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Augmented Reality Is Changing How We Shop

augmented reality

Augmented Reality Is Changing How We Shop

Consumer shopping habits and preferences are rapidly evolving—and it can be hard for e-commerce marketers to plan when they can’t anticipate the next major change. In a market defined by uncertainty, business intelligence has become essential to monitoring trends and making better business decisions. And right now, one of the key drivers to watch is the rise of augmented reality (AR)—and how it will influence consumer purchases.

Gone are the days of having to wait for an online order to arrive to see exactly how it will fit in your home or look on your face. AR, or augmented reality, is allowing e-commerce platforms to give their customers a more immersive shopping experience by showing how new furniture will look in a room, or how their new makeup can look once it’s applied. AR is gaining traction quickly: it was used by over 100 million shoppers in 2021, and it’s predicted to grow even more in years to come. By 2025, more than 75% of smartphone users will be frequent AR users. Right now, we’re in the early days, and the impact of a technology like this can be a game changer for e-commerce marketers looking to deliver immersive, engaging customer experiences.

How do you incorporate AR? What’s meaningful to your customers? What are your competitors doing? These are key questions to consider in shaping strategy, and it’s essential to leverage business intelligence for your planning and decision-making. Line Item can provide this insight into what is and what isn’t working for your business’s e-commerce; it can also help you monitor and evaluate emerging trends in your market so you can make more informed, strategic decisions. This includes information at the product attribute level as well as insight into your SEO and campaign performance and much more—all via a single, powerful platform purpose-built for CPG and e-commerce.

New technology shapes the shopper experience

How does AR work? AR takes the image captured on a device’s camera and imposes an image or effect over it. It’s a powerful tool to overcome one of the biggest friction points (and risks) of online shopping: the dreaded “not as described.” About 30% of all products bought online are returned (compared to an approximate 9% return rate for brick-and-mortar purchases), with 22% of those returns attributed to the product looking different than described. A customer’s ability to have greater confidence in a product before purchasing can help curb those return rates.

Brands like Ikea are utilizing AR to show shoppers what a product will look like in their homes. A shopper considering buying a new piece of furniture could use their phone’s camera to view the area where they plan to place the furniture, and the AR technology would place a 3D model of the furniture into the landscape, providing views from multiple angles.

AR, of course, is not limited to furniture. According to Shopify, Bumbleride, a stroller company, and Gunner Kennels have both been using AR to allow potential customers to see how much space the product will occupy in their home or on the sidewalk, and if their dog will fit in a specific crate. This allows shoppers to get a deeper feeling for how a product will look or function once they have it, giving them more purchase confidence. And it translates to better business performance: Bumbleride and Gunner Kennels reported 33% and 40% increases in order conversion rates, respectively.

AR can also work for CPG brands. Cosmetic heavyweight Sephora is implementing a “Virtual Artist” feature to layer the appearance of makeup over the face of a potential buyer (similar to a filter on social media apps). The buyer can sample different makeups quickly without ever having to go into a brick-and-mortar store. AR will give consumers new avenues to explore products—upping the ante for e-commerce brands. According to Shopify product lead Ryan Smith, AR functions in e-commerce “will be ubiquitous by 2023.”

Staying on top of trends

How could AR strengthen your e-commerce strategy or enhance customer experience? What competitors in your category are already implementing it? Staying on top of trends in a dynamic market with rapid shifts in consumer preferences is challenging; powerful business intelligence enabled by Line Item makes it easier.

AR isn’t the only trend to watch. Are there any new competitors out there, undercutting your pricing or appearing first in search results? What product attributes are driving value? Line Item provides better business intelligence to answer questions like these. Through its proprietary AI engine, which calculates attributes for style, form, packaging, flavor and much more, Line Item can help you analyze what’s really motivating preferences and purchases.

Line Item also helps to ensure accuracy and consistency in product descriptions and images, which can affect search engine rankings and page one results. Line Item can identify if your items are overpriced or if your promotions are working.

In a constantly evolving marketplace, understanding what is working for you—and your competitors—can help you make strategic changes and execute smarter strategies for more successful e-commerce. It all starts with better business intelligence. This makes Line Item your lifeline to more profitable ecommerce.


Ironbridge Software was founded in 1989 by Mike Dickenson. Mike’s unparalleled expertise and passion for technology led him to create the first-ever analytical solution for the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry.


Breaking Down Barriers between E-commerce and In-Store Marketing Channels

Is your business still talking in terms of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar marketing and sales? Questioning investment in digital? Worried about e-commerce cannibalizing in-store sales?If so, you’re not alone—but it’s time to start looking at the purchase pathway more holistically. This is because e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales can blend, and it can be difficult to separate the marketing strategy and levers that ultimately drive them.

Instead, it’s smart to take a step back and realize these blurred lines are part of the same overall goal: increasing sales. We can embrace them with a new strategy in which digital marketing influences all sales, regardless of where they take place.

How shopping is changing
You already know that the COVID era has accelerated a shift to digital-first shopping and buying that was a long time in coming. Embracing a new paradigm starts with understanding that digital plays a role in almost every purchase, whether at the research, comparison, or transaction stage.

Recent data and research bear this out. Retail e-commerce sales are on track to hit over $900 billion this year, an increase of nearly 14% over the already-hot market growth of 2020. Smaller retailers are likely to see higher conversion rates than the giants like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target. And, even if you’re a bit slower to the party, it isn’t too late by any measure: by 2023, e-commerce sales are forecast to climb from 13% to 22% of all purchases.

The biggest players in e-commerce are embracing the idea that digital marketing drives both online and in-store purchases. According to research by The Digital Shelf Institute, advertising on retailer sites has a halo effect, driving sales on other platforms and in other channels, such as brick and mortar. In fact, this halo may be as high as $3 to $7 for every $1 spent in digital advertising on Amazon.

Insight into sales channels
So, with proof that digital is influencing sales in all channels, let’s look at the next challenge: breaking down internal barriers. Digital and brick-and-mortar teams have traditionally been siloed—and sometimes even in competition for the same finite resources—but this can (and should) change.

The lever for change is access to insights from business intelligence. This is an area where many marketers struggle, but it’s make-or-break stakes for brands, especially considering how volatile the consumer market is.

For CPG and e-commerce marketers ready to level up their business intelligence insight, Line Item is a lifeline to more profitable e-commerce. This performance analytics platform gives marketers a single tool for insights into what’s working for brands—and what’s holding them back. This includes:

-Insight to optimize SEO strategy and search results

-Ability to identify new or unknown competitors

-Attribute-level insight to understand what drives value

-Ability to monitor third-party activity and pricing

-Visibility into gaps in content, imagery, or product descriptions that might be hurting rankings and much more

With detailed insight via a single platform, Line Item can enable a new, BI-driven approach to marketing that embraces digital marketing as critical to every purchase pathway.

How to embrace a digitally influenced strategy
Let’s get into the details to demonstrate how embracing a digitally influenced strategy empowered by Line Item can change how you resource your marketing—and determine success.

Consider how online and digital initiatives can ultimately influence all purchases. For example, research from GE Capital has revealed that 81% of shoppers start their research online. This means that your SEO campaigns, page rankings, and online product content really matter. If they’re not putting you on page one for organic and paid rankings, you’re missing out—and that’s going to affect in-store sales as well as online purchases. This is where Line Item can really make a difference, with insight into how your campaigns are performing, if you’re getting your share of page one, and if there are gaps in descriptions that are affecting consistency (which will affect your rankings).

Think about what gaps in your tools and resources might be holding your brand back. Do you know how your campaigns are performing, and if they’re profitable? If out-of-stocks are hurting your revenue? If your reviews are hurting your reputation and your sales? Insight into these drivers is critical in helping you boost your marketing return on investment. Line Item gives you the kind of smart insights to drive more sales.

Some of the biggest giants in e-commerce are recognizing the power of digital in influencing their sales and are adopting an omnichannel strategy. We think it’s most powerful when this omnichannel approach is also underpinned by the power of Line Item, with detailed insight into e-analytics and what’s driving your sales. Learn how Line Item can be your lifeline to more profitable e-commerce—and more sales in any channel.


Better Intelligence, Better Outcomes: Navigating the e-Commerce Landscape Using Line Item

COVID-19 may have changed how we shopped out of necessity, but a year after the initial retail reckoning, new habits are here to stay.

Already growing strong before COVID, e-commerce has leaped forward in the last year. In 2020, US retailers with a digital presence saw a nearly 70% rise in online revenue, and e-commerce grew in the US and Canada by 129% over 2019.

With this rapid growth and a permanent shift in consumers’ shopping habits, we’ve now firmly entered the e-commerce era. Perhaps more accurately, though, it’s the era of e-commerce optimization—for the brands and companies that will come out ahead. This is where having a powerful tool like Line Item truly gives you the edge in e-commerce.

Line Item is a performance analytics platform that gives consumer packaged goods (CPG) and e-commerce marketing managers insights into e-analytics and product attributes to drive revenue and profitability.

As brands vie for digital shelf space, mindshare, and consumer loyalty, the e-commerce market has become hypercompetitive. Staying competitive—even relevant—requires better insight into how your products are performing across your portfolio and what’s driving sales.

Let’s look at how Line Item’s visibility can empower you against three emerging priorities in our era of e-commerce optimization.

A true omnichannel e-commerce strategy

Between 2019 and today there has been a tremendous acceleration toward a true omnichannel experience. On the one hand, e-commerce marketers realize that to be successful on the whole, they must be successful on each platform where consumers are buying. On the other hand, shoppers are searching for consistency (or its lack) between channels, price-checking as well as searching product availability.

A truly successful omnichannel e-commerce strategy must be holistic. When customers rely on sites like Amazon and for product research as much as purchases, e-commerce marketers must understand and play to this. When customers are searching online for local options, e-commerce marketers must see the digital shelf and actual shelf as parts of a whole. Understanding what’s working and how search is performing across your product or brand portfolio becomes integral to building and maintaining a successful digital marketing strategy.

Optimizing e-commerce only becomes possible, then, with superior business intelligence. You must be able to optimize your search results across platforms and sites and understand how your SEO strategy is working. With Line Item, you can understand how your SEO is performing across key search terms, platforms, and more.

Tapping into e-commerce trends

In a hypercompetitive market, many brands are searching for the elusive “sweet spot” with new products, items, attributes, package sizes, flavors and more.

This competitive pressure can be difficult to stay on top of, but it can be where the next opportunity lies. Line Item can help e-commerce marketers discover what’s trending in their market or monitor new products by known or unknown competitors. This is possible because Line Item does a deep dive on the web, where new products show up first. This intense deep dive goes into all products, item by item, not just the category level. Line Item captures page rank, price, reviews, availability, and delivery times. Then, using titles and features across more than a dozen websites, Line Item determines all relevant attributes.

This deep dive into attributes can help e-commerce marketers and managers understand what’s truly driving value. With these insights, brand managers can understand more on segment, style, form, size, packaging, flavor, Nutrition Facts and more by UPC, MPC, ASIN, and SKU for detailed and actionable data. It can also help you see what your competitors are doing well, or where there are opportunities to earn more market share.

Building trust in e-commerce

We may have millions of products available at our fingertips, but shoppers are still fundamentally human. Retailers earn consumer trust and loyalty through accuracy and transparency—this hasn’t changed since the days of the corner store.

What it means, though, is different in our e-commerce-driven world. It’s also far more complex to manage. Realistic product imagery that matches your actual products and is consistent across sites ensures customers purchase what they want and need, decreasing the likelihood of returns (which eat into profitability). Line Item can help you determine whether images and descriptions are consistent and correct across sites. It can also identify gaps that may be affecting your search results and rankings.

Clear pricing helps customers feel they are being treated fairly. Line Item helps you monitor and optimize pricing across sites to provide insight into whether your products are overpriced; to verify pricing; and to identify “robotic” pricing activity to lower the risk of being undercut by competitors.

Ultimately, gaining an edge in the era of e-commerce optimization comes down to driving more sales with smarter insights. When you do, it ensures your campaigns are performing and contributes to higher profitability. When marketing is an investment in your business and future, it’s the bottom line that matters.

Line Item empowers you with a single tool to gain essential insights into what’s driving your sales—or what’s holding you back. It’s your lifeline to more profitable e-commerce.


Ironbridge Software was founded in 1989 by Mike Dickenson. Mike’s unparalleled expertise and passion for technology led him to create the first-ever analytical solution for the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry.
line item

What You Don’t Know Is Hurting You: E-Commerce Business Intelligence Data with Line Item

Knowledge is power in e-commerce. In a rapidly growing, highly competitive market, decisions about your business are only as good as the data informing them. This is why e-commerce marketers need to understand what is working for their brands—and what’s holding them back.Business intelligence software makes this understanding possible. This is why, according to Research and Markets, global investment in these tools is expected to grow to nearly $29 billion in 2022, representing 20% growth since 2019.

Line Item by Ironbridge Software can reduce the complexity of managing products across multiple retailer websites and online marketplaces. It empowers e-commerce marketers to capitalize on trends, build new revenue streams, maximize sales and boost profitability.

Line Item is a performance analytics platform built for CPG and e-commerce, allowing users to drill into search results, product attributes and e-analytics. Here’s five questions Line Item can answer to help you understand what’s working and what’s not.

Are you getting your share of page one?

If you’re not on page one of search results, you’re not driving traffic. And if you’re not driving traffic, you’re certainly not maximizing sales. Line Item helps you analyze how well your SEO is working across all key search terms, across retailer websites and online marketplaces for a complete view. With it, you can optimize for specific keywords in the search results and improve page rank.

Are your promotions paying off?

Line Item captures which ASIN, UPC, and SKU are promoted. This data can be integrated with AMZ Brand Analytics, Retail Link, Partnersonline and more for quick results so you can see what’s working and what’s not. You can also determine whether long-tail keywords are worth promoting. With these insights, you can optimize your marketing strategy to be relevant at the right time and react more quickly (and effectively) to customer demand.

Are you priced right?

Profitability hinges on the right pricing. Line Item compares unit pricing, item by item across competitors and web sites daily. With it, you can also review pricing over a period for deeper analysis. You can monitor fulfillment, delivery times, and charges for the same items on different websites.

In addition, Line Item can identify “robotic” pricing activity and send you pricing alerts.

Are you tracking new items and competitors?

If you’re not staying on top of trends and competitors, you’re missing out on opportunities to maximize sales. With Line Item, you can do a deep-dive search on new products and brands. This will help you identify new or unknown competitors, both foreign and low-priced.

Are out-of-stocks hurting revenue?

If items are unavailable, you’re missing out on sales. Inventory management is a constant balancing act between understocking and overstocking. Line Item can make it easier to strike the right balance. It can detect trending items going out of stock. Time of day can affect availability, so more insight from Line Item can guide inventory management.

Are your descriptions and images keeping you off page one?
When managing hundreds or even thousands of products, you need powerful insights to steer strategy. If descriptions, images, and copy are incomplete, inconsistent, and not optimized for specific search terms, you’re missing out on potential sales. With Line Item, you can ensure that descriptions and images are correct, complete and consistent across all sites.

In a rapidly growing and ever-changing market, CPG marketers and e-commerce managers need access to better business intelligence for strategic decision-making. Line Item empowers you with a single tool for fresh insights into what’s driving your sales and what’s holding you back. It can help you save time, grow sales, and enhance profitability across your portfolio with integrated data for more informed decision-making. Line Item is your lifeline to more profitable e-commerce.

Ironbridge Software was founded in 1989 by Mike Dickenson. Mike’s unparalleled expertise and passion for technology led him to create the first-ever analytical solution for the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry.

Good, Better, Best: Evaluating e-Commerce Analytics Tools

Today’s business environment is constantly changing. Consumer preferences and demands are shifting—sometimes daily. Even more, during the last year, consumers have become less loyal to brands and even the ways they traditionally shop.
This is not a time to guess what’s right for your business. It’s a time to have access to robust data to monitor the competition, seize opportunities, ensure return on marketing spend—and drive better decision-making. This is the power of business intelligence (BI).According to recent research, though, while businesses are starting to spend big on BI, adoption rates lag below 30%. This means that key decision-makers don’t have the data at their fingertips to make better decisions for their brands—and bottom lines.

The right e-commerce analytics tools give brands access to better insights faster, enabling them to be responsive, edge out the competition, and see where the market is going. In today’s exploding e-commerce market, which is predicted to grow nearly 200% between 2019 and 2022, brands can’t afford to think of BI as a “nice to have.” It’s an essential. But how do you choose which solution to invest in? Here’s our look at some of the e-commerce analytics tools and platforms on the market.

Good: Pacvue

What: an enterprise platform to manage ad campaigns at scale on Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and other popular retail sites

Pacvue offers targeted solutions built for brands, sellers, and marketing agencies and separate solutions for each retail site. Its software is intended to improve campaign performance with automation, competitive intelligence, and streamlined reporting so that brands can grow their digital sales. It enables visibility into retail and advertising data wherever and whenever users need it.

Why Good? While powerful, Pacvue is only focused on ad campaign performance.

Better: ClearCut

What: a platform for e-commerce and data insights in a changing retail market
The ClearCut Insights Platform gives brands and e-commerce professionals visibility in e-commerce sales data and category trends. Users can benchmark competitors. ClearCut also enables real-time insights into brand or product performance on Amazon, including tracking 1P and 3P daily sales, search rankings, MAP violations and more.
Why Better? ClearCut provides a broader set of e-analytics capabilities for brands than Pacvue, but there are limitations. For instance, insight into sales is available only for Amazon, not other popular digital channels and e-tailers.

Better: Edge by Ascential

What: e-commerce solutions for global brands and retailers
Edge by Ascential is a suite of solutions designed to improve e-commerce insights and performances. There are separate solution sets, including Market Share, Digital Shelf, Price + Promo, Retail Insight, and more. Consider them separate modules that can be purchased and integrated to enable visibility into different aspects of e-commerce. Professional consultative services can also be contracted through the company.

Why Better? While Edge by Ascential provides a deep set of capabilities, unless you purchase all solutions, your broad visibility into your entire e-analytics portfolio is limited.

Better: Profitero

What: e-commerce platform

With daily analytics and benchmark data, Profitero provides digital shelf analytics to detect opportunities to improve sales performance across a wide range of retailer websites. There are sales and market share estimates for products and competitors. In addition, Profitero enables the ability to monitor out-of-stocks, boost search rankings, and optimize campaigns. Users can also access Profitero’s consulting experts.

Why Better? Profitero is certainly a powerful platform, but it’s intended for a broad range of brands, not purpose-built for CPG e-commerce.

Best: Line Item

What: Line Item is a performance analytics platform that gives consumer packaged goods (CPG) and e-commerce marketing managers insights into e-analytics and product attributes to drive revenue and profitability. Created for the CPG industry, it’s backed by a team with more than 30 years of experience in the CPG market. It’s a single tool to boost profitability and drive growth across your e-commerce portfolio with better business intelligence. Its deep insight into product attributes truly sets it apart.
With Line Item, brand and e-commerce professionals can optimize SEO and digital market strategy across all retail sites and platforms. They can see, track, and analyze search results and performance, again across all sites and down to long-tail keywords and particular campaigns. They can understand what’s working for their brands and products, as well as what’s holding them back—from incomplete descriptions or inconsistent images to competitor activity and MAP violations. They can monitor competitor activity, out-of-stocks, price undercuts and delivery time across all sales platforms and digital channels with a single tool. They can also understand product attributes across entire categories.

Why Best? It’s a single platform with comprehensive capabilities purpose-built for CPG e-commerce.

In a competitive and ever-changing CPG e-commerce market, Line Item is your lifeline to more profitable e-commerce.


business intelligence

Five Business Intelligence Tools to Save Your Bottom Line

In the rollercoaster ride of the last year, CPG e-commerce has had its moment of digital reckoning: the way consumers shop will never be the same.

Close on the heels of this realization is the recognition that better business intelligence is the foundation of success. CPG companies that are unable to move quickly and be nimble in the way they respond to consumer trends and market pressure will struggle. It’s that simple.

Moving quickly and being nimble hinges on gathering and analyzing data. And not just any data: actionable, valuable data that drives better decision-making.

This is the power of business intelligence—and Line Item unlocks it for CPG e-commerce. Line Item is a performance analytics platform that enables insight into e-analytics and product attributes to drive revenue and profitability. It’s packed with five essential business intelligence tools that can help CPG brands grow sales and boost profitability in a turbulent and competitive market. Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these business intelligence tools and why they matter.

1. Better search engine optimization strategy.

Consumer behavior and preferences are changing faster than ever before, sometimes even day to day. In such disruption, it’s not enough to “set it and forget it” with your SEO strategy. CPG companies need to be responsive to changes in the market and ensure that their brands and products are ranking in search results. Without this kind of SEO business intelligence, competitive edge is lost.

Line Item is the answer to better SEO strategy. It analyzes whether or not your brands or products are ranking on page one, across search terms and platforms. This is important as the elephants like Amazon and aren’t only retail sites, they are also where (increasingly) shoppers are doing product research. With Line Item, you can understand which search terms are working as well as which your competitors are using. Line Item also ensures that your product titles, descriptions, and images are complete and consistent, closing the gaps that can cost you page rank and sales, ultimately affecting your bottom line.

2. Superior insight into pricing.

There’s a reason that pricing is one of the “four P’s” of marketing: it’s the lever that drives profitability. Price your products too low and you’re leaving money on the table. Price too high and competitors will win your sales.

In a market where demand and preferences fluctuate so wildly, though, business intelligence on pricing becomes a complex challenge. This is where Line Item comes in. With it, you can verify item pricing, selling price, and list price across your portfolio and across platforms. You’ll have better business intelligence to price your products correctly and competitively to protect your profitability.

3. Third-party activity monitoring.

The CPG e-commerce market is many-layered and complex. Third-party sellers account for significant sales activity, but consumers aren’t often aware that they’re not purchasing from you directly. To protect your brand, you need better business intelligence to monitor online activity.

Line Item gives you the visibility you need to monitor unauthorized selling activity on the web, or to determine whether third-party sellers are undercutting your price. This helps you protect your brand and the bottom line.

4. Deep dive into product attributes.

Do you know what’s really driving product or category value? Without powerful business intelligence, it can be impossible to truly tap into why consumers are choosing one product over another.

This is where Line Item really stands out. Line Item can analyze all similar products in a category, item by item, to determine all relevant attributes. These could include brand, form (liquid, powder, or capsules, for example), package type and size, scent or flavor, natural or organic ingredients, and other attributes. Think whitening or foaming agents for toothpaste, sensitivity for personal care products, and more. This robust business intelligence can help inform product development, packaging, marketing and promotions, personalization and much more, across your portfolio and your brand. It gives you an advantage in meeting the market at the right moment with the right product.

5. Promotions analysis.

Are your promotions paying off? This may be a simple question, but it’s difficult to answer in this accelerated and disrupted market.

If your promotions aren’t, you’re wasting marketing spend, and you need to know why. Line Item can tell you if your campaigns are working, which keywords your competitors are using, if long tail keywords are worth investing in and more. When your campaigns are driving your bottom line, you know they’re working—and Line Item makes it possible.

CPG brands can’t afford to be working with yesterday’s tools. Better business intelligence is fundamental to a better bottom line. Line Item is your lifeline to more profitable e-commerce.


About Ironbridge Software

Ironbridge Software was founded in 1989 by Mike Dickenson. Mike’s unparalleled expertise and passion for technology led him to create the first-ever analytical solution for the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry.