Successful ecommerce merchandising is crucial to the success of an online store. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of what successful ecommerce merchandising looks like, and offer practical tips for implementing it on your site.
The first thing you should do when setting up your website is decide how much inventory you are going to carry at any given time. It’s important to be selective about which products you choose because this will affect both your customer experience and revenue streams. You want customers who visit your site to find exactly what they’re looking for without having too many options or getting overwhelmed by choice overload! take a look at how I break down ecommerce merchandising| 10 steps to success.
What is eCommerce merchandising?
Ecommerce merchandising is both a science and an art. Its goal is to boost sales, by connecting shoppers with the right products.
eCommerce merchandising is a strategy of organizing, structuring, and standardizing the products and offers on an online website with the purpose to increase sales. This method often includes promotions, increasing search results, and mainly focusing on overall needs and customer satisfaction.
The most important function of eCommerce merchandising is to guide users through their customer journeys. Compared to physical stores, the customer journey is more complex when it comes to eCommerce. Nearly every visitor in brick-and mortar shops will interact with the same visuals, smells and associates while they walk into the stores. At the same time, there are many different paths that a customer can take to end up on your eCommerce site.
Ecommerce merchandising can help you ensure that every customer who visits your site has a similar experience, no matter how they arrive on your site and how they navigate once they get there.
Why is eCommerce merchandising so important?
In unprecedented times like these, it is more important than ever to invest in a well-functioning eCommerce site. Today’s competitive eCommerce landscape demands marketers to provide a unique shopping experience for their customers. Creating effective and differentiated customer experiences may not only increase conversion rates, but also create a long-lasting brand image that will keep customers coming back on a reoccurring basis.
Ecommerce merchandising can also help businesses achieve their strategic business goals. Marketing campaigns can be implemented directly into the site through ads, banners, and targeted content.
The Importance of Ecommerce Merchandising
This way of displaying products isn’t just about making the website look neat and accessible, it’s also important for converting site visitors into paying customers. With a CTA (call to action) strategically placed, reminders for abandoned shopping carts, and “order again” buttons, ecommerce merchandising can influence buying habits of consumers.
Ecommerce merchandising can:
- Entice customers.
- Help the business display a variety of products.
- Generate website traffic with SEO-geared listings.
- Promote certain products/special offers.
- Convert browsers into buyers.
If you prefer video here you go:
Elements of Ecommerce Merchandising
1. Homepage merchandising.
Your company’s mission statement or goal.
Images of popular products/services.
A link to your ‘About Us’ section.
An option for users to sign up and learn more about the business.
Details of any promotional offers.
Plenty of CTAs to encourage customers to make a purchase.
2. Product pages.
When a customer is looking for a particular item on Google, if your page is SEO optimized, it should appear in search engine results. Product pages should feature:
Images of the product – ideally 360-degree view.
A detailed product description.
Product videos and demos.
Cross selling of products.
All product color options.
Upselling of similar products.
CTA such as ‘add to cart’.
3. Category-based merchandising.
It’s a great way to highlight any product lines you want to draw attention to, such as a range of new Larq self-cleaning water bottles in your ‘outdoor camping’ section. Category-based merchandising should include:
A spotlight on the best-selling product from the category.
Product comparisons on options available.
E-commerce merchandising is complex.
“E-commerce merchandising is complex.” It has never been as simple to offer your products online. You used to be able just choose the items you want and set a discount on them in order for people buy it, but now there are many more different factors that go into selling things over the internet like figuring out what each customer wants right at this moment so they can get something from their purchase immediately when they’re looking through all of these websites, which is why e-commerce sites have put forth new strategies such as understanding every customers needs with personalized attention or deploying specific techniques along three major dimensions:
Understanding Different Customers Need Specific Merchandise Strategies – “Some shoppers may need low prices while others desire high levels of service;
6 Strategies to Improve Ecommerce Merchandising
The ecommerce industry is booming. As such, there are a growing number of websites that offer the convenience and speediness we all desire when shopping online; but this does not guarantee success for any one site . In order to stand out from the crowd it’s important that companies engage in continuous improvement with their merchandising strategies. And because every company has its own unique selling points – be they niche products or celebrity endorsements- customization should always remain at an accessible level on retailer sites so as to cater towards individual needs while also providing personalized recommendations based on your preferences!
1. Craft your homepage.
The best homepage is one that will catch your customer’s attention immediately with dynamic visuals and exciting media. Make sure to include large imagery, graphics, videos as well as other forms of engaging media so it can be viewed on any device while being easy to navigate. Work with designers who understand the importance a successful home page has for capturing customers’ attention from the start!
- Promote your highest converting products.
- Promote currently trending products.
- Include easy to access drop-down menus with categories.
- Promote highest-rated products.
- Enhance your site search bar functionality with predictive search.
2. Group related products.
Dividing products into different categories is a common practice for many retailers. This method makes it easier to find what you are looking for, just as if you were in an actual store! You can create focused promotions on particular categories and upsell customers when they come across the product page or at checkout time. With this system of organization, users have no problem finding what they’re looking for since all similar items will be grouped together according to category [and type].
To improve ecommerce merchandising it’s a good idea to group related products. This can be done in the following ways:
- Product type.
- Product uses.
3. Cater to your brand with visuals.
Brand identity is all about your tone of voice and how you present yourself visually. Ecommerce merchandising is very much geared towards catching the customer’s attention as quickly as possible, and enticing them to learn more and stay on your site for longer – which means that it’s vital that businesses step up their homepage visuals! Some brands have experimented with 360-degree product images or demonstration videos; this way customers can get a clear picture before making an investment decision in what they want/need from you.”
- Use minimal text and maximum imagery on the homepage.
- Include demo videos.
- Link your social media feed on the homepage.
- Take high-quality product photos.
4. Use data in order to adapt to customers.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying ‘know thy customer.’ It’s so important to know your customers and what they want in order to provide them with a satisfying experience. This is where data collection comes into play! One way that businesses collect data about their customers can be through Google Analytics, which has many metrics such as location, how long people are staying on the site for, average order value (AOV), etcetera. You might not have information from each individual person but regional numbers will give you an idea of who frequents your business most often or if certain demographics make up more than 50% of individuals visiting your store during these times.
5. Offer personalized product recommendations.
Let’s say a potential customer is browsing your ecommerce site looking for a hat. They find one they like and click on the product page which includes pictures of it, as well as its features listed in different languages; all to make sure that this will be the perfect choice. Below these details there’s an image slider showing similar products or other complementary items that are likely compatible with their purchase based just off what we know about them so far: such as some matching gloves! The would-be buyer adds those into their cart too, feeling confident from our personalized recommendation process and goes ahead with buying both the hat and gloves purely because of how assured you made us feel after shopping online – at no risk whatsoever!
6. Ensure website navigation is smooth
If a customer grows frustrated with the way your website is laid out, it’s likely they’ll click away within the first ten seconds. Now you’ve lost a customer and increased your bounce rate! So make sure to organize products into categories so that visitors have an easy time finding what they’re looking for – but also consider adding other features on like contact information or blog posts in case customers want more than just one single product. Double check every new feature before launching them across all devices too because if there are any issues, then these could only be multiplied through different screens sizes!
5 Must-Have eCommerce Merchandising Tools
5 Must Have Ecommerce Merchandising Tools
1. Hotjar – heatmaps and behavioral analytics
Hotjar is the industry-leading heatmap and behavior analytics tool that provides a variety of ways for eCommerce marketers to optimize their merchandising strategy. For example, using Hotjar’s heatmaps feature you can visualize customer clicks, taps, scrolling habits on your website so it’s easy to see which product pages they are visiting most often or where customers struggle with finding something specific in the store. It also captures live chat transcripts from visitor sessions if enabled!
A heatmap is a graphic representation of the users clicking or scrolling behavior on your website. They show where people clicked and how far they scrolled, as well as what percentage of visitors click on specific areas in relation to their location within the site. One use case for this information can be determining which parts of your product page are most important to customers by seeing if items at those sections get more clicks than others that may have less importance such as customer reviews or other features you might want them to see but don’t feel like it’s absolutely necessary; knowing where these points lie could help improve conversion rates on products pages with higher prices because buyers will know exactly what they’re paying for before deciding whether its worth buying (which then helps them make decisions easier)
2. Hawksearch – next-level product search
When it comes to retail, a search tool is your most important asset. You want something that’s simple and functional – but what you really need are the features Hawksearch has in store for you! With this easy-to-navigate module, product categories can be applied as filters on any page or screen within the platform so customers will have instant access to exactly what they’re looking for at all times.
Hawksearch puts merchants back in control of their merchandising strategy: not just by running an effective campaign based off keyword searches, but also through powerful additional filtering tools like category displays which display only items relevant to specific brands’ needs.
3. Shutter Stream – 360º product photography
For eCommerce websites, having excellent product photography is a big part of merchandising. In retail stores, it’s easy enough to display your products – customers can pick up, examine and try on the product in person. Online however you need high-quality images that are appealing so potential customers will want to buy from your website – otherwise they may choose another retailer with more engaging photos instead! Shutter Stream creates software and hardware for eCommerce product photography designed for users of any skill level: anyone who wants quality still or 360 degree pictures at home should be able to do this easily without needing an expensive studio setup like their competitors offer.
4. Yieldify – personalized customer journeys
Personalization is the key to a strong eCommerce merchandising strategy. Consumers are looking for retailers that feel like they’re tailored just for them, much like in-store experience when interacting with salespeople. Yieldify has created an all-inclusive website personalization solution focused on creating highly converting customer journeys. When it comes to merchandising, there’s more than one way you can use their service:
Yieldify offers both automated and manual options so businesses of any size can get started quickly without having invest too heavily up front (i). The system also allows brands to start testing different content types until they find what works best across demographics and channels – making sure customers see relevant messaging at every touchpoint throughout their journey.
- First, you get a powerful audience segmentation engine, which allows you to create and target specific customer segments based on demographic, geographic, technographic, and real-time behavioral data.
- Once you decide who you’re trying to reach, Yieldify’s CRO experts deploy a variety of well-timed campaigns for every step of your customer journey: From lead generation at the awareness stage to dynamic social proof at the moment of purchase, and beyond.
- Using behavioral triggers, Yieldify’s personalization engine allows you to deliver tailored messaging based on real-time customer behavior, such as interaction with specific product categories or pages, shopping cart value, site searches, and more.
- Yieldify’s team of designers elevate your merchandising strategy by implementing cohesive brand imagery and style in all the interactive elements used to enhance the customer journey.
Data Mining for E-commerce Merchandising
Your website analytics, your product systems, and your e-commerce platform transaction system combine to provide an astonishing array of data. That data can be mined and used to fuel merchandising decisions – if you know what it is that you are looking at!
For example: Your web statistics may indicate where on the site visitors spend most of their time or how many times they view a certain page. Data from those visits will help guide which products should appear when someone performs a keyword search in order to increase traffic arriving at specific pages (such as one selling winter apparel).
In addition, knowing customer preferences helps make important considerations about inventory levels based on historic trends like patterns around purchasing seasons throughout the year.
Here are some of the most useful data types that can help your e-commerce merchandising strategy:
- Traffic Channel: Where did your visitor come from?
- History: Are they a first-time visitor or returning shopper?
- Behavior: Where did they go on your site and what did they do there?
- Gender: Are they female or male?
- Age: How old are they?
- Device: Are they on a mobile device, tablet or traditional computer?
- Geography: Where in the world are they?
E-commerce Platform Data:
Every past purchase provides information that helps you understand what customers are likely to buy in the future.
- Product Sold: What product exactly is purchased?
- Options: What sizes, colors, styles, and other product options are purchased?
- Price: How much did it cost and what was the discount?
- Order quantity: How many did customers buy per purchase?
- Time/Date: When did the purchase occur?
- Payment Method: How did they pay – credit card type, PayPal, on credit/layaway?
- Shipping: How did the customer want this delivered?
- Abandoned Carts: What products are selected but never actually purchased?
Best selling products should always be at the top of your merchandising list. But there is even more product data available to you. And that’s your merchandising experience.
Data from your experience:
Lastly, your own experience and intuition adds the special sauce to your merchandising data recipe.
- Social trends:What’s hot right now with your customers?
- Brand trends: What product brands can help pull in buyers?
- Seasonality: What holiday or seasonality drives purchases?
- Inventory: How much is in stock?
Compile all of this data, analyze it, and determine what products your customers are most likely to buy right now.
Merchandising your best-selling items by collection is a great way to help customers find what they’re looking for. You may be familiar with collections if you visit clothing brand sites, but this strategy can work well across various product categories too – from electronics and jewelry stores through hospitals and banks! And the beauty of creating collections? They make it easy to target different types of shoppers with search terms while also providing an easier navigation system within your store. Collections are especially helpful when using cross-sell techniques on sales pages that direct people back into browsing more products after clicking their link.
To keep the homepage scannable and readable, utilize a grid style to host your collection photos and links.
Consider a homepage theme that makes your collections look similar to Pinterest and Instagram pages; these sites are engaging, easy to navigate, attractive and well known.
Collection-Based and Featured Products Together
A good way to engage with your customers is by combining both featured products and collection-based merchandising on the homepage. This allows you to highlight your most popular product while still providing a site that’s easy for shoppers who may have a specific need in mind when browsing online.
These types of homepages use a combination of any of the following to make an impact through merchandising:
- an on-brand hero (featured) image
- a collection grid or a product grid
- positive third-party feedback through social proof, authority proof, and liking proof sections
Ecommerce merchandising is evolving each year. New techniques and merchandising strategies are emerging to draw customers in and encourage them to spend their money.
One of the most valuable things to note about ecommerce merchandising is that it’s incredibly visual – and should appear the same on any device. Whenever you’re in the process of creating a new website or app, the brand imagery on both should be as identical as possible. Customers love consistency.
As competition in the e-commerce space only continues to accelerate, it is important to consider how you can create a branded journey for consumers from homepage to checkout while also staying unique and true to your brand.
While you can’t yet entice online shoppers with scents and in-store displays as you would in a brick-and-mortar store, visual merchandising is still a necessity.