Just as in retail stores, making sure your online site is geared to sell most effectively can’t be overstated. Building online merchandising equivalents of in-store experiences promises that shoppers will not only find what they came to your site to find, but will also discover other products too.
Good in-store merchandising can:
- increase traffic by offering attractive visual experiences
- increase sales by featuring products through promotions and displays
- build loyalty through appealing, easy-to-access settings
As you build out the merchandising functionality on your site, keep these best practices in mind.
Let Your Data Drive Programs
Knowing what your shoppers are interested in helps you respond to current trends and anticipate future promotional opportunities. When customers search, they’re telling you exactly what they want. Leverage data from search keywords and browsing behavior to power your email and advertising campaigns to get the most traction for your time and money.
Make Discovery Easy
Isn’t it helpful when you enter a store and a sales associate helps you find the exact item you’re looking for? Make the same true for online experiences. You can do this in a few ways: first, offer search that provides the most relevant products in the first couple rows. Second, show the most relevant products visually as the search query is entered, through rich autocomplete. And third, tie the most popular keywords to promotions that you feature on your home page.
Merchandise Across Channels
Don’t forget the mobile experience! A streamlined mobile experience that works around the physical constraints of a mobile device will make it easier for shoppers to find (and buy!) what they want. For instance, keeping your search box front and center on every page is critical to keeping shoppers on your site so they don’t waste time navigating an entire site. Additionally, adding refinements in large, tap-friendly dropdowns lets shoppers narrow down to the most applicable results.
These ideas just scratch the surface of making your site a super-powered merchandising machine. We recently spoke with Sri PV, E-Commerce Internal Marketing Manager at Dressbarn, about how he puts these online merchandising fundamentals (and many more) into practice every day. You can hear the full discussion here.