In the past, the concept of merchandising was limited to stores that were not in the offline market. It included displaying the products in the windows, color-coordinating various aisles, and ensuring that the sales staff has a sufficient understanding of the product – you get the picture.
However, with eCommerce becoming the new global storm, the merchandising concept needed to be revamped. There is no longer an actual store with signs in your window to entice customers. The time has come for eCommerce merchandise. It is impossible to create a profitable store on the internet store without effective eCommerce marketing strategies.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Merchandising?
- 2 What benefits does online merchandising bring?
- 3 The fundamentals of ecommerce Selling
- 4 What are the latest eCommerce merchandise trends?
- 5 6 Strategies to Improve E-commerce Merchandising
- 5.1 1. Create your own homepage.
- 5.2 2. Group-related products.
- 5.3 3. Make your brand more memorable through visuals.
- 5.4 4. Make use of data to be able to respond to the needs of customers.
- 5.5 5. Offer personalized product recommendations.
- 5.6 6. Make sure that the navigation on your website is smooth.
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Merchandising?
The presentation and promotion of items that are available for wholesale as well as selling retail. It includes marketing displays and design strategies and competitive pricing such as discounts. The importance of merchandising for retailers who want to build their brand, enhance the customer experience, compete with competitors in the industry, and ultimately increase sales.
What benefits does online merchandising bring?
With the rising popularity of shopping and online shopping, online merchandising has become more essential than ever. Indeed, looking up information about the product on online shops is the most popular first stop even though the retail store conversion rate is between 20% and 40%1; however, online conversion rates are on average 2.6 %, as per Forrester Research.
Merchandising methods can assist entrepreneurs in influencing how customers perceive their brand and buy from their site. The more attractive your product is and appealing, the more likely to improve brand awareness and engagement. In addition, marketing can boost the average purchase price (AOV) and encourage them to purchase from you your store in the future. Both are among the most effective ways to help businesses grow.
The fundamentals of ecommerce Selling
Before we dive into the online merchandising strategies you can implement to sell your products, let us look at some of the fundamental concepts.
Without further rambling, Let’s begin with…
Design Your Store Layout Wisely
Initial impressions last forever, and for websites, you have only a few seconds to create these. So it’s between 0.05 to 0.1 seconds, to be precise.
To make the most impression and help your users from the beginning to the end, you should create your website with the merchandising aspect in mind.
The most efficient way to group your products is to use personalized landing pages on search results that you can use in your marketing campaigns.
Proposing similar products
Suggesting similar products or even other popular ones is a good choice if you’re looking to find more ways to sell cross-sells.
It is reasonable to suppose that those who purchase certain items tend to be more inclined to purchase the cross-sell offered by a specific brand. For instance, those seeking headphones are more likely to purchase accessories and charging devices.
They should be located on the lower part of the results page to ensure you don’t hinder the purchasing process and instead enhance it.
Branding with visuals
Visuals are crucial in directing customers’ attention. Clients also need the ability to remain consistent throughout your website as well as with your established brand.
Based on the kind of product you offer depending on the product you sell, you can use several strategies to visualize.
Demos are available when you own a virtual product. Also, 360-degree photography can help showcase your product better.
You can also add your social media channels using posts with branded hashtags to let your customers see what other people think about your product and how they utilize it.
Personalization and Online Merchandising
Customizing what visitors see on your website allows you to improve the value of your average order (AOV).
In the first place to begin, you can tailor their experience based on basic data about demographics, the place of residence, and the season.
You can create fantastic personalized automated emails and advertising campaigns based on this knowledge. However, we’ll discuss these in a subsequent article.
Suppose you alter what your customers and visitors experience on your website according to your information about them. In that case, you will likely improve their shopping experience.
What are the latest eCommerce merchandise trends?
Although e-commerce was initially an innovative way to approach traditionally-owned retail stores, now the truth is that omnichannel has revolutionized the merchandising process.
Just bringing online merchandising into stores is no longer enough: consumers demand more from both, and the lines blur. Today, consumers demand convenience, personalization, and immediate gratification, regardless of where.
As eCommerce merchandising develops into Omnichannel, many strategies and trends are evolving.
Deep personalization derived from AI & Machine Learning
By analyzing customer behavior data, retailers are in a position to customize and improve shopping experiences as never before. Every time someone visits your eCommerce website is a vote on the quality of a product, and each search can be a chance to learn what people are doing on your site and what they’re searching for.
Concentrate on a holistic customer experience
A bad experience on a website can translate into lost sales. With high expectations of site functionality and speed of use, users will leave the site if they cannot quickly & easily find the items they’re searching for.
“As an online merchandiser develops their site, they must constantly keep the customer in mind for ease of use and functionality,” says the expert in customer service Shep Hyken. “You can spend a lot of time and money working on the selling, copywriting, and marketing, but when the customer finally gets to the site, the experience must be easy, convenient and frictionless–or all will be for nothing.”
A lot less manual and more strategic work via search and marking
Manual merchandising tasks become laborious and time-consuming as catalogs of merchandise expand to thousands of items. This is where Artificial Intelligence-based merchandising- the deliberate placement of products within search queries to optimize them for a particular business metric- can be beneficial.
Instead of having merchants manually alter results of search results to make sure that their products have an increased profit margin or to bury items that are not appealing to buyers, a discovery platform will optimize results automatically based upon the inputs of a variety of sources like clickstream information and attributes of the product, as well as inventory. With a goal of providing a seamless customer experience, the same rules apply to results from searches and browse pages, ensuring the same shopping experience.
The result? Ecommerce teams have time to develop strategies to improve KPIs and enhance customer service.
Adaptation to omnichannel needs
While life is returning to normal post-pandemic levels, shopper expectations have changed. Customers want to know that the products they want in the store are available before shopping. In addition, they would like various choices for the fulfillment, like Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS), and various options for returns, including BORIS.
Effective eCommerce merchandising today takes all of these needs across multiple channels into account and provides ways to eliminate obstacles not just from your online shopping experience but also throughout the entire experience situations and formats.
6 Strategies to Improve E-commerce Merchandising
There’s an increasing number of online stores appearing on the web. They’re all trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of shopping online. However, to make a mark in the marketplace, it is essential that companies continually improve their eCommerce marketing. Here are four methods that merchandisers can employ to accomplish that:
1. Create your own homepage.
As we’ve discussed previously, the homepage of your website is typically the first thing customers will see when they look for your company’s name. And, first impressions count.
To create a visually appealing homepage, you must include large images, graphics, videos, and any other kind of media that’s likely to draw the attention of your visitors. It must also be simple to navigate. So take a look at the layout and work with designers to create an attractive yet simple home page without forgetting that it must be accessible from any device.
- Promote your highest converting products.
- Promote current trends in products.
- Include easy-to-access drop-down menus that have categories.
- Promote the best-rated products.
- Improve your search bar function by using the ability to predict your search results.
Looking for a specific item could be like finding the needle in a haystack when they’re not classified. This sort of separation is a common practice for many retailers, and merchandising techniques such as these have been employed in stores too.
It is possible to create targeted promotions for specific categories and offer upsells to buyers on pages for products and when they check out. It helps customers navigate through the site just like they would in a physical store, taking them to the aisle where they think the item will be.
To improve the merchandising experience on e-commerce, it’s best to categorize similar products. This can be accomplished using the following methods:
- Type of product.
- Uses of the product.
3. Make your brand more memorable through visuals.
Your brand identity is about your style of speaking and how you portray your brand’s image visually. The merchandising aspect of eCommerce is focused on grabbing the consumer’s interest as quickly as is feasible and enticing customers to read more about your business and remain on your site for longer.
So, companies must improve their homepage’s visuals. Also, visual marketing is required on every page, in particular, from your homepage through the individual product pages. Certain brands have tried 360-degree videos and 360-degree images to show off their product. Platform as a Service ( PaaS) companies such as those mentioned above could depend on these demonstrations because physical products do not exist.
Other companies are eager to integrate their websites with their social media profiles. This not only improves search engine optimization (search engine optimization) and rankings, but it can also provide users with a deeper analysis of the identity of the brand.
4. Make use of data to be able to respond to the needs of customers.
The collection of data is among the most effective ways to discover the true nature of your customers. There are numerous ways that businesses can gather valuable information about customers.
One way is to monitor your website’s traffic using a platform such as Google Analytics. It will break down data like the location of customers and how long they usually visit your site, the average value of orders (AOV), and other metrics. Although this information might not be available to every individual customer, the regional data is still helpful.
This allows companies to respond to the demands of customers. Like promoting offers to certain countries or creating ads to redirect users to the website without purchasing the items in their cart.
5. Offer personalized product recommendations.
Go one move further and make the experience more personal by creating “items we believe you’ll enjoy the area on the site. This is about what the customer has previously purchased or clicked on (if they’re signed in).
The use of email and SMS Remarketing can be a great help in this as you already have information on the items your customers are most likely. Then, you can send them messages and emails with the most recent offers or latest products to get them to visit your site once more.
If a visitor is dissatisfied with the way your site is designed in a way, they’re likely to abandon your site within the first 10 seconds. This means you’ve lost a client and raised your bounce rate. Consider methods to enhance your site’s navigation to make it as smooth as you can.
Categorizing products is an essential element of this. Also, think about what other features you could need to include on your menus for your website, including your blog and contact information. Finally, make sure you double-check each new feature that you add across the most devices you can. This will ensure that your customers access your site as wanted them to and that you don’t lose out on any feature due to a sloppy mobile layout.
The most successful retailers understand that the most efficient strategies for online merchandising are specific to each client according to the individual’s desires at the moment. They also understand that their knowledge of customers and their needs varies in any single shopping session. Knowing the advantages and drawbacks of every type of merchandissing method to make a shrewd decision on the best method to use in the various areas of your site to increase the performance of your online marketing. If you choose the right method, you can maximize the value of every customer visit and surpass any single black-box technique that your competitors use.