Digital merchandising is a crucial part of a successful eCommerce business. It’s the secret to engaging your shoppers and guiding them towards making a purchase. When it’s done intelligently, your shoppers are not only more likely to buy the goods you’re promoting, but they’ll actually enjoy engaging with your digital store and handing over their hard earned money.
Merchandising can help ensure every customer who visits your site has a similar, on-brand experience, no matter how they arrive on your site or how they navigate around once they get there.
Visual merchandising can both increase the average order value (AOV) from your customers and inspire customers to return in the future, two of the main ways businesses see revenue growth.
Merchandising helps you take control of how your brand is perceived and how visitors shop, while also driving brand engagement and awareness.
At Merch India we help create an exciting and engaging environment in-store, and designing the customer experience with it. Traditional store and window design is focused on making products and brands more enticing to the customer. Digital merchandising does the same thing, but with added interactivity.
Digital merchandising brings a new way of interacting with your audience through in-store display, mixing modern techniques with the core skills and values of Visual Merchandising. A digital visual merchandising scheme can increase traffic and sales
Internet merchants have many challenges when it comes to turning visitors into customers. One element that is often overlooked is the product page. These pages are what will really drive visitors to make the purchase.
Offer a customized shopping environment
One advantage that web merchandising has over physical stores is the ability to tailor the shopping experience to each customer.
By prompting your customers to provide shopping preferences, (“What kind of event are you shopping for?” “What kind of dog will these treats be for?”) you create a customized shopping experience that shows them the most relevant products and therefore increases the likelihood of conversion.
You can also mine for invaluable customer data that will allow you to improve and elevate your website merchandising even more.
If you’re smart, you’ve got every bit of your site compiling data about your customers purchasing trends and patterns.
Don’t let this data go to waste!
Funnel it into creating a superior visual commerce experience for your customers through your eCommerce merchandising strategy.
4) Dazzle with your product description
Product descriptions should achieve two things.
They should give your customers every detail they need to confidently click “buy now,” and paint a picture of how the customer could use and benefit from the product.
This means that size, shape, features and other details should be clearly outlined in one section, and then you should suggest ways and situations in which your customers could use your product, letting them picture it in their own lives.
Another way to visually power product descriptions is by placing them next to customer photos, as we saw in the Rhone example above.
Details make a buyer feel secure in their purchase – but the hints about packing it in their luggage make them visualize the item in their hands.
Conversely, maybe the product description will help a customer realize this isn’t the product they’re looking for, and guide them to a similar product that’s a better fit in your store.
5) Enable browsing enhancements and optimize your search feature
Another advantage eCommerce merchandising has over physical stores is the additional sorting power shoppers have on the web.
Enabling browsing enhancements such as sorting products by color or specific features allows customers to find products they may not have otherwise seen if they could only sort for a particular item category.
Convert browsers into buyers
Some customers have an idea in mind but may not be ready to buy. In a brick-and-mortar retail analogy, these folks are the “No thanks. Just browsing” shoppers.
They may be “looky loos.” However, your merchandising can effectively nudge these visitors toward a purchase.
Classically online retailers attempt to attract these browsing shoppers by promoting categories or themed product groups like seasonal or clearance categories. However, this approach just keeps them clicking through your site and you hoping they stumble on something that sparks a sale.
And that’s one of the big reasons why many visitors leave an online store with an empty cart. The merchandising kept them in a browsing mindset, not a buying one.
Do not be afraid to promote specific products. Smart online merchandisers are now curating and promoting sets of individual products, not general categories, on their highest traffic pages.
Here are the most important and critical features to have on your product pages to improve conversions.
1. Quality of Image
When you go shopping at an actual store, you may talk to someone about the product in person — although ecommerce sites often have more accurate and in-depth descriptions of a product than someone who works at the store — but the visual process of shopping is the most crucial. For the web, it’s really the same and just as important. Image quality is king when it comes to ecommerce. Invest in quality images of your own products. Don’t use the same images as other retailers.
2. Alternate Views
As important as it is to have quality images on your product pages, it is also important to display the product in as many angles and details as possible. Remember, the sale is in the details. People want to see exactly what they are getting. Having alternate views will likely decrease your return rate as you’re showing customers exactly what they are getting. If you are selling expensive goods, alternate views are a must. Remember that online shoppers are concerned about product authenticity — alternate views can help.
3. Zoom Feature
Related to alternative image views, the “zoom” feature on product images has become increasingly popular. This helps consumers get a better view of the product.
4. Consumer Reviews
Shoppers care what others have to say. If your product pages have consumer reviews, you’re helping shoppers make a final decision. Not all products have positive reviews. In fact, many have both positive and negative reviews, which,makes the shopping experience that much more authentic and real for the shopper. There are many great review platforms to choose from, if your cart doesn’t provide one.
5. Product Comparisons
Product comparisons can improve a shopping experience — and increase sales. Consumers typically shop for similar features. A product comparison feature on product pages can help them view features side-by-side, instead of flipping through many pages. Many shopping carts are starting to incorporate this feature into their platforms.
6. Live Chat
Live chat is very important to an ecommerce site. This feature should be site wide, but especially on every product page. Live help can help close the sale. Customer questions can be answered immediately. There are many live help platforms in the marketplace to choose from.
7. Product Demos
Product demos are increasingly popular. They inform the consumer and can really help decrease return rates. Employees of Office Depot recently displayed that company’s product demonstration feature at an Internet Retailer conference, stating it sharply increased sales. Also, TigerDirect.com uses product demos to show, explain and educate consumers about that specific product.
8. ‘Email a Friend’ Button
It wasn’t until the holiday 2011 season that I actually analyzed the live Google Analytics — recently launched a few months back — on an ecommerce site. I looked where shoppers were going to get a better feel of user navigation. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that hit the ’email a friend’ button, a great feature to have in all your product pages. It helps spread the word in a quick and efficient way.
9. Show Products on Human Models
For sunglasses, t-shirts or anything that fits on a human, it can really help consumers to see it on someone. Showing products on models is very effective. It lets the online shopper have a much better understanding of the product.
10. Share Buttons
Social buttons are a great marketing tool for your product pages. These buttons allow users to post and share your product with their network of friends and family through Facebook, Twitter and countless social networks. I recommend using individual social buttons — such as the Facebook Like or Share button, the Tweet button, or Google +1 button — instead of an aggregate one. Individual social buttons are easier for shoppers to use, rather than clicking on an aggregate button and then choosing a specific site.
When you partner with Merch India, you work with a team of experts – artists who take your success seriously. (As seriously as you do.) It’s more than digital merchandising; it’s a commitment to surpass your every expectation at every opportunity.
Our Development Team can enhance customer communication, interaction, and engagement with your e commerce store and your social media. And wherever technology goes next, rest assured our team will always be a step ahead. It’s what we do.
From branding, online store design, and visual merchandising, to , UI/UX, social media and customer engagement we are a full-service creative agency. Our expertise delves into different disciplines, centered around enriching experiences for your customers. With a diverse stream of knowledge, we deliver complete Digital Merchandising solutions.