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In pursuit of the Perfect Store

5 min read

Optimizing performance and maximizing sales
is THE fundamental goal for any consumer product manufacturer selling on the digital shelf.
But with brands having so many levers to pull in order
to optimize digital shelf performance, how do you know which actions to prioritize?

eStoreBrands co-founder Lukasz Stebelski and I leveraged our background and experience working at P&G to adopt the CARS framework here at eStoreBrands. CARS now extends beyond P&G with other multinational CPG brands adopting the framework as well.CARS frameworkWhat makes eStore's adaptation of the CARS framework unique is that our digital shelf platform, eStoreCheck, goes beyond just using the framework to help you monitor and manage the individual elements. 

eStoreCheck lets brands assign weights based on your company objectives, allowing you to track execution and fix gaps. This weighted scorecarding ultimately gets rolled up into what we call your Perfect Store Execution “OneNumber.” What this means is that, at a glance, you get a single score that reflects your overall digital shelf health. 

Taking it a step further, our OneNumber Explorer feature lets users across the organization create specific scores to get their own unique view of the world based on their role and level.

Spotlight on the CARS framework: What is CARS?

CARS is a framework used by brands to drive sales growth on the digital shelf of your retail partners. Similar to Marketing’s 4 Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, Place), the key elements of CARS help to drive awareness, education and brand trust, which results in commercial growth such as sales and market share.

By measuring and assessing the performance in key areas across the digital shelf of the retailers you sell through, you can identify areas to execute with excellence.

Understanding the fundamentals of CARS





  1. Content focuses on the elements present on your product pages (PDPs)

  2. It’s crucial for shoppers as a source of product information and a proxy to brand experience

  3. The most important elements are Product Title, Image(s), Product Description, and Rich Content (videos / interactive media), which help to drive shopper conversion

  1. A basic but crucial measure: Is the product live on a retailer’s site?

  2. Identifying stock gap opportunities helps to make sure shoppers can buy your product from the retailer and maximize wider portfolio revenue opportunities

  1. Best in class ratings & reviews is an influential part of the “purchase journey” and helps to increase sales conversion

  2. Measuring how your shoppers feel about your product is important to understand if they love your brand and are likely to repeat the purchase

  3. Reviews also help build trust with new shoppers at the consideration phase

  1. A critical question: Are your products easy for shoppers to discover  via the Search function?

  2. Search drives findability of your products and helps you to compete effectively against your competition and drive sales uplift

  3. The higher up the page you are in search results, the more likely you are to be added to the basket and drive conversion

  4. Search can be used as a proxy for sales; increase your performance here usually indicates an increase in sales

Source: eStoreBrands

Why is CARS important?

The CARS framework helps you understand where you have opportunities across the portfolio in crucial areas to drive sales growth.

The scorecard can identify execution opportunities in driving capability of the teams, excelling SKU performance, and allows you to continually improve over time by increasing and scaling targets.

As a result, teams develop their knowledge and challenge their approach to driving positive impact within retailers. This is how the CARS framework leads to improved sales and market share. Below are the kinds of sales uplifts we found associated with the different CARS metrics.

Sales impact brands can expect when executing on the CARS elements

v2 CARS impact-1

Source: Amazon sales data and eStoreBrands toolkit, based on sales attribution research conducted across multiple categories

How Digital Shelf Automation can support your CARS initiatives

To say it’s not easy managing all of the levers in the CARS framework (i.e., all of the things you could do on the digital shelf) is an understatement. But now, multiply that by the number of SKUs you have and all the retailers you sell through. That’s a big task for companies with even the smallest of product portfolios. For large multinational brands, it’s certainly a monumental and laborious undertaking.

This is where Digital Shelf Automation (like eStoreBrands Digital Shelf analytics solutions) comes into play. Digital Shelf Automation is an integrated set of tools and services that empower consumer product manufacturers to streamline your digital commerce planning, management and execution.

Our approach starts with your strategy and key success drivers in mind, and we then deliver the data and insights needed for you to measure performance against those objectives. We find your gap-closing opportunities so you can improve performance and accelerate your sales growth.

Our integrated 3-in-1 Analytics Performance platform – combining Landscape analytics + Perfect Store + Expectation Hub – lets you build and execute winning Perfect Store strategies

v2 eSTORE gap closing framework

Source: eStoreBrands

Identify, Prioritize, and Optimize with eStoreCheck

Deploying a Digital Shelf analytics tool, like eStoreCheck, lets you:

  1. Monitor your brand’s online presence on the digital shelf
  2. Benchmark against your pre-set scorecard standards or industry benchmarks
  3. Spot opportunities to close sales gaps
  4. Prioritize your actions
  5. Automate your processes for faster results

With eStoreCheck, you get timely and complete category insights, with dynamic benchmarking and unrivaled scalability across thousands of online retailers in the world’s largest digital markets.

The tool does all the heavy lifting, collecting and analyzing data on more than 100 critical eCommerce KPIs you need to run your business.

Our eStoreCheck solution delivers 100+ KPIs to align with your digital shelf strategies (sample KPIs listed below)

v2 KPIs

Source: eStoreBrands

Assess Digital Shelf performance at a glance with OneNumber

Our overview dashboard provides a 30,000 foot view of how your brand is performing against your organization’s predefined scorecard metrics.

The universally easy-to-understand green / amber / red data visualization immediately draws your attention to the metrics that matter most. You can quickly see where there are gaps that require attention, so you’re not wasting time and resources on areas where products are already performing up to standard.

The platform is designed to let you quickly and easily drill down on any metric – by market, by retailer, by SKU, etc. – so you know exactly where you’re meeting targets versus underperforming. This lets you assess your Digital Shelf gaps and opportunities fast so you can focus on what matters most to improve performance and accelerate sales growth.

Our designed-for-actionability dashboard is proven to drive online sales by managing digital shelf complexity

Perfect_Store_visual update (cropped)

Source: eStoreBrands

Case Study example

How an electronics brand amped up its OneNumber Digital Shelf performance score by 45% in 10 months

CHALLENGE: Excessive time spent on manual validation

The brand's eCommerce team found they were spending an excessive amount of time manually validating content, leaving little time to take action on gaps. The brand implemented eStoreCheck to: 

  1. improve the team’s efficiency
  2. identify and fix issues related to content and search

ACTION: eCommerce automation using the Perfect Store framework

Nearly the entire validation process was automated using eStoreCheck. This freed up substantial time to focus on gap-closing opportunities. Using insights from the tool, the team prioritized Content, Assortment, and Search. Keyword gaps were identified and fixed. The brand now regularly uses the OneNumber dashboard and deep dive reports to identify needed actions.

OneNumber Case Study results

"Before eStoreCheck, I had to open every client website to confirm eCommerce drivers, consuming most of my
day and losing sales opportunities."


-  eCommerce Supervisor, Global Electronics Brand

What does it mean for brands? 

Here are some key questions you should be asking:

  1. Are you missing out on sales opportunities? Do you know where?
    Brands can pull many levers on the Digital Shelf. The key is pinpointing which of the CARS elements can give you the biggest bang for your investment to help you prioritize actions.
  2. Can your Digital Shelf tool quickly and accurately identify the biggest gaps or opportunities?
    eStoreBrand's integrated 3-in-1 Analytics Performance platform – which combines Landscape (competitor) analytics with Perfect Store / Expectation Hub modules (to monitor how strategies are being deployed by retailers) – lets you build and execute winning Perfect Store strategies to close any gaps, accelerate sales growth, and improve processes.
  3. Is your Digital Shelf tool sufficiently flexible to allow you to focus on actions rather than analysis?
    Many metrics must be tracked to excel on the Digital Shelf. KPIs often change based on your company objective or campaigns you’re running. Additionally, different functions, roles, and levels within the organization typically have their own set of KPIs too. Be sure your Digital Shelf tool has the capability to track the KPIs required to attain your Perfect Store, and flexible enough for all stakeholders in your organization to use.


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Bartosz Kielbinski
Bartosz Kielbinski
Chariman, Founder

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