In part 1 of this series, I discussed our new study of the fashion industry and how apparel, beauty and accessories brands are pushing the envelope on search and merchandising. Today I’ll show you a few specific examples that demonstrate how these brands are delivering a richer, more engaging experience online – and how you can do something similar.

Branding Banners – whether on search or navigation pages, fashion retailers are really good at merchandising their top brands through banners. Take the Sports Unlimited example to the left. This shows you the creative banner they use on the North Face search results page, which gives the user additional refinement options for Men’s, Women’s, or Kid’s items, as well as allows them to click on “Hats & Gloves,” “Footwear,” “Backpacks” and “Outlet.” They also promote their Free Shipping offer on all North Face items in the banner. This type of banner draws the shopper in and gives them easy options to get a better view of items of interest. Sports Unlimited has seen a steady increase in the number of people who click on the banners, and who then convert to buyers.

Rich Auto Complete – our retail clients consistently see a greater increase in conversions when they incorporate Rich Auto Complete into their site search, a feature that not only works well for fashion and apparel but for all retail sectors. By automatically offering suggested keywords and accompanying product images after the first keystroke or two entered into the search box, Rich Auto Complete streamlines the shopping experience and allows people to quickly click on something they want, rather than scroll through a page of results. In the example  from totes-ISOTONER’s site, you can see that in their Rich Auto Complete window they include a high-quality image, description of the product and price – making it super easy for interested buyers to make a purchase.


Color Swatches – showing all the different color options a product is available in is particularly useful on fashion and accessories sites, but can also be beneficial in other categories as well. Dooney & Bourke’s site is a beautifully-designed way to show all the different colors a purse is available in, and let the visitor click on the different colors – and see the image shade change – right in the search results page. I give this approach a double thumbs-up for ease of use as well as its visual appeal.



Index other Media – I’ve noticed that many fashion and beauty brands index other content in their search results to give shoppers a richer, more informative experience. For example, E.L.F. Cosmetics allows visitors to click on different tabs within search results for beauty blog articles, videos, social media buzz, and other types of media that can help them make a decision to purchase. By separating each type of content out by tabs, the results pages avoid being cluttered and give shoppers an easy way to see the breadth of content that’s available. This is yet another way to see conversion rates from search pages go up – and customer engagement as well.

For more examples of how fashion retailers are on the cutting-edge, download our complete study here.