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2021 EMEA Marketplace Trends and Data Insights

Experts from Pacvue & Salsify analyze the most notable EMEA marketplace trends across growing economies in Europe and Asia.


Learn how to set your brand up for exponential growth in EMEA markets by understanding the latest trends and category-wise insights. This webinar has experts from Pacvue and Salsify analyze the most notable EMEA marketplace trends across growing economies in Europe and Asia.

Key Takeaways

  • Use profitable category-wise benchmarks: Look at recent changes in consumer behavior for beauty, grocery, electronics, and baby supplies for the global and EMEA markets. 
  • Create a smart PDP backed by analytics: Amazon’s A9 algorithm prioritizes key factors like customer ratings and reviews that can help you build the perfect PDP.
  • Utilize enhanced content for better profits: Across EMEA countries’ eCommerce markets, enhanced content is the key to stand out in popular product categories.
  • Increase sales through impactful storytelling: Through aesthetic images, videos, and bullet-point texts, you can attract loyal consumers by sharing your brand’s story.
  • Create economy-specific AD campaigns: EMEA countries have lower CPCs with higher ROAS that can be leveraged when customizing AD campaigns that stand out and perform better.


Alright, let’s get started here. So as a consumer, the last year has really changed my family’s online shopping behavior pretty significantly in the pandemic has affected us all. We get that we’re not gonna over-play the pandemic here today. A lot of data and trends have come out about it, but I have four children, four kids. Jim Gaffigan, the comedian, a US-based comedian, he says, If you wanna know what it’s like to have four kids, just imagine you’re drowning, and then somebody hands you a baby and that’s exactly what it’s like in my house, having four kids is pretty crazy, they’re teenagers now, in fact, I have four teenagers, not just four teenagers, I have four teenage daughters, if you can imagine. For the last year, I haven’t been traveling. It’s been great being able to spend time with them, but with 4 teenage daughters, we have to buy a lot of things, and the most surprising thing for me is the amount of makeup wipes with four daughters that we go through in a given week in our household, we went from ordering just household items and things from Amazon to ordering everything we do online, literally everything.

I would estimate that 95% of our calorie budget and our normal budget goes online to spending. Before is more like 30% to 40%. So our individual consumer behavior has changed, groceries being the number one item that has really changed in our family, and that change didn’t really end as things started to open up, and we have kept those changes, we’ve kept those new behaviors mainly because we now know it’s just easier, it’s more efficient to order online instead of lists, literally written lists on the white board of our kitchen, our kids now add to online lists, and by the way, they tend to add a bunch of items that we have to remove. Chips and ice cream. I have a few kids that are particularly tricky, they know when we’re gonna check out, so at the last minute I had items right before we check out, so we don’t see that those new items have been added to the list. Pretty tricky kids, but we’re not here to talk about personal anecdotes, in fact, we have a great presentation that’s packed full of data. My name is Justin King, and I’m the Vice President of Industry Marketing at Salsify, a company that helps brand manufacturers win on the digital shelf, and I’m joined today by Daniel Harris from Pacvue. 

Thanks, Justin. Really glad to be here today. So Sales Director of East Coast at Pacvue, seeing a lot of the expansion into our European retail marketplaces, the Pacvue management tool, and really glad to be here to be today. So today we’re gonna talk a little bit about some of the benchmarking performance data that we’ve seen across the different European marketplaces, and then we’re gonna kick it back over to Justin to really explain how you take advantage of those new opportunities by creating the perfect PDP. And then we’ll end with some questions and answers if there’s time. So the interesting thing about the year in European marketplace is really how much it’s kind of growing and how much opportunity there is now, so it’s actually a lot of new marketplaces, and this is a really interesting data that reflects that, and so we’re really looking across the cost per clicks and some of the information across the different European countries. Perfect, so here’s a little data set that been collected by Pacvue over the past six months or so, and what’s really I think interesting here, there’s obviously a lot you can dive in, so some anecdotes you can pull out from it, but I think the top line information is that really the United States, which is a more mature marketplace, actually has a higher cost per click and a slightly higher ACOS than really to the European average. Conversion rates will very slightly by marketplace and by category, but really I think what this indicates is that there is still a tremendous opportunity for our first movers to come into Amazon across these different countries and really begin to change consumer behavior and drive adoption with lower cost per click, so there’s just, I think, a better advertising opportunity with less competition than going to what you see in the United States.

So this is indicative of the types of levels of cost per clicks that we saw a couple of years ago in the US.

So I think the purpose of this slide, again, it’s kinda show that same sort of trend over time, you can see here that the US has the highest Cost Per Click, but what’s interesting when we see this time shift or this time series data, is that the rebound and cost per clicks after the new year was actually sharper in the US than in the other marketplaces, again, this just sort of indicates a higher level competition than you’re seeing to the UK and the European marketplaces in general. So this next category benchmark really just includes the UK, Germany, France. So it’s interesting, I think the main call out here is the grocery, is the grocery cost per clicks, obviously, there was some impact there from covid early in the year, which this is alluding to, but that’s definitely been a rebound from the March highs. I think another common trend is seeing sort of a drop in beauty products over the New Year. 

So all categories in UK experience the same decline in cost per click and conversions. It seems like the conversion is differing the most between categories, so there’s just a quick snapshot of how some of the data that we’re collecting, how you can parse it out by category by marketplace, and this definitely some interesting insights that you can glean from this analysis. So the French, the French marketplace, again, look dramatically different than it does in the UK, again, this is really attributed to the maturity level of each of the different categories, so consumer electronics and baby supplies seems to not be as heavily impacted as the grocery categories were during this holiday season, and then again, conversion started to dip in March slightly after sort of a slide down. So for Germany, other than grocery, it seems like the CPCs have remained relatively stable, which is, is indicative of the different kind of shopping behaviors that we’ve seen over the past six months, but I think really what’s interesting is how conversion rates have be coming down again, after the lockdown, now that’s up for the summer, so we might see a little bit of a return to different or pre-covid type of shopping behavior. And now I’ll kick it over to Justin to describe how to take advantage of some of these marketplaces.

Yeah, so I think it’s interesting when you talk about what is the perfect PDP, what’s the perfect product detail page and what’s the formula for that? We took a data approach to this, so we unpacked first party data for about 30,000 skus across three Amazon retailers, so we took the UK, France and Germany for April 2021, and we did that across a number of different industries, so we explored 100 top performing products across beauty, makeup, grocery, baby products and consumer electronics. So what makes the perfect PDP, there are a number of important factors, and I think these aren’t gonna be a surprise to you. So first of all, product titles, product titles need to be the correct length, they need to be descriptive, they need to include essential search engine optimization words. So I say SEO words, what I don’t mean is SEO words for Google. What I mean is, SEO words for Amazon. When we think about the perfect PDP or the perfect product detail page, really it’s about winning the algorithm, winning the Amazon AI algorithm, so you gotta think through certain SEO on Amazon dot com using the algorithm, so product titles need to serve that. Product descriptions really need to be able to attract shoppers with points and highlights and features, they need to include the brand and the product story in the below the fold content, so below the fold content is what we call enhanced content. I’m gonna actually show you an example of what enhanced content is, ratings and reviews, they need to be leveraged to help convince the shopper of the product quality and the capabilities of the products, so titles, descriptions, ratings and reviews, and lastly, enhanced content. Enhanced content or what Amazon calls A plus content to help the shopper better connect with brands with editorialized imagery, 360-degree product. Maybe it’s talking about sustainability of the company, so much of the new shoppers want to go beyond just the brand story, but also talk about the company’s story and the sustainability of that company, so bringing that into A plus content or enhanced content is critical. Adding things like comparison charts to tell that brand story. 

So again, we do this across a number of industries, beauty, makeup, grocery, baby products and consumer electronics, and we’re gonna do that across UK, France and Germany, and kinda walk through each of those areas, and we’re gonna start with the UK. If you can go to the next slide. So on average, when you think about the perfect PDP for the UK, on average, the UK had the most mature e-commerce markets of the three, what we found was enhanced content is most popular on Amazon, UK, meaning there are more UK merchants utilizing enhanced content or A plus content within the three geographies and the digital shelf is generally more mature in the UK than in the content of Europe. British shoppers, they seem to have embraced online shopping and brands have begun offering elevated digital shopping experiences as a result. And when I talk about elevated shopping experiences, what we mean is elevated shopping experiences on the product detail page within that specific retailer. 

So just real quick, I wanna make sure everyone understands enhanced content, I mentioned it a couple of times. Above the fold on a traditional product detail page is structured data, is the product title, it’s the description, it’s the images of that product, but where do you tell the broader story about the product, how do you tell how this product differs from another product that you might offer, how do you tell your sustainability story, how do you tell the quality stories of your product, how do you really dive deep into the capabilities of that product? What Amazon did was launched A plus content or enhanced content, and this is below the fold, so as you scroll down a product detail page, it allows you to have this. This is a product from the manufacturer, you see an example here of Bosch doing this, so it allows them to add different imagery, allows them to even add in a zoom-in on the product, allows you to add video comparison charts. Again, that allows you to tell a broader and bigger story about the product and about your brand, and again, this is called A plus content on Amazon. In the industry of e-commerce has typed it as enhanced content. 

Let’s go specific into the UK, let’s go specific into these different categories, Beauty and make up these charts, you’re gonna see these charges similar on every page. We talk about enhanced content utilization on the bottom, that led the bottom chart on the right, we took data like how many bullets do the top 100 beauty products have and how many images just on average, do they have. This helps you construct the perfect product detail page. So we had 86% of the top 100 make-up products actually use enhanced content. In general, there’s a 64% usage rate of enhanced content, five feature bullets were the most popular, and seven or more images for the most popular. You look at 71% use six or more images in their product detail page. We look at grocery and baby products, the grocery and the grocery industry and baby products sub-categories, they’re also pretty mature on the digital shelf, only 26% of the top grocery product detail pages and 38% of the top baby products included at least one video. So this is a great way for you to stand out by utilizing video. Reviews were pretty critical in both of these industries as well, with the average number of reviews on a top grocery PDP exceeding 8,700 reviews. That’s pretty significant. You can see that again, 75% used enhanced content, five feature bullets where that was the average, but really quite a few had six or seven different feature bullets, anything about the beauty category… I’m sorry, the baby products category, that makes a lot of sense, between five and five or more made up the majority of images and the top grocery products. Consumer electronics, consumer electronics industry is not really as mature on Amazon UK, just 40% of the top 100 product detail pages included enhanced content in some form. This lack of maturity, it really provides consumer electronic brands with a pretty big opportunity to really stand out on the digital shelf, really look at and mimic what baby and grocery have done in the UK. If you’re a consumer electronics brand, six bullet points were the most as well as seven or more images, so those that did. But look at the utilization of enhanced content. So that’s the UK, the UK is relatively mature.

Different categories are more mature than others, but let’s look at Amazon France. What does the perfect product detail page look like for France? So we really found that the France’s e-commerce market is probably the least developed of the three geographies that we looked at, again, we looked across 30,000 skus across these three retailers across those different industries, so it was a pretty broad data set that we used, enhanced content was also the least used within this region, on average. As markets are more or less mature, the recommendation remains the same for us, enhanced content can help brand stand out on the digital self. In fact, the conversion rates, I think there’s a 36% conversion rate with brands that have enhanced content versus those at the product detail pages that don’t. By offering the best shopping experience in less mature markets especially, really you can take advantage of and really gain a competitive advantage. And more mature markets, enhanced content becomes a necessity, but doing it better than your competitors can really help your product stand out. Really take that to heart. Look at the different industries. Look at beauty and makeup, the online beauty market is less developed in France, which really means that you have an opportunity to use things like enhanced content to really stand out. Videos really aren’t being leveraged in this market at all, only 21% of beauty product PDPs and 15% of makeup product detail pages had at least one video. 41% were using enhanced content, seven or more images and five number of bullet points, pretty significant. 

Grocery and baby products, the online grocery market in France is much more mature than the baby product market. The 60% of the top grocery 100 grocery product detail pages that we had analyzed had enhanced content, significantly more than the other categories. Only 42% of the top baby products had enhanced content. Also video hasn’t really become popular in either market, so grocery or baby. Really, this provides a pretty good opportunity to be a stand out against the competition, and in general, 68% had enhanced content. Again, you see five there, seeing a pattern here, five, in this case, we had five images as the majority and enhanced content of 42%, pretty significant in baby products. So a really big opportunity we see in the baby products industry. Okay. Consumer electronics, the consumer electronics market in France really is not yet mature at all, only 23% of the top 100 product detail pages actually featured enhanced content. Video itself isn’t popular either, only 24% of the top 100 product detail page has a featured video. The video usage was more popular in this industry than in others. Reviews are crucial in this industry, as you can imagine, electronics, people are looking at reviews with the top products and averaging over 14,000 reviews per product. So if you’re in this industry, reviews become very important, but you have this really cool opportunity to leverage enhanced content, to leverage video in a feature video. The usage on video is very, very high, but the actual displaying a video was not. 23% have enhanced content, 77% don’t have enhanced content. And then how many videos do the top 100 electronic products have, most only had, most had zero, with only two having two-plus videos and 22% having one video. So we just see any time you see these gaps, and especially when you compare to other markets, you can see the trends moving, you can see trends moving towards enhanced content towards A plus content with those brand stories, you can see the trends moving towards video. If you’re a consumer electronics brand looking to differentiate yourself, looking to compete on the digital shelf inside of Amazon, these are some aspects you can add to your product detail page. Amazon respects the content you have on the product page, it actually respects it and increases your ability to show up on search inside of the AI algorithm, so a really good opportunity, and most companies are doing pretty well with images with the top 100 electronic products, 63% having seven or more images.

Okay, the last market. Let’s look at Germany. Germany’s e-commerce market maturity level is probably the most mature across the three geographies. German brands confine ample digital shelf opportunities in their respective industries, but enhanced content ranges from differentiator to table stakes, so we kinda look at these different industries, you’re gonna see everybody’s using enhanced content, so you have to have it, or just a small group of companies or brands are using enhanced content, so it can be a differentiator, so we’ll break that down for every industry. Video inclusion on product detail pages is more popular in Germany on average. And showcasing that German consumers love videos as a part of their decision-making process. So again, you have to make decisions on, what do I have to do is table stakes, what’s required, where expectations already been set that we’re gonna have videos that we need to have video versus where can we actually differentiate by doing these different things? 

So let’s look at the beauty and makeup category, so the beauty and makeup markets in Germany, they aren’t really yet mature, both industries saw almost a 50-50 split between product detail pages that include enhanced content and those that did not include enhanced content. So this is where the opportunity lies, if you’re a beauty and makeup brand within Germany. Videos though are more popular within these industries, as 37% of the top 100 product detail pages include at least one video. Top beauty products also had over 10,000 reviews on average, so a review, this signals that reviews are critical, people are making decisions based on these reviews. 47% have enhanced content, and 50% do not. You can go see the almost 50-50 split. Five bullets being the average, but look at 14% had six or more bullets, which is incredible. 21% actually had six or more bullets, and then the number of, and this is supposed to be videos here, the number of videos is 34%. Again, 3% had two or more videos, so again, you see some great opportunity, especially with videos, I think the consumption on video is very high, still only a small amount. 34%, not the majority using video on their product detail page as well.

Let’s take a look at grocery and baby products. So the baby product market in Germany, this is the most mature market of any that we examine, almost 90% of the top 100 product detail pages included enhanced content, so that below the fold content and over half of this market had at least one video. So again, the baby product market, maybe not the greatest to connect grocery and baby products or trying to differentiate that for you here, but over half had at least one video, by far the most of any industry. Grocery was also very, very mature, as 64% of the top 100 product detail pages included enhanced content. The grocery and baby utilizing that A-plus content, and then enhanced content. Ratings were very high in these categories with the top baby products featuring, I think over 4.75 stars and the top grocery products receiving average of 4.5 stars, pretty significant. The bullets were significant, I think that chart on the bottom right is the most telling how many videos do the top 100 beauty products have. 50% have at least one video. Really when you think about it 58% have at least one video, 8% have two videos, so again, this becomes table stakes for you. If you’re in grocery and baby , you have to be doing enhanced content, really, you should look at, I have to at least have one video, but if you wanna start standing out, look at how we include more than one video on our product detail pages.

And then the German consumer electronics industry, so the online consumer electronics industry in Germany is one of the least mature markets that Salsify analyzed. I’m actually surprised by consumer electronics in general. In the US, the US consumer electronics is certainly one of the most mature, but just 25% of the top 100 products that we examined included enhanced content, just 25%, but 32% of the top 100 product detail pages had at least one video, so we’re utilizing video more than we’re utilizing enhanced content. Enhanced content is this ability to be able to really merge different things and merge more interactive things. In consumer electronics, you can show what’s in the box, you can show box opening videos and show lifestyle images of consumer electronics inside of a home or inside of a business. There’s a lot of opportunity within enhanced content. Reviews, not surprisingly, reviews were very crucial to this market, I think of the top 100 product detail pages, had an average of 23,000 reviews that surpasses any, I think the next closest reviews was 10,000 reviews per product, not surprising that consumers are making decisions on products based on what other customers are saying. Images, again, one of the top imagery categories here is that 62% are using seven or more images. When you really look at those two top six or more images, you’re looking at 79%, almost 80%, majority are using multiple images, six or more images. And then the number of videos, 32% have at least one video. As I look at the opportunities within consumer electronics, really we’re looking at table stakes being, really table stakes being the number of images, but then video and enhanced content, guys, especially enhanced content is this great opportunity for you to differentiate yourself and your brand story within those product detail pages. 

So overall, we really found that the perfect product detail page in the UK, France and Germany, obviously, they have to include detailed titles, lots of good text and storytelling within product description and bullet points. You really have to highlight the features and benefits, but what we also see is, is that we’re seeing less text and more visuals, we’re seeing concise and precise written content, story-based content, really telling the story of your brand within the content, whether it’s in the description and the feature bullets, and then followed by the brand stories you can tell with enhanced content, and then really highlighting the positive reviews and ratings. Let me just tell you this, the digital shelf is a constantly, continually shifting target to try to hit. It is moving constantly. I think Amazon changed the requirements 17 times last year. They change the requirements of what content they’re accepting, but what also was changing is how people are using the product detail page. We’re also watching an interesting shift. I’ve seen it in the grocery especially, is really, really even highlighting sustainability in the images, using images on a product detail page to tell the story, not even telling it in enhanced content, but trying to push that up to the structured data and talk about the sustainability of the company, the sustainability of the product in an image itself, and even doing some lifestyle images in there as well. Daniel, why don’t you walk us through some key takeaways for us to take away from this.

Justin that was super interesting. Really insightful. So I think at a high level, CPCs are definitely less than the US, but I think UK and Germany still have significant investment than some of other smaller markets. There’s also varying degrees of cost per click and conversion rate and ACOS across different categories and different marketplaces. I think a lot of that could be attributed to some of the data points that Justin was talking about. When you’re launching your campaigns, it’s good to ensure that PDPs include everything you need for the perfect ROI. I think this is very focused towards a lot of details on Amazon, and then I think there’s also obviously, the caveat is always do your market research before you lean fully in. And then also, it can’t be stated enough is how extensive and expansive the Amazon marketplace reach is in Europe, and how quickly that’s potentially able to grow.

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