E-commerce is at its absolute boom, with sales predicted to reach approximately 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025—more than 50% since 2019. But what’s fuelling this growth?
On the one hand, we have the new generation of consumers who, thanks to Covid-19, now prefer to shop online rather than in department stores. Their habits not only changed for good but also urged retailers to rethink their selling strategies and channels.
Likewise, brick-and-mortar retailers are on the decline. In fact, they were already dwindling even pre-pandemic—the globally imposed lockdowns simply catapulted the unavoidable shutdown.
One factor that remained constant or perhaps even more pronounced is the shopping experience. Precisely, how can we replicate the in-store shopping experience on an e-commerce site? The secret lies in e-commerce merchandising.
What is e-commerce merchandising? What roles does it play, and how does it function in practice? This article addresses it all and more.
What is E-Commerce Merchandising?
In a nutshell, e-commerce merchandising is a sales-boosting strategy that entails arranging, organizing, and standardizing the products and offers on an online marketplace.
E-commerce merchandising somewhat resembles the in-store customer journey where buyers can see, touch, and feel the products. Thus, the primary function of e-commerce merchandising is to display and showcase the products on the e-commerce site in the most enticing way so that customers are gently pushed to make a purchase.
Apart from the visual appeal, merchandising for e-commerce sites also focuses on optimizing the buyer’s journey—how customers move through your online store and what triggers them to buy or not.
Importance of Merchandising for E-Commerce Sites
There are several reasons why e-commerce merchandising is critical to the success of an online retailer. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Helps Retailers in Displaying a Variety of Products
If you are running an e-commerce business, you sure have numerous products to sell. But simply uploading them onto your online store will not generate sales.
E-commerce merchandising helps to organize and display products logically, utilizing categories, collections, or product grouping—all for the customer’s benefit.
Enhances Customer Shopping Experience
Buyers navigate numerous pages, from entering the e-commerce store to completing the purchase. They want to quickly find the products they are looking for without having to click through millions of pages that lead to nowhere.
Ecommerce merchandising helps to optimize an online store’s design to make it more accessible and easier to navigate.
Leads to More Conversions
Displaying products in an appealing and structured manner is vital for making the website look aesthetically pleasing and accessible, ultimately converting website browsers into paying customers.
After all, prospective customers will find any reason to leave your site without making a purchase. For instance, 63% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts if shipping costs are too high, while 56% leave your site entirely if your checkout process is confusing, slow, and user anti-friendly.
Carefully crafted e-commerce merchandising strategies can help simplify the buyer’s journey and offer more control over the most critical elements of the online shopping experience, helping you drive more revenue.
Boosts Brand Engagement and Awareness
Through e-commerce merchandising, online retailers can help ensure visitors have the same on-brand experience as they would in the physical store.
Instead of physical senses levered in physical stores, online merchants utilize user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), colors, images, videos, and content to communicate brand essence and increase consumer engagement.
Enhances Personalization at Scale
80% of shoppers are more inclined to purchase from a brand that offers bespoke experiences.
Thanks to AI and machine learning, you can track every move your customer makes, from searching for a product to purchasing it. Innovative e-commerce merchandising helps you tailor the shopping experience to the specific needs of your customers.
So, with e-commerce merchandising, you can easily match your buyers’ preferences, whether they want personalized shopping cart recommendations or multiple shipping options.
How Does E-Commerce Merchandising Work?
Traditional merchandising originates from when customers could only purchase products in brick-and-mortar stores. Retailers then appealed to consumers through their senses: touch, smell, taste, eyesight, and hearing.
However, buyers only interact with a virtual storefront on their computers and mobile devices when shopping on the internet.
This means that visual aspects, web design, navigation menus, product pages, shipping pages, and strategically positioned CTAs (call-to-action) buttons are vital in enticing customers and boosting sales.
So, how does merchandising for e-commerce sites work in practice?
Home Page Visual Merchandising
The first thing your e-commerce site visitors see is your home page. E-commerce merchandising can make your landing page attractive to the eye and highly engaging, while strategically structured and optimized design can deliver a smooth online shopping experience.
Can your site visitors easily find products? When they browse through different categories, do they get search recommendations for items they could be potentially interested in? An effective e-commerce merchandising strategy ensures flexible and filter-rich options to increase up-sell opportunities.
Product Page Merchandising
Applying carefully orchestrated e-commerce merchandising strategies, such as high-quality imagery and powerful, benefits-focused SEO product descriptions, can convince visitors that the product is precisely what they are looking for.
Shipping and Delivery Page
Shipping is what makes or breaks your e-commerce business. Ultimately, customers see limited delivery options and hefty fees as a significant disadvantage compared to in-store shopping. E-commerce merchandising can help you hyper-personalize shipping, giving control to consumers and fostering a positive brand image.
E-commerce merchandising can play an essential role in your upselling strategy. Thus, designing your checkout page to offer complimentary items or highly tuned recommendations to your customers can help you win more sales and increase the average order value.
The Bottom Line
Merchandising for e-commerce sites now takes the top spot in the arsenal of online sales strategies. Online retailers that aspire to be at the forefront of the e-commerce game must finetune their sites for a smooth shopping experience and revenue-guaranteed outcomes.
At Phase V, we offer best-in-class, reliable, and highly accurate tech-driven order fulfillment solutions that will complement your e-commerce merchandising strategy, amaze your customers and expedite your business growth.