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Merchandise Adding Value to eCommerce Business: Here’s Everything you Should Know

Rashi Sood

Content Writer @ Shiprocket

October 17, 2020

7 min read

A typical brick-and-mortar store engages all the five senses of the consumer. From the moment he walks in (looking at beautifully displayed merchandise) to the moment he exits, with a purchase in hand (think music, scent, and other such elements placed to drive sales and leave a long-lasting impression) retail merchandising includes it all.

Top eCommerce brands are discovering different ways to merchandise by making strategically visual decisions, that are not just limited to a responsive and user-friendly website.

Now, as an eCommerce entrepreneur, you must be wondering would eCommerce merchandise add value to your business? In fact, why does it even matter for an online store?

Let’s find the answers to these questions.

What is eCommerce Merchandise?

eCommerce merchandise is the art of displaying all the store offerings on the website with the primary aim of increasing sales. It’s about optimizing the path to purchase, no matter where the user enters. It also includes getting the user to the product he is looking for as quickly as possible. Lastly, it is about connecting the consumer with the brand and giving him an unforgettable experience.

How Does eCommerce Merchandising Work?

Guiding the users through the buyer’s guide is the primary function of online merchandising. While every buyer in the offline store goes through the same visuals, scents, and salesperson when they are in the store, customers come from different paths on the e-Commerce site. They may come to the homepage by searching the brand on Google or might come to the product page (landing page) directly by clicking on the Facebook ad. With the help of merchandising, you can provide a similar experience to all the consumers coming on the site, despite them coming from different paths.

What Are the 4 Types of Merchandise?

One successful eCommerce merchandising strategy is to have a mix of the following 4 types of merchandising to ensure store profitability.

Convenience Goods

Convenience goods are products which consumers can’t do without. These products are not in regards to what we like, like a favourite pair of jeans or mobile phone. But more about products which are essential for daily living. These are products which are regularly bought and widely available without much effort.

Customers don’t go through a stringent decision-making process as they often purchase convenience goods. Demand transfer is also common, where if consumers don’t get their preferred brand, they buy an alternative brand. Notably, convenience goods are generally inexpensive, and thus, consumers are susceptible to the cost of the products. Therefore, sellers have to strike a balance between demand and product price. As a result, the sellers are only able to make profits when they sell large volumes.

Impulse Goods

When a consumer visits the store, they add some extra items to the shopping cart. Nine out of every ten consumers make an impulse purchase. The store owners strategically place impulse goods so that the consumers purchase them instantly without giving much thought.

Like Amazon has a section where it says, “CUSTOMERS WHO VIEWED THIS ITEM ALSO VIEWED”. Here, Amazon strategically tells the consumer to pair this product with another one as the other buyers also bought them together.

These purchases are not planned; when consumers see impulse goods, they buy. However, whether the consumers will purchase products or not depends on the way they are displayed. If they are not displayed at an attractive place, the consumers will miss them.

Shopping Goods

Consumers spent hours researching for particular products. They compare different brands before purchasing anything. Shopping products are the ones about which the consumers have ample information.

Because of intensive research, these products are bought less. Different brands are compared based on price, content, and specifications before making the purchase. Psychological and emotional aspects are also attached to the purchase, such as belonging, acceptance, and appreciation. 

Therefore, it is critical to not just place the image of a single brand on the homepage but all the brands that are available on your online store. This will provide the user with the idea that he will get all the brands here. Also, he can compare all the brands and buy the one he likes.

Speciality Goods

Consumers specifically travel to a particular store, place, or town to make a speciality purchase. In this case, the goods are speciality goods and the store is a speciality store. The customers have researched extensively, and are ready to spend higher amounts and even travel long distances. These products are expensive. Thus, consumers are more selective. The example includes luxury cars and expensive alcohol.

Why Online Merchandising matters?

It is a key part of the sales strategy and helps drive more revenue. Online merchandising takes control of how the brand is perceived by the users while driving user engagement as well. It can help increase average order value and inspire customers to shop again in the future – the two best ways of growing business.

Now let’s take a look at the eCommerce merchandise trends of 2020:

Homepage Storytelling

All users coming to your online store generally encounter the home page first. In addition to a few selected products, the homepage can also tell when, who, and how of the brand.

You can start by including images and text that explains the products and services and why the consumers should buy them (product USPs). It is critical to structure the content in a way that the important information is on the first scroll of the page. As the user scrolls down further, other details are revealed.

You can also consider backing up your information by providing some third-party information, such as customer reviews. To make the page further pleasing, you can add customer testimonial videos as well. That said, CTA (Call-to-Action) is critical so that the user can easily direct himself to the next part of the purchasing funnel.

Product Focus Merchandising

It is a simple technique – focusing on the product. It is the best technique for brands who don’t have social proofs (customer testimonials) or for those with a small product catalogue. This website design is also the best for those online retailers who don’t wish to hire a developer but want to create a website with the help of a template. If you have not yet created an online website for your business but want to create one for free, you can use Shiprocket Social – the free online website builder

Collection Based Merchandising Technique

How about telling the consumers that you can meet all their needs with your collection-based eCommerce merchandising? Although this technique is mostly used for clothing brands, you can use it for other types of goods as well. By creating a collection, you make it easier for the users to navigate through the online store. 

Collection-based merchandising is widely used as it leads the visitors to delve deeper in the site. An attention-grabbing image that highlights the entire collection paired with easily readable text is the premise of collection-based homepages. You can consider utilizing a grid style to host the collection of photos and links. This will keep the homepage readable. A few examples of this include Instagram and Pinterest. Their homepages are engaging, attractive, and easy to navigate.

eCommerce merchandise is the best way to attract a consumer and lead him to the cart in the easiest way possible. As the online business competition is all-time high during this time of novel coronavirus, it is vital that you create a comfortable journey for the user from the homepage to checkout.

While online customers cannot be enticed with scents and visually-appealing in-store displays, visual merchandising is a necessity for online retailers. With several tips and techniques of online merchandising, you can beat the competition and drive more traffic as well as conversion.

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