Quick, think of the top 10 refrigerator brands.
Now guess which ones lead the pack online. They may not necessarily be the same.
To find out which fridge badges have a leg up online, Brand View, a leading global provider of price, promotion and online product positioning analytics, did a deep dive into the websites of The Home Depot, Lowe's and Sears.
Its mission: to analyze the online performance of refrigerators by brand based on a weighted assessment of three criteria:
Discoverability: Can shoppers find the product on the digital shelf? Do they appear on the first page of results when searched for by category or by keywords such as “refrigerator” or “fridge”?
Representation: Is the brand name present and correct in product descriptions? Is key product information including descriptions, images and videos accurately listed on retailer websites?
Engagement: Are shoppers engaging with the brand online through social media or user reviews? How do their reviews and ratings represent the brand?
Granted, there were inherent limitations to the study. The major appliance assortments at the two home-improvement chains — which ranked first and second on TWICE’s Top 50 Majap Retailers Report — are representative of most, but not all, of the white-goods industry, and third-place Sears is clearly skewed toward its Kenmore house brand, which impacted the “discoverability” results for the other two chains.
That said, two key trends jump out:
* LG was tops in both online engagement and representation, edging out Samsung and Kenmore, respectively; and
* most brands were weakest when it came to discoverability. As expected, Kenmore led the category, earning a perfect Brand View Score (BVS) of 5 on a scale of 0 to 5, while Amana's, Maytag’s and Electrolux’s online visibility, or lack thereof, earned them a 0.
OK then, so going back to the original premise: Which fridge brands performed best online? Brand View put the results together in the chart below; broke them out by the three criteria in the chart beneath that; and provided its takeaways and methodology at the end.
10 Top-Performing Refrigerator Brands Online
Source: Brand View
10 Top-Performing Refrigerator Brands Online, By Criteria
Source: Brand View
Brand View’s takeaway: “The online shopping experience can be hampered by numerous factors. Products not returning in search results, unclear product names, missing images and information, and a lack of product reviews can all lead to lost sales. Increasing and improving a brand’s online presence can enhance the online shopper’s experience, reduce lost sales, and, most importantly, ensure shoppers buy your brand rather than another.”
Brand View’s methodology: “Each brand’s discoverability score is determined by comparing the percentage of products it had on the first page of results to its share of total listings within the category. If a brand were to have a 15 percent share of the first page of search results and a 15 percent share of total listings in the category, this would be considered an average performance and therefore scores 2.5 stars. To achieve a five-star score a brand must have a share of the first page of results that’s double, or more than double, its share of the category as a whole.”
For HomeDepot.com, a keyword search for “refrigerator” or “fridge” returned the shopper to the category shelf, the research firm said. Therefore, the discoverability score was weighted to include only category placement, and not search placement, for this retailer.
In contrast, Sears.com returned 50 products on the first page of results for both a keyword and category shelf search. The BVS accounts for the first 25 products listed, Brand View said, to be representative of the average number of products displayed on a retailer’s results page.