ROI – What can you expect from using Detail Online?

Our customers often ask what kind of ROI (Return on Investment) they can expect from using Detail Online, which essentially is an e-commerce auditing tool. Monitoring online product visibility alone, of course, doesn’t bring any ROI. It’s the actions you take based on insights from monitoring that directly impact Return on Investment. Our smart search technology audits all your product visibility online to help you identify lost sales opportunities — this may be simple mistakes, issues (such as out-of-stock) and other threats that make you lose sales online.

The actions you take on the identified findings — delivered by Detail Online — are what result in increased sales and ROI.

To achieve and maintain execution excellence online you frequently need to audit and audit again, and fix what’s found in between, because things go wrong every day.

This means there is no generic ROI to tell how much more you will sell by setting up a Detail Online audit program. But our customers live to tell their tales. They have been greatly rewarded in terms of increased sales:

ROI examples

This means there is no generic ROI to tell how much more you will sell by setting up a Detail Online audit programme.

Keep an eye on close to conversion

Traditionally, it’s been difficult to prove ROI for BTL activities but in the online world it’s possible. Large brands know it pays off to put effort on close to conversion activities and have done so for a long time. They might meet resistance internally where they have to defend close to conversion efforts with ATL (reach). But the world has changed and it’s getting more important to put the effort in close to conversion. Detail Online also helps customers internally prove their case, by comparing sales with product visibility.

The ROI you’ll see depends in

  • What issues we can identify.
    Some issues are more serious and dangerous than others. More on this below.
  • Where we find your lost sales opportunities.
    If it’s a market maker partner violating your products, or a minor reseller will be of value setting the size of prize, depending on your potential sell-out volume on that channel.
  • Which products are exposed to lost sales opportunities.
    If a hero product is exposed to issues, it will most likely have a higher size of prize for you, than if it’s a “less important” product in your assortment being violated.
  • When we find your lost sales opportunities.
    Having visibility issues on Black Friday/Week will always be of bigger value for you than having the same issue on the day before payday in January.
  • How quick you act on fixing the findings we bring.
    Based on all the above, the quicker you take action on our findings, the more sales you’ll win.

Note: If you don’t react in any way to insights, your ROI will always be zero. But if you do act; your ROI can be monumental, and your sales online can skyrocket.

What are the largest lost sales opportunities you can find with Detail Online

1. Visibility issues – May cause you up to 100% lost sales

“A product that can’t be seen can’t be bought”. A truth more valid online than in-store. If one of your products disappears from the online shelf somewhere – which happens regularly when websites are rebuilding, categories change, assortment updates take place or links get broken – this product cannot be sold, and the lost sales are 100%. A study conducted in the UK by Bridgethorne in 2019 showed this issue periodically for up to 40% of all SKUs at Grocers online. At Detail Online we find this issue frequently across all industries, in all regions. This a broadly spread problem.

“Search is the new shelf, and above the fold is eye-level”. On the same theme as above, we find internal search issues online to be a massive challenge for brands, also causing visibility issues when your products don’t show up on relevant search terms at each reseller’s website. The online shelf is crowded, and we know that most shoppers start their journey at an online reseller via the internal search-bar, and since +90% of all sales conversions online take place on the first search page, it’s easy to miss out on sales.

2. Out-of-stock issues – May cause you up to 100% lost sales

When products run out of stock online, 7 out of 10 shoppers buy another product. Out-of-stock (OOS) issues may be the most broadly spread problem for brands and resellers in-store and it show to be even bigger in e-commerce. The GMA (Grocery Management Association) says in their report “A Worldwide Study of Extent, Shopper Reactions, and Implications for Non-Food Online Retail Categories” that the average OOS rate in-store across the world is 8,3% as per today, and up to 10% periodically for products on promotion. Between 15 – 20% of all products are thought to be OOS online. A pattern we recognise in our data at Detail Online. Buyers response to out-of-stocks online are fundamentally different compared to in-store. They are more likely to remain on the e-commerce site and switch a brand or product in 7 cases out of 10, which researchers dubbed “the Amazon effect”.

What’s the size of prize for you finding out in the morning of occurrence that your Hero products have run out-of-stock at several resellers online, and how much more would you sell if you could approach and fix that?

3. Inconsistency issues – May cause you up to 98% lost sales (Premium service to audit)

When products are exposed with incorrect or disjointed content across different sources online, we lose trust and we don’t buy them. A study by Episerver in 2019 found that consumers are very sensitive in relation to incorrect or disjointed content online across the sources they look at. We expect to be able to trust the accuracy and completeness of the information we find. When something is off, we lose trust in the brand.

98% of online shoppers say that disjointed content found online has stopped them from completing a purchase at least once. 52% of online shoppers say that disjointed content found online often stops them from completing a purchase. 25% of online shoppers say that disjointed content found online always stops them from completing a purchase. What this means? Lost sales is granted in 25% of all cases.

What’s the size of prize for you finding out that your Hero products are being incorrectly exposed at your resellers, or someone telling the wrong story about you, and how much more would you sell if you could approach and fix that?

Note: If you manage a tech brand this may just harm the trust from consumers and cause lost sales, but imagine managing a grocery brand which is exposed with incorrect ingredients online. That mistake could be lethal.

So what does this mean in practice?

Imagine a light (way under average) scenario where:

Lost sales opportunities

If these lost sales opportunities could be found and fixed, it would generate immediate increased sales of 45% — but we also need to take in other parameters mentioned earlier to see the full impact.

+ Deep data
Subscribing to a standard Detail Online audit programme will also provide you with deep data around Pricing, Ratings & Reviews and Competitor movements, helping you drive additional sales.

Real lost sales opportunity values

We can also help you tell the real lost sales value in taking each opportunity we find calculated in €/£/$. This makes it easy to prioritise actions: you can see a potential ROI in real numbers immediately.

These numbers can be estimated if you provide us with sell-out data per SKU per channel online (daily or weekly data). Detail Online can then help predict future sales, and clearly tell how much more you will sell by sorting out all lost sales opportunities we find.

Lifetime ROI or Lost Sales for life

To properly calculate ROI, it should be valued from a lifetime perspective, since losing the trust from one shopper in 2020 may lead to multiple lost sales occasions with that shopper in the future if the shopper is lost for life and you are in the business of repeatedly bought products.
Winning or losing one sale of a packet of muesli one day is not about winning or losing $3 USD for that specific package — quite the opposite — it can be about winning or losing $1500 USD, the value of lost repeat sales.

Please see more details on this scenario and calculation in our blog.

Final note to be able to gain such ROI

Somebody needs to work with the Detail Online Dashboard / Reports and connect with Sales, Marketing at each brand, and not least with the Resellers to call for actions on what’s needed. If you don’t have such internal resources in place to action on this, Detail Online have local skilled partners in each region of the world to be able to support with an end-to-end service, “from find to fix”.

Who is Detail Online?

Detail Online is a tech company that uses smart search technology and artificial intelligence to identify lost sales opportunities within e-commerce. We offer continuous global monitoring of product presence, pricing and presentation across online resellers worldwide, to allow our customers to see what the consumers sees when they visit these websites. All this information is delivered to our users in an easy-to-use dashboard and via push reports. Our software as a service technology is cloud based and built on Microsoft Azure, so no integration is required.

Originally published Apr. 21, 2020, updated May. 11, 2020
Joakim Gavelin
Joakim Gavelin
CEO, Detail Online

Joakim has spent 25 years in merchandising and conducting audits in physical stores, and for the last 5 years he has been applying the same principles online. The tactics include promotion, presentation, visibility, stock situation, position on shelf, share of shelf etc., which all affect conversion in e-commerce.

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