On the surface, online and offline shopping experiences seem to be worlds apart, but take a closer look and you’ll spot many similarities. From making your brand known to building trust and creating a memorable customer experience, many of the principals and values we see applied to traditional bricks-and-mortar stores are just as relevant when applied to ecommerce retail stores.

In this post, we’ll explain the basics of merchandising and explain why it’s certainly not reserved for the high street.

What is online merchandising?

Online merchandising is the art of making products, services and offers displayed on a website look as enticing as possible. Merchandising includes a range of tasks, from deciding which products to feature on the landing page to analysing customer behaviour to see how placement affects engagement and sales.

There are many benefits to online merchandising, including:

  • Increasing average order size and SALES
  • Increasing conversions
  • Increasing awareness of products and/or brand
  • Improving product engagement
  • Ensuring customers are aware of all offers and promotions
  • Lower bounce rates because customers are able to find what they are looking for quickly

Why does online merchandising matter?

In 2016, a whopping £133bn was spent online with UK retailers. Online shopping has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and its popularity is only expected to grow.

Although this is great news for online retailers, it’s also important to recognise that the popularity of online shopping has also lead to a huge number of new ecommerce retailers flooding the market, each eager to grab a share of the action for themselves. What does this mean for you? Stiff competition.

Online merchandising, when done properly, is one of the best ways out there to get one up on the competition. It’s not enough to upload your products to your website and hope for the best, if you want to reap the rewards you’ll have to put a little effort in.

When approached correctly, online merchandising can:

Drive sales: Effective online merchandising will increase sales, it’s that simple. When done correctly, merchandising makes products more noticeable, enticing and increases their perceived value. What’s not to love?

Help you target your desired market: The way you merchandise your store says a lot about your brand. If your merchandising doesn’t reflect a powerful sense of who you are as a business and what you do, you won’t appeal to your desired market. Effective online merchandising will ensure that anybody who visits your online store knows instantly what your business is all about.

Make the most of your products: Online merchandising involves updating displays, rotating products and analysing user behaviour to see what sells and what doesn’t. Ignoring these tasks can mean that regular shoppers quickly become disinterested with what’s on offer and decide to shop elsewhere. A structured online marketing approach (regular rotation of products on display, etc.) will keep your store looking fresh, exciting and – most importantly – enticing.

Creative web design from Nettl of Bury

Do you want to set up an online store? Get started with a web shop from Nettl of Bury. all of our ecommerce web shops are fully optimised for mobiles and tablets as standard. Get in touch with our team today to book your free design consultation.