought leaders in the space, including a Weekly Forbes column by CEO Kiri Masters, and named by Business Insider as one of 18 top Amazon solution providers
  • Direct Partner relationship with Amazon Advertising, providing early access to beta programs, benchmarks, and best practices



Pro tip: Share of Shelf reports can highlight gaps in your competitors’ supply chains

Bobsled CEO Kiri Masters moderated Winning at the Digital Shelf: Tactics for the 'New Normal’ at the 2020 CommerceLive event. During this session, Kiri discussed how Share of Shelf reports opened up huge opportunities for challenger brands during the early phases of Covid.

“When people were panic buying at the beginning of the pandemic, it caught so many legacy brands by surprise,” she explains. “This resulted in big name stock-outs that lasted for weeks across certain quarantine-friendly product categories.”

“On Amazon if you’re out of stock your ads won’t run. Brands that were regularly analyzing Share of Shelf performance noticed this drastic shift in the market. Many filled the vacuum left by legacy brands by aggressively boosting their Amazon PPC spend. This resulted in a huge influx of new-to-brand buyers, revenue spikes, and better organic positioning. Established brands have stock-out issues all the time, but if you aren't paying close attention to Share of Shelf data, these finite windows of opportunity will quickly pass you by.”



Would you like to discover your real competition on Amazon, Walmart and Instacart?

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Tagged: Amazon Account Management, Walmart, Instacart






Strategic resource for C-level marketing & retail executives of brands selling on Instacart.

A book by Thought Leaders Kiri Masters and Stefan Jordev