A conversation with Analytic Index cofounder Nathan Rigby
Analytic Index is a SaaS company delivering granular data analytics and services to help companies maximize their online retail sales through major platforms like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and others. The data and guidance they provide helps companies select successful keywords and leverage trends to fine-tune their go-to-market strategies and assess their performance against competitors. We spoke with CEO Nathan Rigby on how this data helps e-commerce retailers succeed.
Q: How did Analytic Index get started?
Rigby: Co-founder Mike Karlsven and I worked together at Walmart’s corporate offices in Arkansas several years ago—although we didn’t know each other then. He was with the technical team while I was in marketing and business development. Eventually, we both left the company, but fate brought us back together in 2013 when a mutual friend asked us to help launch a new venture. That business, called One Click Retail, pioneered analytics for companies selling on Amazon. One Click was eventually sold to Ascential, a large, publicly traded analytics company.
Mike and I saw a considerable opportunity in online retail analytics. We knew this type of insight could add significant value for e-commerce brands looking to improve their performance on a roster of major marketplaces. We wanted to venture outside of Amazon and deliver a more comprehensive range of data across nearly every online retailer platform. We brought Ascential in as a strategic partner and officially founded Analytic Index in 2020.
Q: How did you recognize the need for this kind of data in the market?
Rigby: Online retail has become incredibly competitive. If sellers want their brands to succeed, simply posting their goods online doesn’t cut it anymore. Each major platform has a search engine with unique algorithms and challenges that sellers need to master if they expect to maximize sales and differentiate themselves in a sea of others. They need to optimize their listings for each market’s search engine and invest in sponsored search campaigns. That requires foresight on what keywords and trends will be most successful for your product category on each platform.
The online retail sales arena is growing exponentially, with new e-commerce markets gaining prominence all the time. Although services exist to help brands sell on Amazon, the industry is sorely in need of a solution that provides search engine trend data across a full range of these platforms, including Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and even more specialized, emerging marketplaces like Chewy. As online retail continues to mature, more thorough search engine data can help e-commerce brands navigate these complex ecosystems and boost their sales rates.
Q: What data does your service gather and how do brands like Arm & Hammer or Levi’s leverage that information to shape ongoing campaigns?
Rigby: The Analytic Index platform gathers key data around paid and organic search, sales performance, and competitive metrics. The end goal isn’t just to supply brands with data but to provide solutions that help them profitably drive additional revenue based on that market intelligence. Our data helps these brands choose the most opportunistic organic and paid keywords based on search volume and relevancy of terms, track the efficacy of their sponsored activity, perform competitive research, and plan for optimal timing of promotions.
Q: What kind of metrics do you focus on at Analytic Index and how can they be used to help brands increase profitability?
Rigby: The ultimate goal of any brand that sells online should be net profit. Pure revenue without profitability isn’t a formula for success. Our objective is to help brands grow sustainably, providing data that can help them optimize their strategies and generate high-conversion traffic. This data can be applied to improve performance for both organic methods like keyword searches and paid activities like sponsored listings. One of the unique metrics we track is “keyword opportunity,” or identifying relevant keywords that are most likely to convert searches to purchases. Sellers who utilize these “high search volume” keywords in their listings will produce more profitable traffic.
A brand’s progress is measured by what we call “Share of Voice.” This essentially illustrates what market percentage a brand has captured among all organic or sponsored searches compared to their competition. Share of Voice is a good baseline metric to demonstrate a company’s success in generating traffic. Brands should also track sales metrics to determine market share.
Q: What actions can online retail sellers take to maximize their presence on e-commerce platforms like Walmart.com or Amazon.com?
Rigby: The ability to maximize a brand’s presence is a long-term process, and not based on a finite number of isolated tasks. It starts with discovery: Brands need to discover where and how to improve their online sales strategies. This can be achieved in several ways, from learning the ideal target keywords and analyzing product listings, to auditing ad campaigns. Our software helps retail brands identify these opportunities through data analysis. An e-commerce brand can actively adjust its listings and ads based on the recommendations provided. Measuring the results requires software that can track the efficacy of their campaigns. Successful brands will follow this cycle continually, so they are constantly improving their presence, and ultimately driving revenue.
Q: What indicators should these brands look for when it comes to competitive data? What results should signal action on their part?
Rigby: Since online purchasing surged during COVID-19, brands have been left wondering if their increases were a result of the overall market lift or their marketing efforts. This is where competitive research becomes crucial. The ideal way to assess growth is to measure it against a set of peer metrics, in addition to traditional stats like year-over-year growth.
This is where the Analytic Index platform truly delivers value. Similar to how Google takes an “index everything” approach to search, we capture data across every category, for all performance brands and associated items. This method allows e-commerce sellers to research their competition and review peer data as easily as they can evaluate their performance.
About Analytic Index
In addition to its paid service, Analytic Index recently introduced a Competitive Research Tool which allows consumer goods manufacturers and other online sellers to gain real-time visibility across the Amazon and Walmart e-commerce platforms. The CRT tool is available free of charge to manufacturers and agencies that actively sell goods through major marketplaces. Interested sellers can get started at https://analyticindex.com/competitor-research-tool.