What is a Product’s “Digital Package”?


In June 2012, I was a speaker at RetailNet Group‘s 5th Click Conference in Boston. The attendees primarily represented consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and a few retailers. It was there that I first heard the term “digital box,” a reference to a brand’s product information that sat on its retail product pages. In other words, the “digital box” was the virtual equivalent of its brick-and-mortar cardboard box.

The phrase made sense, and since then we’ve advised hundreds of companies on why controlling their products’ “digital boxes” would increase sales and extend their brand awareness. But since the term “digital box” sounds more like a cable box or DVR, we’ve begun using the phrase “digital package.” So here’s our advice:

  • To sell products online, take control of your “digital package” for those products.

Awhile back, I discussed this terminology conundrum with Danny Silverman, the VP of etailing solutions. Regardless of what you call it, Danny did a great job of summing up the assets necessary to create a perfect product-detail page. They include:

  • 5+ feature/benefit bullets that describe the product feature and resulting user benefit
  • At least three high-res product images–front, back, and the product itself–as well as any “in-use” images where applicable
  • Video customized to e-commerce environment, if not e-retailer
  • Enhanced product description that takes full advantage of space to sell the product
  • Consumer reviews that are monitored and managed

The reasons you should create this content specifically for your online channels, as opposed to repurposing your cardboard box content, are many. But as a starting point, Danny reminds us that the average product has just a few inches on a brick-and-mortar shelf–usually less than 10 percent of total shelf space–and immediately adjacent on all sides are your competitors’ products.

While products also crowd retailers’ digital shelves, at the product-page level, the vast majority of real estate is devoted exclusively to your product: your image takes 5 percent of that product page, and another 70-80 percent is reserved for the content that sells your product.

In other words, at the product-page level, you have a captive audience looking at your product, with relatively little real estate taken by your competition.

Your box content was designed to sit on a physical shelf and was not produced to take full advantage of this virtual real estate. But an enhanced product description can make all the difference in selling shoppers on your product.

Bottom line: you’ll lose out on online sales with your cardboard content.

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