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Tips For Taking Control Of Your Brand On The Digital Shelf

Posted By: SGK January 15, 2015

Against a rapidly exploding e-commerce marketing, it’s interesting and also very worrying – to analyse the disparity in the state of product packaging being displayed online by some brands compared to the physical product, says Sharon McGuire, Director of Business Development & Growth, Europe, at SGK, in a recent article for PackagingNews.
With new EU labeling rules coming into effect, the rules not only require clearer and more prominent display of allergen and other information on packaging, but also specify that compliance includes the digital shelf. With this in mind, it’s time for all brand owners to take stock of how products are viewed not only on the physical shelf but on the digital shelf as well, she says.

According to McGuire, marketers and brand managers who fail to ensure that products are accurately portrayed on the digital shelf will risk losing brand share in the growing marketplace.

“An inconsistent digital presentation of packaging not only damages brand experience, but can undermine hard-won loyalty – something brands spend millions seeking to build. On top of this, an inaccurate portrayal of a brand can put a business at regulatory risk,” says McGuire. 

So how can brand owners take control of the e-content supply chain and ensure a consistent brand experience for consumers across all products?

Consistency is key
It’s vital that your products are represented consistently across all online retailers and product review sites. A simple way to maintain consistency, while also reducing supply chain costs, is to use final and approved artwork for both your printed and virtual products. This limits discrepancies between the digital and physical shelf. You should also consider specifying explicit standards for packaging on the digital shelf in your brand guidelines to ensure consistency across all products. 

Avoid regulatory risk
As of 13 December 2014, the main elements of the Food Information to Consumers EU 1169/2011 Regulation (FIC) will take effect in the UK and across Europe. Food business operators have been given three years to ensure a smooth transition towards the new labeling regime. Inaccurate representation of a brand online doesn’t just erode consumer trust, but it can also place a business at regulatory risk.

Moving into 2015, with an increasing number of consumers migrating online to do their shopping and with new regulations placing brands at risk, the online shelf can no longer be relegated to second place status. Here's what you can do to enable your brand to win on the digital shelf.