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Orchestrating magic: How to accelerate growth by building a more harmonious commerce tech stack

September 11, 2023
Mike Black
Written By
Mike Black

My 14 year old son plays the trumpet. This summer he had the honor of playing at the Boston Symphony Orchestra along with other talented young musicians from his band camp. My son plays at a high level and the performance was incredible. Every section of the orchestra was in sync. No one section drowned the other out. Every instrument was right on key.

Now contrast that with my daughter, age 10. She plays in her middle school band. The trumpet section overpowers the flutes. The percussionists are usually off beat. And the clarinets produce a shrill squeaking sound resembling the death throes of a duck. 

When your commerce technology stack is in sync, it feels like a top notch orchestra. When it’s not, it feels like a middle school band. 

Many brands I talk to are operating with the tech stack equivalent of the middle school band. They consistently voice their frustration with disconnected point solutions that don't integrate with other tools in their stack, resulting in dead ends, data silos and fragmented teams. The growing influx of data overwhelms brands, but little of it offers actionable insights. While many brands are investing heavily in the digital shelf, measuring the impact on market share requires extensive manual effort, if possible at all.

At Profitero, we envision a better orchestrated tech stack, one that's more connected, actionable and integrated with omni retail market share for clearer ROI measurement. It’s called The Commerce Acceleration System, and it harmonizes three instruments, led by a skilled conductor, to accelerate growth for brands.


Instrument #1: Analytics

Digital shelf analytics (collected data from retailer search and products pages) is the “1.0” version of shelf intelligence. But it’s not the end-all, be-all. In addition to knowing what happened on the shelf, brands need to know what MUST happen to win and what the predicted result will be. 

To close the gap, we've introduced next-gen shelf intelligence that integrates with digital shelf analytics, driving more actionable insights. This includes:

  • Keyword intelligence that allows brands to pinpoint consumers' top-searched terms across top omni channel and pure play retailer sites for optimized paid media targeting and SEO investments (i.e., “Where must you play?”). 

  • Predictive Intelligence that recommends optimization actions by reverse-engineering the drivers of retailer search algorithms and conversions at a category-specific level (i.e., “How must you win?”).


Our next-gen shelf intelligence uses generative AI in big ways: We've already integrated chat AI into our data (Ask Profitero) so that it’s easier for non-analyst functions like sales and marketing to access insights.


Instrument #2: Activation 

Insights are nice. But action makes money. Through integrations with retailers and our Open Ecosystem partners, we’re empowering brands to automatically optimize their media, content, and operations workflows using the shelf intelligence outlined above. Specific examples:

  • Smarter media buying: Last year, we launched Shelf Intelligent Media for Search, enabling brands to automatically optimize Amazon and Walmart search bidding in Pacvue or Skai based on digital shelf signals. This integration has been a game-changer for CPG brands. For example, Philadelphia Cream Cheese acquired 28% more new-to-brand buyers on by automatically increasing budgets via Pacvue when competitors went out of stock. Another client, a beauty brand, acquired new-to-brand buyers 2.5x-3x faster on Amazon through a similar automation rule powered by Skai. Shelf Intelligent Media for Search is just the beginning. Stay tuned this Fall for announcements on how it will be extended to display, CTV, audio, and in-store.

  • Smarter content management: It’s time the industry moved past measuring content effectiveness solely based on “compliance” and started measuring it based on performance. With Profitero's new Shelf Intelligent content optimization engine, brands can use predictive analytics to score how effectively their content influences retailer discoverability (SEO) and conversion, create higher-performing titles and descriptions via GenAI and then quickly push that content out through your preferred DAM and syndication partners. Ultimately, we’re helping clients get better content to shelf, faster. 

  • Smarter retail operations: Amazon managers spend 65% of their time on low-value operational tasks instead of focusing on growing the business. With Profitero Autopilot, our new operations automation solution that connects with Vendor and Seller Central, Amazon teams can automate invoice dispute resolution as well as item suppression detection and correction, launch new products in half the time and correct Salsify syndication errors automatically, too. Using Autopilot, beauty brand NAOS recovered 1.5% of total revenue from invoice shortages and reduced product launch time from months to days. (Click here for a free audit to see how much revenue Autopilot could recover for your brand.)



Instrument #3: Sales & share ROI                                   

For any system to truly work it must connect to meaningful growth metrics, which for most brands means market share. For years, Profitero clients have been able to attribute the investment they’re making on Amazon's digital shelf with market share growth via our proprietary market share estimation technology. But there’s been a void when it comes to causal analytics for omnichannel retailers.

Last year, Profitero and Circana came together to solve this problem by enabling brands to integrate item-level digital shelf causal data alongside online and offline market share data and in-store causals in Circana’s Unify platform. Now, Circana and Profitero are showcasing our latest analytic modeling advancement: Due-to Drivers. With Circana’s new proprietary algorithm and visualization, brands can more easily decompose the digital shelf drivers (availability, placement, pricing, ratings & reviews, etc.) having the biggest impact on their brand and product online sales and share performance. This will allow brands to optimize ROI for holistic activation strategies within each unique retailer ecosystem

The Skilled Conductor: Advisory

Commerce acceleration requires more than technology. You need experts to guide the process and people changes that allow the technology to fully work. For example, defining clear & roles and responsibilities, optimizing cross-functional ways of working, upskilling people and breaking down the silos that inevitably occur despite the best intentions (like the silos between retail media and organic search). 

Profitero launched our Advisory practice, staffed by former brand-side practitioners and management consultants, to help manage the change that comes with commerce growth. They function like orchestra conductors, enabling every instrument in your growth system to play in harmony.

Benefits of a more harmonized commerce tech stack:


“All-in-one” does not equal “orchestration”

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, Mike, that’s a lot of instruments to harmonize together. Shouldn’t we find one solution that can do it all?” 

That would make sense, but in reality, it’s impossible to find one solution that’s top-notch at everything. Think about the London Philharmonic Orchestra, where everyone in their chair is the very best at their instruments. And now think about the subway one-man band playing the guitar, drums, horn, symbols and kazoo at the same time. Who would you trust with your growth?




No knock on all-in-one solutions — they can work wonders at certain stages of maturity. But as your organization matures, your need for deep specialization will grow, too. That’s why an Open Ecosystem approach works best past a certain stage. Whether it’s analytics, media tech, DAMs, PIMs or something else, there’s always a best-of-breed solution in any sector. Find the best solutions that play well together, and the music (growth) will be magical. 


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