ROI – What can you expect from using Detail Online?

Our customers often ask what kind of ROI (Return on Investment) they expect while working with us at Detail Online.

Or while using our 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 will directly affect your Return on Investment.

Our smart search technology audits all your product visibility online to help you identify lost sales opportunities. These 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 — result in increased sales and ROI.

To achieve and maintain execution excellence online, you need to audit often 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. An increase in sales has been their greatest reward.

ROI examples


Keep an eye on close to conversion.

Traditionally, it isn’t easy to prove ROI for BTL activities, but it’s possible in the online world. 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 on:

What issues we can identify. 

Some problems are more severe 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 prize’s size, depending on your potential sell-out volume on that channel.

Are there products exposed to lost sales opportunities?

If you expose a hero product to issues, it will most likely have a larger prize for you than if you violate a “less important” product in your assortment.

When we find your lost sales opportunities.

Having visibility issues on Black Friday/Week will always be of more significant value for you than having such matters on the eve of payday in January.

How quick you act on fixing the findings we bring

Based on all the above, the faster you take action on our results, the more sales you’ll win.

Note: If you don’t react to insights, your ROI will always be zero. But if you 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 often happens when websites are; 

  • Rebuilding, 
  • Have changed their categories, 
  • Or had an assortment update, 
  • Or broken links—

—you will not sell this product, and that’s 100% lost sales. 

A study conducted in the UK by Bridgethorne in 2019 showed this issue periodically about 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. 

An online shelf is a crowded place. And we know that most shoppers start their journey at an online reseller via the internal search bar. So 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 shows to be even more significant 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” 

The average OOS rate in-store across the world is 8,3% today, and up to 10% periodically for products on promotion. 

OOS online are between 15—20% of all products. A pattern we recognize in our data at Detail Online. And Buyers’ response to out-of-stocks online is 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 the 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 have incorrect or disjointed content across multiple sources online, customers lose trust and don’t buy them.

A study by Episerver in 2019 found that consumers are susceptible to incorrect or disjointed content online across the sources they look at. We expect 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 confusing content found online prevents them from completing a purchase. 

25% of online shoppers say that disjointed content found online always stops them from completing a purchase. What does this mean? There are 25% lost sales opportunities in these cases.

What’s the size of the 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 harm consumers’ trust and cause lost sales. But imagine running a grocery brand that is exposed to 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 we could find these lost sales opportunities and fixed them, it would generate 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 program will also provide you with in-depth 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 and calculate it in €/£/$. This makes it easy to prioritize actions: you can immediately see a potential ROI in real numbers.

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

Lifetime ROI or Lost Sales for life

To correctly calculate ROI, we value it from a lifetime perspective. Losing one shopper’s trust in 2020 may lead to multiple lost sales occasions with that shopper in the future. 

And if you lost this shopper for life, you are in the business of repeatedly lost sales of these products.

Winning or losing one sale of a muesli packet one day is not about winning or losing $3 for that specific package — quite the opposite — it can be about winning or losing $1500, the value of lost repeat sales.

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

A final note 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 act on this, Detail Online has local skilled partners in each region of the world 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 see when visiting these websites. 

We deliver all this information to our users in an easy-to-use dashboard and via push reports. As a service technology, our software is cloud-based and built on Microsoft Azure, so there is no need for any other integrations.

Originally published Apr. 21, 2020, updated Feb. 04, 2021
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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