When it comes to the business of selling headphones online, discoverability means a lot more than pegboards and end caps.
In an exclusive report for TWICE, Brand View analyzed the top 10 on-ear and over-ear headphones brands on the websites of four major CE retailers: Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and Target.
In its calculations, Brand View employed the following information to create its proprietary weighted scores. Take note that overall scores are based on a weighted formula, not an average of the three categories.
• Can shoppers find your products on the digital shelf?
• Do your products return on the first page of results when searched for by category, or by keywords, such as “headphones,” “on-ear headphones” or “over-ear headphones”?
• Is your brand name present and correct in product descriptions?
• Is key product information including descriptions, images and videos accurately listed on retailer websites?
• Are shoppers engaging with your brand online?
• How do your product reviews and ratings represent your brand?
Indeed it was a tight race for the top four brands, and — perhaps unsurprisingly — Beats by Dr. Dre took the crown, capturing an overall Brand View Score of 3.9 stars. That said, while Sony actually bested Beats in terms of Discoverability, the brand took a dragging in the Representation category, pulling down its overall score.
Sony took a hit in Representation, Brand View insight analyst Chris Elliott said, chiefly because of products lacking a brand name in the product name. The company also featured models without product descriptions on the Target website — listing product features instead — and would have benefitted from more photos.
The No. 10 brand, iLive, suffered from a similar fate, as its poor product Representation score was due to a very small number of product images and zero product videos, said Brand View. Its Engagement rating was further hurt by a lack of a customer reviews.
Brand View noted that sales can be hampered not only from products failing to display in search results, but also from unclear product names, missing images and information, as well as a lack of product reviews.
While a manufacturer’s influence on Discoverability can vary greatly retailer to retailer depending on the nature of the search algorithm, Elliott said, using keywords in a product name can boost models up the page of search results.
“Other factors for manufacturers to consider are how the retailer sorts the page — ‘Best Sellers,’ ‘Best Reviews,’ etc. — and whether the retailer favors promoted products,” noted Elliott.
A few accounting caveats:
Amazon lacked a joint on- and over-ear headphones shelf, so Brand View analyzed them separately then averaged the results.
Target’s website didn’t appear able to include product videos, the research firm said, so the measure was eliminated for the retailer and weighting adjusted accordingly.
Only headphones less than $300 were included.