Show up in the first page of Amazon or Walmart search results, and your brand has a significant advantage over competitors. In the Food sector, the brand doing this best is Enfamil, which secures first-page search results for 67% of category keywords on Amazon and 75% on Walmart.

But while it’s tempting to seek out a strategy for other brands to emulate, L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food suggests that Enfamil’s success can be attributed to circumstances rather than tactics.

The Baby Food category is dominated by three brands (Gerber, Similac, and Enfamil), which collectively controlled 59% of the market in 2014. In contrast, other categories such as Sauces & Condiments are much more fragmented. Consequently, leader Heinz appears in the first page of results for only 16% of applicable keywords, while the average Baby Food brand secures results for nearly half.

Food brands' e-tailer search visibility

Moreover, candy buyers might search for a wide array of keywords, from “milk chocolate” to “gummi bears.” Comparatively, there are far fewer ways to say “baby food.” As a result, the L2 study examines only 12 search terms for the Baby Food category on both Amazon and Walmart, while looking at 52 terms for Chocolate & Candy.

While it may be more difficult for brands in highly fragmented categories to improve their search visibility, they can invest in expanded merchandising options that make their e-tailer presence more enticing. Nearly two-thirds of Food brands officially distributing on Amazon take advantage of opportunities to enhance product descriptions with multiple product images, featured recipes, and product videos. On Walmart, 37% of brands maintain similarly enhanced product pages. While brands may not be able to affect their search visibility, they can leverage these features to encourage purchase.

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