Imagine yourself stepping into a mall and getting fascinated by a sweet aroma or soothing music. Physical retail stores retain their customers by luring them through different tactics. However, merchandising an online store is a different ball-game. Thus, online store owners must focus on various strategies besides designing an attractive website for eCommerce merchandising.
What Is eCommerce Merchandising?
According to Practical Ecommerce, eCommerce merchandising is “the art and science of displaying products or offers on a website with the goal of increasing sales.”
While that’s a great starting point, there’s a lot more to eCommerce merchandising.
Good online merchandising isn’t just about displaying your products in a way that they seem enticing — it’s also about optimizing the path to purchase irrespective of from where the users enter your website or where they are in their buying journey.
It’s about getting users to products they’re looking for (or products most likely to drive a desired business metric) as quickly as possible. It’s about connecting users with your brand and giving them a great experience.
How To Sell More On My eCommerce Store?
One of the most critical goals of an online store is to have users spend more time on its website.
Thus, online stores use recommendation engines to direct buyers to the landing pages of various products.
This is done by capturing a user persona. If enough data is not available, high-rated or trending products in that category can be recommended.
eCommerce startups know the amount of competition they face from their peers. One needs to provide a smooth buying experience to customers. Providing a single reason for complaint can result in the loss of a potential customer.
There are various ways to attract new customers as well as to retain existing ones.
Online stores such as Fashion Nova provide a discount on the first purchase to lure customers. Free delivery can also be supplied in the first couple of purchases to tempt customers. Having more customers through your eCommerce website will lead to engagement increasing the number of orders placed.
Does Visual Merchandising Hold Any Importance In eCommerce / Online Retail?
eCommerce visual merchandising is displaying products on the websites of virtual stores to make them look attractive.
A strategically well-planned website helps to tempt customers to spend more time browsing the product catalogs.
Retail stores have their top-selling products put on eye-level to gain attention.
Besides the best-sellers, you can have the new releases, latest flash sales, and discounted products on top of the website.
People usually are fond of sales and fall for it. There is also an option in eCommerce websites of sorting items according to price, trend, and other parameters.
Collection based merchandising is applicable for electrical appliances and other home decoration items. eCommerce merchandising helps customers to fill the dots and purchase products together.
eCommerce websites have their best deals mentioned in the form of a grid on the home page. This is a simple psychology trick that says humans are attracted to the word “discount” and “sale” boosts sales.
Various tech startups in the eCommerce industry ensure to display most of their products in the carousel of the home page.
This helps customers to know the multiple products available without visiting various pages on the website.
For instance, a group of “top choices” can have various categories such as home decoration, electronic appliances, apparel displayed together in the carousel to show product diversification.
A combination of different products on one page increases the average items per cart. This is another notable eCommerce merchandising trick. For instance, suppose a customer wants to buy a blazer. On the landing page, they find a blazer, a matching tie, a shirt, and formal shoes. This way, they can be tempted to buy more products.
Customers are attracted by colors that appeal to them. Different customers have different preferences. Thus, listing various colors for a particular product can attract more customers. This is another eCommerce merchandising technique that provokes customers to visit more pages.
What Is The Importance Of eCommerce Merchandising?
You’ve read about the various strategies adopted by online stores to list products available for sale.
These strategic methods help entice a customer to make a purchase. So, what are the benefits of displaying specific products to a specific set of customers?
eCommerce businesses are always looking for a way to skyrocket sales. The first step towards it is to build awareness amongst customers for a brand.
Retailers spend a good amount of money on search engine optimization and social media advertisements to increase traffic on their website.
Lack of engagement can lead customers to leave the website instantaneously, increasing the cost of customer acquisition. Online stores need to ensure that customers are kept engaged while visiting the website. The first step is enabling customers to find the products they’re looking for at the earliest.
An increase in the visit duration of a customer improves the click-through rate and the number of impressions for a particular listing.
Impressions define the number of times an advertisement appears on the screen.
Click through rate includes the number of visits to a website by following a particular hyperlink. You’re competing with multiple other online stores that want to attract your customers.
Customers are unlikely to make a buy on the first visit on your website. Grabbing their attention is important to boost the chances of them returning to your site.
eCommerce merchandising is not just done to improve the customer experience. Rather the main goal is to increase sales. Online stores function to increase the ROI (Return On Investment) based on data.
With cutting edge technologies, you can comprehend the shopping pattern of buyers and list your items accordingly.
How Should I Use eCommerce Merchandising To Increase Sales?
- Generate traffic for an existing eCommerce website.
- Display complementary products based on the customer’s search. For instance, a customer intending to buy a mobile phone might also buy a back cover.
- Turf defending is used by online stores to highlight similar items with competitors by displaying them together. Customer loyalty is maintained and is good for items that are frequently purchased.
- AI-driven analytics in eCommerce merchandising is another contributing factor. Taking into consideration the number of sold units, the rating and comments received, and the number of sales to unique customers, a product can be recommended to a customer based on his search intent.
- Image enhancing methods are used to improve quality, price, delivery, and available brands. This may include competitive pricing as well.
- Generating excitement among customers. Excitement can be generated by announcing flash sales before a festival or by providing a specific discount.
What Is Assortment Planning In eCommerce Merchandising?
Online stores need to optimize for better visitor experience and increase conversions.
There are many ways to increase profitability, one important tactic being assortment planning. Assortment planning is enhancing visual merchandising and store layouts to maximize conversions.
Retailers need to strike a balance between stocking too much variety and having too little mix of products.
Assortment planning goes beyond eCommerce merchandising, item purchasing, and seasonality trends. Some important factors include: reorder points, lead time, category proportion, and shelf life.
The first step is building a Customer Decision Tree (CDT) to know the product hierarchy.
For instance, a customer visits an online store to buy a shirt. He first checks the size, material, and then color. This hierarchy can be used for other customers as well.
Clustering products based on customer demographics, storefront type, and size can be useful to target specific customer segments.
Cross hybrid recommendation is another important parameter for assortment planning. For instance, various algorithms can be used to promote similar products in a shared category.
Assortment planning doesn’t mean to stock up only trending items and best sellers. Online stores should find a balance between product diversification and stocking of top items.
The main aim of any eCommerce merchandising is to enhance the chances of conversion and/or increase the worth of the conversion. By offering relevant products at the correct time, online store owners can achieve both goals. With eCommerce merchandising, you can get the best exposure for your business.