If you are seeking a suitable way to impress your customers and convince them to repurchase, online merchandising is surely what you are looking for. In fact, merchandising existed long ago, you can easily find merchandising at both online stores and brick-and-mortar stores nowadays. 

When eCommerce stores become more popular, online merchandising is also used as a business strategy. If you are eager to learn more about it, this article will guide you through some basic knowledge and tips to make your online store more engaging than ever.  

What is Online Merchandising?

It can be simply understood as the strategic arrangement of information about your products or services in the eCommerce stores. This will make your website look more attractive to customers. 

You can call it screen real estate due to a role as your virtual selling space. Some areas on a website that you can make good use of to display your products, such as category pages, product pages, search results pages, ads, etc.

What is online merchandising?
What is online merchandising?

You can find many places to put the products in. However, to make your website space look neat and clean, you should build an online merchandising strategy. A good-looking site can convince your customers to make their purchases simply because they can easily find the information and products they need. 

Moreover, online virtual merchandising is about using various elements to improve the users’ experience. This can be exemplified from funny photos, attractive designs, good website structures to homepage storytelling, content, product description, etc. More specifically, content is a worth-investing element. Good content can persuade visitors to become your customers. 

In other words, online virtual merchandising focus more on the way they show information to customers.

Online merchandising improves the users’ experience
Online merchandising improves the users’ experience

Why does Online Merchandising Matter?

There is no difference when it comes to the importance of product presentation in either real or online stores. Obviously, the screen real estate does not limit the way merchants design their own stores. In fact, there are numerous resources to build a good-looking and attractive site. The main issue is how you can make your customers feel it a better place for them to shop in. 

Why does online merchandising matter?
Why does online merchandising matter?

The online market is so diverse and this place is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years. So, it is certain that online business is so competitive, especially in the online retail market. To win the customers’ minds, you should invest more in not only the value of products but also the customers’ buying journey. Thus, merchandising is what you need to win customers from competitors.

Elements of Online Merchandising

The online store is surely different from the mortar-and-brick one, you can easily realize the smaller space that an online store has. Besides, the ways you display your products and services are different as well. To be more specific, physical stores have shelves to display products while online one will show the product information on the list pages. Banners and posters at stores are used to promote the products instead of banners on the websites. 

Below are some strategies for merchandising which are learnt from many popular companies around the world, including: 

Homepage Merchandising

The homepage is the first place that many people will see when they first come to your eCommerce website. Therefore, this place will somehow make the first impression with your customers. Unlike a mortar-and-brick store, a virtual store can design an overview to attract and fulfill the demand of customers from the first site so homepage merchandising is greatly important to keep the customers stay when they first come and visit your site.

Online merchandising strategy: homepage merchandising
Online merchandising strategy: homepage merchandising

The homepage is where you can show what is the best from your stores. It is a good place for you to show new products, display your bestsellers or promote some sales off programs. 

No matter how small it is, the homepage of an online store can attract many people and it is surely a good storyteller of your brand. Hence an increase in website traffic. 

Product Pages

Product pages will bring customers other experiences to gain more insight into the world of products. Of course, you can build a really detailed page with various engaging information to attract buyers. Online merchandising is highly needed on this page. Moreover, content is an important element to the purchasing decision of customers. There are some types of content that are mostly seen, such as blogs, imagery, video, etc.

Online merchandising strategy: product pages
Online merchandising strategy: product pages

Because buyers cannot touch or taste the online products, they require something more visual. In this case, video and photos are highly recommended. This is often regarded as the barrier of business on virtual platform, however, you can simplify it by merchandising. To be more specific, a good media strategy and the marketing mix are necessary. 

The searching function should be added on the product pages as well. This will save you and your customers a lot of time, thus convince them to quickly move forward to buy the products. 

The site layout is another vital part because it will make the site look clean and neat. Customers will surely love to shop in a neat place where they can easily find what they want. 

Collection-based Merchandising

Collections will play a crucial role in guiding customers to delve into your eCommerce website. So, collection-based merchandising will make your page more readable. You can easily utilize the styles in order to host the collection of various content, such as photos, videos, links, etc. to make it look better and user-friendly.

Online merchandising strategy: Collection-based merchandising
Online merchandising strategy: Collection-based merchandising

You can find this way on various eCommerce websites, from numerous industries. Take a shoes shop as an example, it displays their products by collection, like “kids shoes”, “bestseller”, etc. This saves time and attracts customers more. 

Online Merchandising Best Practices

Merchandising strategies will help your company grow when you know how to use them effectively. Below are the top 4 tips that are highly recommended by successful online merchants around the world. 

User – generated Content

Many trustworthy studies carried out around the world have proved that customers will tend to trust each other more. The reviews, content which are made from the users have larger impacts on the buying decisions compared to other types of content.

More specifically, more than 90% of website visitors will move quickly to the reviews part and look at them before buying anything. Therefore, user-generated content is evaluated as a good way to raise brand awareness and establish credibility.

Online merchandising: User-generated content
Online merchandising: User-generated content

To create user-generated content, you can plugin with many social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. to your eCommerce website and enhance the SEO content. 

The useful and necessary content will save a lot of time while customers are surfing your webs.  It can help you to build trust immediately by the way you develop your professional content and enhance brand awareness. 

Mobile-friendly Platforms

More than 90% of people use mobile to surf the web because of its convenience. Therefore, customers expect a more seamless experience while online shopping. In other words, they will prefer an online shop that is available on various devices, such as mobile phone, laptops, tablets, etc.

Online merchandising: Mobile-friendly platform
Online merchandising: Mobile-friendly platform

eCommerce stores with apps can attract more customers because they can shop wherever they are with only small phones that they can bring around. Besides, make sure your eCommerce store is responsive to mobile phones if you do not build an app for it. Thus, customers can visit the store via some mobile web browsers, such as Google Chrome, etc. without difficulties. 

Easy Product Discovery

Online shopping is a complicated process, for the elderly or those who are not tech-savvy, online shopping is hard. Besides, the space on eCommerce stores is limited and not all the products are displayed. Therefore, merchandising will help you make the products more visible to customers. 

You can add a search bar for them for better finding. Customers can use the search bar to find their favorite product in a short period of time.

Online merchandising: Easy product discovery
Online merchandising: Easy product discovery

Moreover, there are some effective positions on the homepage that you surely can add on some photos of the newest or best selling products. As a result, that information will come immediately when your customers visit the sites, thus encouraging them to make a purchase. 

Besides, you can see many recommendations when visiting some eCommerce store. The automatic systems will help you to find some products that are similar to the products that you are viewing or finding. Obviously, getting personal with recommendations helps to grow the sales, AOV, etc.

Conclusion

As aforementioned, online merchandising is a good way to attract customers and improve some drawbacks of virtual business. If you want to increase your website traffic, homepages, product pages and collection-based merchandising are the three main elements that are worth your investment. 

Besides, the 4 tips above will surely help you to improve your website interface and make it a better place to shop. In case you love to build your own online business, visit Allfetch, one of the fastest-growing Shopify developers for the eCommerce platform. Do not forget to use online merchandising for better engagement.



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