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08/02/2021

How Product Attribute Data Can Drive Private-Label Sales at Retail

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In today’s marketplace, hundreds of millions of consumers are shopping for products that meet their specific needs, especially in the health and wellness sector.

Retailers have a significant opportunity to use private-label brands to capitalize on this shopping trend to drive growth and loyalty — in fact, leading retailers like Target and Walmart are already doing it. Once considered the “cheaper option,” private-label brands are now viewed by consumers as high-quality alternatives to national brands and by retailers as a profitable component of their growth strategies.

But many products that qualify to meet consumer health and wellness need states — such as keto, low sugar, paraben-free or sustainable — are not claiming their ability to do so. As a result, products that fail to claim attributes simply aren’t found by need-state shoppers online or in-store. That’s where product attribute metadata, which essentially defines the DNA of a product in terms of all the need states it fulfills, can help. 

[See also: Evolution of How Consumers Shop]

The ability to understand customers' need states helps retailers discover which products they should add to their private-label portfolio and which product attributes to highlight. To drive growth and loyalty, you need to leverage robust product attribute metadata, consumer search trends and sales data to ensure your products are easily discoverable, meet key consumer needs and stand out from the crowd.  

Winning the Omnichannel Retail Experience

To outpace the competition, you need accurate data about your products and customers. Product attribute metadata unlocks several key use cases to help your private-label brands thrive online and in-store. 

Online discoverability: Most Amazon product searches are unbranded, leaving room for private-label brands to win market share. It can be a daunting task to analyze your products and determine which need states they qualify for.

But since retailers are failing to claim 92% of their products that qualify for common needs-based search terms, it’s worth the effort. Product attribute metadata can help you understand exactly which consumer need states your products qualify for. With this information, you can tag your products and descriptions so your qualifying products will rank higher in search results.

And online discoverability isn’t exclusive to online shopping — it’s important in-store, too. In fact, many shoppers research online before deciding to go to the store to purchase or use their mobile device to search while standing in an aisle.

Breakthrough product and cost innovation: By analyzing data about competitive products and consumer behaviors, you can anticipate emerging consumer trends and formulate new products. For example, Label Insight data indicates a huge growth in demand for ingredients like lentils and oat milk in certain food products. Retailers can use this information to add private-label products that meet these consumer needs.

Product data analysis can also determine if you can decrease an ingredient in your product or reformulate with a more cost-effective alternative and still make claims that meet FDA requirements. This cost innovation can improve profitability while still allowing you to meet consumer needs.

Product transparency: Clearly communicating information about your private-label products is essential to gaining customer loyalty. In fact, 81% of consumers say product transparency is important in their purchase process. This need for transparency is partially driven by regulations, such as a recently passed law requiring sesame disclosure on packaged foods. Product transparency is only achievable if you have accurate product attribute metadata to fully understand the makeup of your products.

For example, Label Insight data has identified over 160,000 products currently in-market that may contain hidden sources of sesame. Whether you update your physical packaging or leverage digital disclosure solutions, attribute-powered product transparency is key to private-label growth and loyalty.

Sophisticated shopper profiles: You can also use product attribute metadata to develop a profile about your customers’ preferences — e.g., if they’re looking for products that are low-FODMAP or good for sensitive skin. With these profiles, you can tailor paid search, coupons and promotions to precisely target individual shoppers with private-label products that specifically match their needs.

Additionally, these tailored need-state profiles can be used to improve out-of-stock replacements or build basket size through informed recommendations. Ultimately, shopper profiles enable you to know your customer better than your competition. 

Unlock Growth and Lasting Customer Loyalty

Ensuring private-label products are discoverable and transparent, and targeting the ever-changing preferences of health and wellness shoppers create a path to profitable growth. Product attribute metadata helps you achieve these objectives, boost sales and build lasting customer loyalty. 

Todd Morris is CEO of Label Insight.

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