5 Merchandising Tips for Ecommerce Retailers
As an e-commerce retailer, it’s important you present a seamless shopping experience for your customers. Knowing how to deliver your products and information that people are seeking, and at the right moment, is critical to any e-commerce business. Make it easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for – plain and simple.
Here are 5 e-commerce merchandising strategies to drive online revenue:
#1. Optimize Search Results on Your Website
Half of site visitors will perform a search in a website’s search box for one of the following intents: (1) Navigation (2) Information (3) Transaction. You can improve user experience by analyzing your high-volume search queries and ensuring the search results page for those queries presents visitors with the most optimal results. You can also drive impulse or add a sense of urgency by using ribbon overlays on your product results. For example, you can add a small banner to your product results that says temporary price cut, sale, free shipping, best-seller, limited availability, last one, and so on.
Add promotional callouts. You can see in the Target example below how there is a promotional callout (in red font) for spend $50 get a $10 giftcard.
Add shipping details early on. Time is precious – don’t waste anyone’s time. In the example above, Target added a line to their product details “get it by 01/19 with express shipping”. Shoppers do not want to click through multiple pages to find out when their item is shipping, and then ultimately abandoning their cart because the shipping wasn’t fast enough. If you provide a transparent and simple user experience, you are sure to attract repeat visits.
Use large product images for better conversions. Don’t skim out here; it’s worth investing in. If you have an abundance of products and skus, then start with your best-sellers, top-rated, or high margin ones first.
#2. Make Additional Product Recommendations
Sometimes you might get a visitor coming in through PLAs (Google Product Listing Ads). Since PLAs are product-based ads, the visitor will land on a single product page. But what if it’s not the product they were looking for? And then they exit your site and go shopping somewhere else. Don’t let this happen. Add product recommendations above the fold somewhere off to the side. You can either upsell, cross-sell, or down sell – depends on your goals.
For example, if you want to increase your cart size, then maybe you recommend a complementary product (ie. baseball + baseball case) or offer a premium product. Maybe you’re trying to move slow-moving inventory, offer additional low-priced options. Don’t let a shopper bounce out of your site; give them options. Here are just a few product suggestion examples – “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” or “More Products from [Brand]” or “Frequently Bought Together” or “Similar Items”.
Here’s an example from Best Buy.
#3. Prioritize Certain Products Over Others
It wouldn’t make sense to bury your best-sellers on page 2 of your site or display them at the very bottom, right? Correct! Put your best-sellers or staple items always front and center. Prioritize products on your grid pages. Based on your strategy, you might want to promote or demote certain products. This can easily be done in any merchandising console.
#4. Create Curated Landing Pages
Set merchandising rules to create custom, curated landing pages. For instance, if you have a variety of Christmas products in stock, you can have a curated landing page load after someone searches with the word “Christmas”. Additionally, you can include a link to this same page in a Pay-Per-Click ad. Or link to this page from an email campaign, and you can measure your campaign performance in Google Analytics.
#5. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
Google announced in October 2015 that the search engine giant will be making the new mobile index its primary index for all search queries, thus not updating the desktop index as frequently. This is due to the fact that mobile search traffic has toppled desktop search traffic. In a nutshell, Google will only crawl & index mobile versions of web pages. What does this mean? Mobile Matters Most.
If you don’t have a mobile app, you can still have a responsive designed website for mobile rendering. Many of the large website theme providers already have this functionality built into the themes.
I think Facebook’s Katherine Shappley said it best “Mobile is not just another machine or device. Mobile is a consumer behavior.”
Consumer expectations are high for a mobile shopping experience. Take a look at these 2016 stats from Retail Touch Points.
– 64% of smartphone users expect a site to load in four seconds or less;
– 40% have turned to a competitor’s site for a better mobile experience; and
– 25% of online shoppers abandon the cart if a site’s navigation is too complex.
Use mobile to generate repeat conversions, foster loyalty, and deliver additional value such as ease and convenience. Mobile commerce is on the rise – optimize for mobile growth, and don’t be the last brand standing.