Every online store should have a comprehensive and well researched merchandising strategy. eCommerce has become a business model from startups to established retail businesses. While it’s fundamentals are rooted in traditional retail, e-commerce merchandising is an entirely different animal.
Merchandising has many varying definitions but they all allude to the same thing: A variety of products available for sale and the display of the said products in such a manner that stimulates and entices customers to buy.
The above definition is every bit what a retailer does whether online or a physical store.
When you pit merchandising practices of an e-commerce store against those of a traditional retail store, you see stark differences. Although the basic idea and intent is similar the execution is entirely different.
Let’s check out some tips to consider for your digital merchandising strategy
- Store Organization
Store organization is an indispensable tool in merchandising strategy. The way the store is arranged in a physical store impacts the flow of customers and determines their overall experience when shopping and what products capture their attention.
The right arrangement will have a direct impact on sales. You can arrange shelving in a manner that funnels the customer deeper into the store, put some refreshing drinks next to diapers to entice stressed out parent and so forth.
What approach should an e-Commerce retailer employ then, given his store is virtual and is actually a website? Begin by arranging the store in a manner that optimizes sales. e-Commerce retailers must invest a lot of effort in three things
- Content strategy
- Information architecture
- Linking strategy
This means that their store must be easily navigable with a nice flow that allows customers to view profitable products.
Branding is a huge part of retail and you want to create a brand that evokes the correct impulses and emotions. To do this, ensure that your store presentation is in tandem and synchronized with the pulse of your brand.
In a physical store, retailers will use lighting, music and signage as a way to elicit emotion. However, in e-Commerce you are somewhat limited. The primary brand vehicle in an online store will be colors, fonts and imagery used to conjure up the brand image to elicit the desired feelings.
- Product descriptions
Unfortunately products description is not given due attention by online stores particularly clothing and gift shops. Simply adding a product description on an item will boost your ranking as far as SEO is concerned provided you make sure that the content is unique and not presented verbatim as you received it from your manufacturer.
- Customer management
The only unifying factor between the customer and the online store is the customer’s email. If you can capture that during your interaction and get him to build a profile, then that forms the basis for better customer service as well as more effective marketing based on his buying history.
Drawing a parallel between a physical store and an online store in respect to merchandising strategies gives insight as to why one has to approach both of them very differently.
— Pierre Jean Duvivier (@pjduvivier) 13 de junio de 2017