September 20, 2023


Stratably hosted Lauren Livak from The Digital Shelf Institute to share how brands can develop an effective PDP process that engages all aspects of the organization.

Key topics:

  1. The importance of change management
  2. Linking PDP team structure to maturity
  3. Educating the broader organization
  4. Enable Commercial & IT teamwork


Watch The Recording Here

Action items for brands:

  1. Understand what’s changing, how the change specifically impacts colleagues, and how to articulate a big opportunity available from that change before beginning change management efforts.
  2. Require employees to attend specific eCommerce educational sessions that are both relevant to their role and are easy to digest (<15 minutes at a time).
  3. Avoid asking where eCommerce should report to (Sales, Marketing, or IT) and focus more on what structure will make the right functions accountable for digital outcomes in the organization.
  4. Align on overall timeline for Ship-To-Trade and then report on which items are behind and how that STT timeline is becoming more efficient.

Here’s what we found most interesting:

  1. Change Management: The organization needs a multi-directional approach towards managing changing processes with PDP content. Hands on keyboard teammates need a mechanism to voice needs, concerns, and opportunities, while senior executives need to communicate why changes are necessary and the big opportunity that will come with the change.
  2. Reporting Structures: There is no right or wrong answer to where the eCommerce team reports to, and it will evolve as the firm’s digital capabilities evolve. If the team reports to sales, it tends to be more directly connected to the P&L and the retail customer. If it reports to marketing, then it tends to be great from a holistic marketing perspective and closely connected to creative. If it reports to IT, then it will tend to have a strong technical capability. Regardless of reporting structure, the eCommerce team must work cross functionally.
  3. Digital Shelf Team roles: The Digital Shelf team acts as the quarterback throughout the organization, helping drive cross-functional tasks necessary for content creation, syndication, and measurement. Occasionally they’ll own retail media, but that is rarer.
  4. Business & IT working together: There is no real magic to getting the commercial team and IT team working well together. It mostly takes transparent conversations on goals and objectives, educating each other about opportunities, processes, and systems, and having empathy towards each group’s objectives and restrictions.
  5. Educating the Organization: As it relates to PDP content, there is a need to educate on the internal ways of working, processes, and systems, and also provide context to external factors behind what retailers are demanding. Required education courses and modules are seen as more effective than optional sessions, especially if they can be tailored for specific functions like one for Sales or one for Marketing. In addition, assigning champions within a function can help drive credibility and receptivity.