By Sam Cortez, managing editor and outreach specialist for Scalefluence.com
Merchandising is the process and practice of displaying and arranging products for the best customer experience. The concept of merchandising is based on guiding prospective customers through the buyer’s journey and presenting them with the right products, at the right time and place, in the right quantity, and with the best prices.
After you’ve chosen the right ecommerce provider, it’s time to focus on the buyer journey. Whether you’re running a traditional retail store or an e-commerce business, merchandising gives you better control over product display, thereby maximizing sales (check out this retail merchandising rundown from Instant Search Plus: https://www.instantsearchplus.com/retail-merchandising/). As an e-commerce business, you can influence consumers’ buying decisions through effective product categorization, free shipping, detailed product descriptions, product recommendations, and much more. However, it’s important that you tailor your merchandising strategy to target specific goals. That said, here are four types of e-commerce merchandising you need to know.
Rule-based merchandising allows you to dynamically boost or demote products on product listing pages based on specific attributes. Your brand can create promotion rules to automate product placement and arrangement in the category pages, making it easier for prospective buyers to find the products they’re most likely to purchase. Leaving product displays at the mercy of your e-commerce website’s default settings could be the reason shoppers bounce to a competitor site within seconds.
A common strategy you could use to optimize your product display order is to place your top-reviewed and customers’ favorite products at the front and center of the category page. You need to make sure such products take precedence over other products. Then there are times when you’ll want to demote products. If a product is out of stock or there are items with no images attached, you wouldn’t want them to take precedence over other products. You can set rules for the temporary removal of such products from the view until when images are added or they’re restocked.
By controlling and managing the product display order on your category or search result pages, you can save time even as your brand remains agile with its merchandising strategy. Rule-based merchandising can eliminate mistakes that arise with manual product placement, thereby increasing conversions.
The product discovery process of many consumers begins with site-search. In fact, 50 percent of online shoppers go straight to the product search function to find the products they need. Most online shoppers don’t have the time to browse and navigate through the categories provided on your site.
Search merchandising is about showing content, promoting specific products, or even redirecting those search terms to help online shoppers find the products they’re looking for more efficiently. As a result, your prospective customers get to enjoy a seamless, personalized, and unique product search experiences.
Collection merchandising involves grouping related products into collections based on themes, trends, top searches, daily deals, customer favorites, most popular, top reviewed, top sellers, and more. Be creative and use customer data and information from your site to come up with ideas. In the end, you want to make sure visitors find the browsing process to be exciting and fun, not work.
Keep in mind that your homepage is the store window display of your business. An attractive and appealing homepage with product collections can be the difference between a prospective consumer opening other pages to view more or leaving your site.
Collection merchandising helps your prospective customer find what they want while giving them a more exciting shopping experience. You’re also able to manage your products more effectively and efficiently.
Recommendation merchandising refers to the process of showcasing relevant search results and product recommendations to prospective customers when they search for a product. Ecommerce brands analyze the behaviors and interactions of shoppers onsite and offsite so as to create personalized user experiences. Not only do these experiences help meet the needs and demands of prospective customers but also drive engagement and revenue for the business.
As an e-commerce business, you need to use product data and user data to predict and guide consumers to products or services they’re likely to be interested in. It’s important that you discern differences between consumer segments and pick your recommendation strategy based on the audience. Make sure user experiences are tailored according to the expressed interests, preferences, and behavior. That’s how you’re able to personalize product recommendations for each consumer on an individual level.
Sam Cortez is the managing editor and outreach specialist for Scalefluence.com. An online marketplace where brands and influencers connect. In her off-time, she travels Europe in search of hard to find treasures in the Alps.