MerchandisingOne of the keys to e-commerce success is to be relevant. Deliver the products and information customers seek and you’ll thrive. But remaining relevant in today’s ever-evolving e-commerce world isn’t easy. It requires the right tools to quickly present the most valuable information for an engaging and consistent shopping experience, and it entails listening to shoppers and testing to understand what works and what doesn’t.

When site visitors search for a product, they are telling you what they want in their own words. This direct understanding of customers’ intent enables you to deliver compelling merchandising messages, provide relevant information and offer the right products to your shoppers all while enhancing the user experience.

Data mined from site search activity allows you to anticipate market changes and trends, so you can align your merchandising practices accordingly. The proper merchandising controls let you easily and quickly test and refine product assortments, promotional messages and the placement and presentation of non-product content on your search and navigation pages.

In this post, I’ll share tips from our popular e-book Use Site Search Data to Improve Merchandising.

Drive Impulse Buying with Ribbon Overlays

Ribbon overlays are digital stickers you can apply to individual search results to visually accentuate something special about the product, such as best-seller status, out of stock, free shipping, top-rated products, limited availability, newly added products or videos.

Online videos are a popular way to boost site conversions. You can use ribbon overlays to highlight when product videos are available. These overlays offer an additional incentive for customers to click the product because seeing the product in action may convey tangible information such as fit and size faster than reading product specifications. Managing ribbon overlays should be straightforward. For example, once the ribbon is designed, your merchandising tool should allow you to flag the applicable products in the data feed with the specific information you want to display, such as sale, free shipping or video.

Tune Results for Perfect Promotion

There are times you want to promote certain products to your customers on a search results page. Conversely, there may be results you wish to push to the bottom or hide for that particular search string. Tools to create tuning rules should be easily accessible in a merchandising console so you have complete ability to promote or demote particular products based on your desired outcomes. While tuning is an important component of merchandising, it can interfere with the placement of learning-based results and push relevant results below the fold.

Curate a Custom Experience with Landing Pages

You can also use merchandising tuning rules to create curated landing pages. If you would like to promote a series of special holiday products, for example, you can create a landing page that loads when the word “holiday” is searched. At the same time, you can create a dedicated PPC link that directs users to that page. When you use the same PPC link in email marketing campaigns, you can track the success of your campaign in Google Analytics.

For more tips, read our popular e-book Use Site Search Data to Improve Merchandising.