Four Ecommerce Merchandising Strategies that Drive Retail Growth
Ecommerce is a thriving and dynamic realm where businesses strive to capture the attention of online shoppers.
Effective ecommerce merchandising, the art and science of presenting products in an appealing and strategic manner, is all but essential in creating brand differentiation and driving success. But as ecommerce continues to evolve, so do the demands and expectations of consumers.
To stay ahead of the curve, businesses must adopt innovative and data-driven approaches to merchandising that resonate with the ever-changing preferences of their target audience. In this article, we explore four essential ecommerce merchandising strategies that drive retail growth, from personalization and data collection to product sequencing and grouping.
Tuesday, September 12
5 min read
What is ecommerce merchandising?
Just as physical stores plan where and how they will position products on their shelves, ecommerce merchandising is essential for helping online retailers to effectively market and showcase their products, engage shoppers, and encourage them to purchase.
Successful ecommerce merchandising involves a variety of tactics. These include:
- Product placement: Organizing and displaying products on a website to best highlight their features, benefits, and related items.
- Visual presentation: Showcasing products with images, videos and other media to help prospective shoppers better understand them.
- Product descriptions: Crafting engaging and informative product descriptions that effectively communicate a product's value, features and benefits.
- Pricing and discounts: Strategically pricing products, offering discounts or special promotions to encourage purchases, or implementing cross- or up-selling opportunities to increase order value.
- Search and navigation: Creating an ecommerce website that offers effective and intuitive search functionality and navigation to help shoppers find the products they need.
- Personalization: Leveraging shopper data to deliver personalized products, recommendations and offers based on their unique behaviour and preferences.
- Seasonal and trend-based merchandising: Assessing and adjusting product availability and marketing strategies to capitalize on seasonal shopping events, such as Christmas or Cyber Week, or trends.
Essential ecommerce merchandising strategies for brands seeking growth
Here, we explore four key strategies you can use to take your ecommerce merchandising to the next level.
Group related products to capitalize on shopper interest
Grouping products is an effective ecommerce merchandising strategy that capitalizes on a shopper’s existing interest in an item.
Brand, product type, style, features, product functions – these are some of the most common ways to group products.
But this can be taken further by grouping around specific themes related to your brand or audience personas.
For instance, if a product could be sold as part of a kit, consider displaying other related products that the shopper might also be encouraged to purchase. As an example, a sports brand might display a whey protein powder alongside a creatine powder, a shaker or fitness apparel.
Grouping products in this way prompts more purchases, increasing the total order value as a result.
Deploy targeted page merchandising and product sequencing
Retaining the attention of your shoppers on your products pages is a challenge.
Similar to Google, where people rarely venture beyond the second page of search results, the same principle applies to your ecommerce product pages.
Brick-and-mortar retailers overcome this by strategically arranging products in a way that combines visual appeal with easy perusal. The most popular items are placed front and center to capitalize on consumer desire, with new arrivals and best-selling products prioritized.
This same principle can be applied to online or click-and-mortar retailers by pinning and sequencing particular products in a bid to drive and capture consumer attention. This involves analysing, identifying and grouping certain products together based on specific attributes.
In ecommerce merchandising, sequencing plays a crucial role in driving customer purchases.
While smaller stores might have the luxury of manually arranging their products, this becomes a monumental task for stores with extensive inventories or large catalogs. In such cases, automated sequencing based on various product attributes becomes essential.
Total sales, average item price, product demands, wishlist or cart additions, product type – these are just a few examples of useful attributes to consider when sequencing your digital merchandising strategy.
The top 100 products prominently displayed wield significant influence over your store's conversion rates. As such, implementing pinning and sequencing provides you with control over which products are showcased, driving sales and increasing average order value at the same time.
Collect data for advanced ecommerce merchandising
Data collection is the foundation of effective merchandising for online brands.
One of the key benefits of online retail, particularly DTC, is the ready availability of shopper data, as well as the relative ease with which it can be collected and analyzed.
Data collection is a powerful tool for understanding your customers, helping you understand your shoppers and identify what matters to them.
There is a variety of ways to do this.
One approach involves monitoring website traffic through tools like Google Analytics. This provides insights into customer location, time spent on your site, average order value (AOV), and more.
Another option is encouraging customers to create accounts or subscribe to newsletters on your website. Additionally, maintaining a call log for customer service interactions can provide further valuable insights.
This data helps you to tailor your ecommerce merchandising strategies, such as targeting shoppers from specific countries or re-engaging users who abandon their carts.
Furthermore, industry-wide data helps identify trends and customer interests, helping you cast a wider net when crafting an ecommerce merchandising strategy to attract new customers.
Leverage data for personalized ecommerce merchandising
Data collection offers an array of tools and insights to enhance your ecommerce merchandising strategy. But one of the best and most effective? Personalization.
Personalization is a powerful tool for creating a sense of connection between your brand and your shoppers. It’s an essential ingredient in a positive consumer experience, particularly when it comes to ecommerce merchandising.
Personalized product recommendations are the most common merchandising strategies for online brands.
Tagging specific products based on a certain theme and then displaying them alongside other products, recommended based on their past engagement, is one such method of this.
A DIY brand, for instance, could identify that a particular shopper typically purchases garden furniture, so would display those prominently alongside products viewed in the future.
Beyond this, product results can be refined and personalized further by displaying products related to specific customer segments. Gender, age, preferred price points – these are just a few examples.
Personalization complements and enables effective ecommerce merchandising strategies. Combined with A/B testing, customer segmentation and product recommendations, personalization helps create engaging shopping experiences for each customer.
A focused and effective ecommerce merchandising strategy drives sales, increases order value and strengthens consumer retention.
Work with Ingenuity as your partner and leverage our 18 years’ experience to elevate your ecommerce merchandising. Our digital solutions enable data-driven ecommerce merchandising strategies, informed by actionable consumer insights.
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