As an eCommerce professional, you’ve likely been preparing for the holiday shopping season for months – deciding which products to feature, planning orders and organizing marketing campaigns. Retailers predict an 11-20% rise in holiday spending for 2013, with eCommerce and mobile driving much of the growth (Retail TouchPoints, Aug. 12). While the opportunity is great, so is the challenge of making your products stand out. Here are some thoughts on how you can use search merchandising tactics to ensure your holiday campaigns are effective.
Get Insight from your Site Search Data
The first step in successful search merchandising is to look at your site search data for real-time insight into users’ behavior. Review the queries that shoppers type into your search box, along with your site analytics. Which searches are most popular? Do shoppers want a product you don’t have? Are they seeing “no results pages” because they search using different language than you use on your site? Do they move from your results pages to a purchase, or do they jump away from your site without buying?
If you gather such insights from your search data now, you’ll have time to make improvements well before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you don’t already have an advanced site search provider, engaging in such services now can give you the extra set of hands and tools you’ll need to be agile in response to holiday trends.
Use the Right Tools at the Right Time
The second step of a successful search merchandising plan is to know which tools can make the most impact, and how to use them. A couple of my favorite tools for holiday merchandising are landing pages and gift finders.
Branding banners, ribbon overlays and integration of social media are other merchandising tools that can improve the odds of holiday shopper conversion. These and a dozen other tools are covered in the new white paper “Using Site Search Data to Improve Merchandising,” which is a free download from the SLI Systems website.
Lastly, be sure your site search provider offers proper merchandising controls for your site so you can quickly test and easily refine the presentation of promotional messages, products and content on your search and navigation pages. Such agility will help you compete for consumers’ spending money during the holidays and beyond.