Online Merchandising – What does it mean to your eCommerce store?

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store merchandising

According to experts and other blogs, Merchandising is everything you do to promote and sell your products once the potential customer is in your store. A sale starts with giving the visitor a great first impression, which means retailers always trigger a visual experience for every visitor the moment they walk into the store. This brief post is to help you understand that online merchandising has equivalents and you can use these strategies at your online store to improve the visual experience you offer your visitors.

Merchandising

It is the part of the holy grail of traditional retail and includes

  • Window and in-store displays
  • Grouping related products together
  • Shelf signage
  • In-store ads featuring the merchandise
  • In-store demonstrations
  • Well-stocked shelves
  • Spotlighting promotional items
  • Shelf Design

Each of these items can be translated into the online world and must be given importance to grab the attention of your visitors.

Remember, it is harder to keep your visitors engaged online and easier to lose them in just the click of a button.

Traditional retail is easier as walking out of the store if a physical effort and the farther you have walked into the store, the more time you need to spend to get out of the store.

Online Merchandising

Window and in-store displays = Homepage banners

The Brick-and-Mortar stores use window and in-store displays to showcase Trending products, bestsellers, and sale items as it is one of the first things a potential customer sees from the street. The spaces are used wisely to increase foot traffic to the store. Likewise while shopping online, homepage banners are the first window for an online user. If it is done right, it can act as a ‘Call to Action’ to drive conversions.

Grouping related products together = Product Recommendations

Physical stores present complete outfits on mannequins or arrange complementary products next to each other.  But the technique is not limited to Brick-and-mortar stores, the online merchandisers can also use product recommendation widgets across the home page, product pages, and within the cart to influence consumers. They can also go a step more further and customize the recommendations based on their visitor’s behavior and preferences.

Shelf design / signage = UIUX of Listing pages

Shelf Signages are used by retailers to keep the customers hooked with an engaging shopping experience and help in better navigation inside the store. For instance, supermarkets often have overhead signage to highlight which types of products can be found in each aisle.  Likewise, the UI and UX play a major role to keep visitors engaged, helping them convert to customers. If you are thinking about offering a better online shopping experience to your target audience, various aspects like easy navigation, attractive layout, usage of high-quality images, and responsive designs should be focused on.

In-store ads featuring the merchandise = Sponsored products

In-store ads are used by retailers to attract visitors and gain their interest in a product to make them buy. Similarly sponsored products (pinned / hero products) in an online store are nothing but a way to promote your desired products to drive the sales.

360-degree user experience = Multiple product images or videos

When shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, consumers get a chance to experience a product before making a purchasing decision. The lack of physical interaction is a barrier in eCommerce retail and it can be overcome with a cohesive mix of images and videos. Sharp, clear photographs and videos of the highest quality should be used to showcase products from a variety of angles. The important features and the details that make your products unique should be highlighted with closeups or zoom-in features.

Retail shelf assortment = Listing page merchandising

Customers would avoid shopping at a retail store if they encountered empty shelves. The haphazard arrangement of goods can hinder sales, while efficient stocking procedures ensure the products are always available for customer purchases. In an eCommerce store, the product listing pages are the shelves that need to be merchandised intelligently with the ‘Trending’ sort order (ie. sorted in an order that is more likely to sell)

Spotlighting promotional items = Labels on thumbnails

Spotlighting promotional items is one of the visual merchandising strategies used by retailers to promote a product extensively which is close to hand to the labels used in thumbnails of the products on the listing page. A promotional label in a thumbnail visually marks an item that the store wants to have a special sales-related attribute. Examples of promotional labels are often: sale, new, in-stock, low-stock, bestseller, selling fast, or new arrivals, etc.

What merchandising strategy do you apply at your online store today?

At Tagalys, we only help with a few of these merchandising requirements, especially those Like eCommerce Search, Listing Pages & Product Recommendations that analyzes store data to predict what are the best products to be displayed in those channels.