Ecommerce

Ecommerce Merchandising: Strategies to Boost Conversions in 2024

Last updated:
July 1, 2024

Ecommerce merchandising is the way you organize, present, and promote your products online.

Unlike traditional visual merchandising, there are lots more opportunities for online stores to offer personalized shopping experiences for every customer.

In this article, we share strategies to implement and improve your ecommerce merchandising, as well as trends to prepare for.

What Is Ecommerce Merchandising?

An Optimized Shopping Experience

Ecommerce merchandising is about optimizing your online store to deliver an engaging, streamlined shopping experience that drives sales.

It's a strategic approach to presenting and promoting products in a way that grabs attention and guides customers towards the purchase.

Think of it as the digital equivalent of a well-designed retail space—organizing and displaying products in an appealing way that makes browsing and buying a breeze.

In the online world, merchandising goes beyond aesthetics to leverage data and technology for a better customer experience and overall customer satisfaction.

A Cohesive Brand Identity

A key part of ecommerce merchandising is creating a consistent, high-quality site design that bolsters your brand identity with a polished, professional look.

From the layout and navigation to visuals and product descriptions, every element should reinforce who your brand is and what it stands for.

This cohesive branding builds credibility and trust with shoppers, and allows you to highlight your unique selling points and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Personalization Powers Sales

More importantly, the power of ecommerce merchandising lies in data-driven personalization.

By analyzing user behavior, ecommerce sites can tailor product recommendations, promotions, search results, and more to each customer's preferences and purchase patterns.

Personalized product feeds, customized landing pages, and targeted retargeting campaigns all work to serve the most relevant, compelling offers at just the right time.

This improves conversion rates and basket sizes and it's something that gives ecommerce businesses an edge over physical stores which may find it hard to collect data.

4 Must-Haves for a Successful Ecommerce Merchandising Strategy

Whether you're a seasoned online retailer or just starting, nailing your ecommerce merchandising strategy is crucial for driving sales and boosting conversions.

Think of it as the art of showcasing your products in the most enticing way possible. You'd want your virtual shelves stocked to perfection, with every item strategically placed to catch your customers' eyes.

Intuitive Product Grouping & Navigation

One of the keys to a winning merchandising strategy is grouping related products in a way that makes sense.

This provides a smoother online shopping experience and encourages cross-sells and upsells. It's how someone comes for a new pair of sneakers but leaves with a matching hat or backpack.

To make this happen, product attributes and categories play a big role. Group items by brand, product type, style, and price range, and conduct tests to figure out the best ways to organize them.

Engage with Visuals & Social Proof

In the world of online shopping, visuals are everything. High-quality images and product videos from multiple angles give customers a tangible sense of what they're buying and how they might use it.

Don't be afraid to get creative—use lifestyle shots, 360° product spins, or videos of the product in action.

User-generated content like customer reviews and ratings gives extra reassurance to new buyers. Shoppers typically don't buy without looking at what others say about the brand and product, especially for something they've never seen or touched in real life.

Personalized Product Recommendations

71% of customers expect personalization and 76% will switch if they don't enjoy the shopping experience.

By leveraging data on shopping behaviors and preferences, you can tailor the entire experience to each customer. Use attributes like gender, age, location purchase history and browsing behavior to refine search results and product recommendations.

Not only does this save your customers time by surfacing the most relevant items, but it also boost AOV.

Some powerful tactics for personalized merchandising include:

  • Dynamic product recommendations based on purchase history and browsing patterns.
  • Targeted promotions and special offers aligned with individual interests.
  • Personalized messaging and content across channels like email and social media.
  • Omnichannel consistency, ensuring a seamless experience regardless of touchpoint.

Social Commerce and Communities

Social commerce will continue to be a powerful merchandising tool in 2024 and beyond.

Leveraging social platforms to sell through sharing allows you to tap into huge networks of potential customers. It also humanizes your brand and fosters a sense of community around it.

Some ways to implement social commerce:

  • Partner with social influencers to promote targeted products through sponsored posts and stories.
  • Encourage customer sharing by offering discounts or rewards for referrals.
  • Livestream product demonstrations and Q&A sessions on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
  • Create communities around niche interests through forums, Facebook groups, and subreddits.
  • Respond quickly and meaningfully to customer questions and reviews posted on social media.
  • Get on TikTok Shop to allow a smooth transition from discovery to purchase.

The key is to meet customers where they already spend time, integrating seamlessly into their daily lives on platforms that have become second nature. With the right strategies in place, social commerce can supercharge your ecommerce merchandising and unlock a whole new growth channel.

Measuring ecommerce merchandising success

Track Key Metrics

To truly gauge the effectiveness of your ecommerce merchandising efforts, it's crucial to track key metrics like conversion rates, average order value (AOV), and customer acquisition costs.

Keep a close eye on product category conversion rates to identify high and low-performing categories—this insight can help optimize merchandising strategies.

Abandonment rates at the shopping cart and checkout stages are also telling—high abandonment could be a sign that product pages lack critical details, checkout processes are too complex, or shipping costs are too high.

Test and Iterate

Once you have key metrics in place, test different merchandising strategies to determine what works best for your business goals. Make small, targeted changes and carefully track the impact on performance.

Some variables to test include:

  • Product grouping and category structures
  • Product placement and rankings
  • Pricing and promotions
  • Product detail pages and recommendations
  • Imagery, video, and user-generated content

With the right combination of strategies, metrics, testing, and iteration, you can develop a winning ecommerce merchandising approach that maximizes conversions, grows revenue, and delights customers.

Analyze Customer Behavior

Thoroughly analyzing customer behavior can provide valuable insights for improving your ecommerce merchandising. Here are some approaches to try:

  • Conduct surveys and interviews to understand how customers navigate your site, what confuses them, and what they find most useful. Ask for specific suggestions for improvement.
  • Closely review your analytics data to see which products are most viewed but not purchased, and which receive the highest bounce rates and time on page. Make changes based on these insights.
  • Review customer service inquiries, product reviews, and social media mentions to identify pain points and opportunities for enhancement.
  • Analyze your customer data based on demographics, purchase history, preferences, and more.

By gathering actionable insights from customer behavior, you can make targeted improvements that boost conversion rates and optimize your online merchandising strategy.

Trends Shaping Ecommerce Merchandising in 2024

Personalization

In 2024, delivering personalized shopping experiences will be pivotal in boosting customer retention and revenue.

With data analytics and AI, brands are able to offer hyper-relevant product recommendations and upsells tailored to each shopper.

Beyond recommendations, brands leverage augmented reality to let you virtually try products before purchasing. This is ideal for visually-driven categories like fashion.

Mobile-First Optimization

With over 63% of ecommerce traffic from mobile devices, mobile optimization is non-negotiable.

Responsive design, voice search capabilities, and dedicated shopping apps create frictionless mobile journeys.

Streamlining checkout flows and prioritizing speed is key for converting mobile window shoppers.

Searchandising

Search has become an integral part of the ecommerce experience, with customers increasingly relying on site search to find products.

Merchandisers can use search engine optimization and personalization techniques to improve search results and boost conversions. This is known as "searchandising".

Some searchandising best practices include:

  • Use keyword research to identify relevant long-tail keywords related to your products. Optimize product pages, titles, and descriptions to target these keywords.
  • Provide robust filters and sort options to help shoppers narrow down results by price, brand, size, and other attributes.
  • Leverage AI to deliver personalized search results based on past purchases, wish lists, and browsing history. Show customers the products they are most likely to buy higher in search rankings.
  • Implement type-ahead search suggestions to guide customers as they enter search terms, displaying the most popular and relevant options.
  • Test different search result layouts to determine which drives the highest click-through and conversion rates. Consider options like grid, list, and image-based results.

Sustainability & Transparency

As consumers become increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment, sustainability and transparency will play a major role in ecommerce merchandising strategies in 2024.

Some actions merchandisers can take to promote sustainability include:

  • Offering eco-friendly product options made with recycled or organic materials.
  • Providing detailed information about the carbon footprint and lifecycle of products.
  • Implementing sustainable packaging solutions like reusable boxes, recycled paper bags, and compostable mailers.
  • Partnering with nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups focused on environmental issues.
  • Setting public goals and targets for reducing waste and emissions, then reporting progress transparently.

By communicating sustainability efforts clearly and frequently, ecommerce companies can build trust with socially conscious customers and attract new shoppers interested in minimizing their environmental impact.

Ecommerce Merchandising FAQs

What's the difference between ecommerce and retail merchandising?

Ecommerce merchandising focuses on optimizing online product displays and digital marketing to boost sales. In contrast, retail merchandising revolves around physical store layouts, product placement, and engaging offline interactions.

How can I create a cohesive brand identity online?

To craft a unified brand presence, first define your values, mission, and target audience. Ensure visual and messaging consistency across all touchpoints like logos, colors, imagery, and copy. Infuse this identity into your site design, product descriptions, and overall shopping experience.

What role does personalization play in merchandising?

Personalization allows tailoring customer experiences using data insights and behavior tracking. This means offering 1-to-1 personalized content—from product recommendations to messaging—boosting engagement, conversions, and loyalty.

Why is mobile optimization crucial?

With more shoppers browsing and buying via smartphones, mobile-friendliness is paramount. Prioritize easy navigation, fast load times, and streamlined checkout on mobile to maximize conversions.

How do I optimize product descriptions?

Highlight key features/benefits using descriptive language tailored to your audience using tools like a product description generator. Address common objections and frequently asked questions. Incorporate multimedia like images, videos, and 360° spins to enhance the online experience.

Conclusion

By focusing on optimizing product pages, improving navigation, leveraging cross-selling, showcasing social proof, and testing promotions, you can take your conversion rates to the next level.

The key is to constantly experiment and iterate based on data. The right strategies will show up in the form of numbers. That's when you know your ecommerce merchandising is done right.

Sushi
Growth
Sushi has years of experience driving growth across ecommerce, tech and education. She gets excited about growth strategy and diving deep into channels like content, SEO and paid marketing. Most importantly, she enjoys good food and an excellent cup of coffee.

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