Top 10 Website Merchandising Strategies in 2022

Thanks to the recent boom in online shopping, eCommerce is now a priority for brands across every industry. To stay competitive, these brands need to get their website merchandising right.

Elevated eCommerce sales are set to continue throughout 2022. In fact, in the US, they’re on track to exceed $1 trillion for the first time ever. So it’s not too late to get started.

To help you take advantage of the surge in online shopping, here’s our comprehensive guide to website merchandising.

 

What is website merchandising?

Website merchandising is the process of promoting your products on your website. Also known as online merchandising, eCommerce merchandising or digital merchandising, it is a major component of any successful eCommerce strategy.

We’re all familiar with in-store merchandising, which is about attractive product displays and putting complementary products side by side. Website merchandising takes this process online and requires brands to carefully consider how they present their products on shoppers’ screens.

Everything from your homepage layout through to your choice of product categories can make it easier for shoppers to find relevant products and check out.

 

The importance of website merchandising

As online shopping grows, eCommerce merchandising is becoming more important. Luckily, brands that invest in it stand to gain a lot in return.

Website merchandising creates better customer experiences, which has the potential to increase page views and the time visitors spend on your website.

This can positively impact your bottom line through increased sales, greater Average Order Values and reduced cart abandonment.

 

The basics of website merchandising

Website merchandising starts with a great user experience. Before implementing complex strategies, it’s important for brands to ensure the basics are already in place.

eCommerce merchandising starts with making your products easy to find and check out. This means your website needs to have user-friendly navigation, intuitive menus and a mobile responsive design.

To help shoppers easily add items to their cart, brands can include CTAs on their category and search result pages, as well as their product pages.

US consumers abandon their online purchase for tons of different reasons. 24% say they’ve abandoned a cart because they didn’t want to create an account, 18% found the checkout process too complicated and 7% wanted more payment options.

So simple changes like providing guest checkouts, multiple payment methods and a quick checkout process can all nurture conversions.

 

10 effective eCommerce merchandising strategies

Once the basics have been taken care of, your brand can experiment with other online merchandising tactics. Here are ten proven strategies worth trying.

1. Carefully craft your homepage

Your homepage is usually the first thing a visitor sees when they search for your brand. So this is the best place to start your eCommerce merchandising efforts.

Brands can make products stand out on their homepage with eye-catching imagery, on-brand colours and clever layouts.

It’s a good idea to use this high traffic page to showcase products with high conversion rates and star ratings. To quickly take advantage of changing consumer behaviour, it’s wise to create a section for trending items too.

2. Group products together logically

Sometimes finding a precise product online can be tricky. That’s why brands need to carefully group their products together.

You should create product categories that allow shoppers to browse your site by product type or brand name. It’s also wise to build landing pages that direct shoppers to all the products featured in a particular ad campaign. Product filters are useful too.

To nurture conversions, product suggestions should also be chosen logically. Amazon uses algorithms to group recommendations under headings like: ‘Frequently bought together’ and ‘Recommended for you’. These recommendations generate more than a third of its sales.

3. Pay attention to visuals

In the world of web merchandising, brands are completely reliant on digital images to make their products pop.

They can use high-quality, zoomable product photos, 360-degree visuals, demo videos, lifestyle images and diagrams to make their products stand out on a shopper’s screen. Many brands even feed social media images through to their pages, so shoppers can get a taste of what they’re all about.

Graphic design elements can also be used to highlight product listings that are trending, low in stock or on special offer.

4. Boost order values with cross merchandising

Cross merchandising happens when complementary products are displayed side by side on the digital shelf. These products are usually thoughtfully combined to encourage consumers to buy more.

For example, alongside a digital camera, shoppers might see relevant accessories like a compatible zoom lens or a camera bag. This makes it easier for them to find items that they need, but it can also inspire spontaneous purchases.

Brands can easily implement cross merchandising through the use of product bundles, product suggestions, multi-buy discounts and any other content that showcases complementary products.

5. Perfect your product pages

Once a shopper clicks through to one of your product pages, it’s essential that you provide the information they need to convert.

Brands can do this with detailed descriptions and high quality images. Be sure to list any relevant product specifications, features, benefits, uses, delivery details, returns policies, warranties and guarantees.

Product page optimisation takes time but the process is pretty straightforward. Whenever possible, try to include social proof in the form of star ratings, customer reviews and user-generated content to maximise conversions.

6. Introduce personalised product suggestions

eCommerce personalisation can make shoppers feel valued and heard. That’s why most consumers say they’re more likely to buy something when their experience is personalised.

Providing shoppers with custom product recommendations, promotions and other tailored content is a great way to engage repeat customers and app users. One study even suggests that more than 40% of consumers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for this kind of content.

Customer segmentation, triggered messages and AI all offer ways to personalise your eCommerce merchandising. Brands without access to personal data can also use contextual product displays and suggestions to present shoppers with relevant products.

7. Promote products across your retailer network

If your brand sells products through third-party marketplaces or retailers, implementing Where to Buy technology on your website is an essential online merchandising strategy.

This allows you to promote products across your entire retailer network in a user-friendly way. It can even highlight product availability, precise stock levels and nearby stockists.

This empowers shoppers to easily navigate to their favourite retail site to complete their purchase.

8. Rotate your products

If your online store welcomes a lot of repeat traffic, rotating your homepage product displays is a simple, but effective, website merchandising strategy.

This provides exposure for more of your products and returning visitors are more likely to come across a product they want to buy.

9. Search bar merchandising

Brands can use their site search engine to direct shoppers to their most popular, best rated or highest margin products. Alternatively, search results can be personalised based on a user’s past behaviour.

Brands can also use autocomplete technology to highlight search terms related to their most popular products. They can even turn ‘no results found’ pages into digital merchandising opportunities by adding useful product recommendations and category page links.

This underutilised digital merchandising tactic is a great way to promote products while also improving the customer experience.

10. Shopping cart product pushes

Your shopping cart is an ideal spot for cross-selling, especially if you have a free shipping threshold.

Here, brands have a unique opportunity to showcase products related to the items in their shopper’s cart. Try to display low-cost items to encourage last-minute impulse purchases.

Final thoughts

A brand’s approach to merchandising will vary greatly depending on its products and target audience. So getting your digital merchandising right will require continual experimentation, A/B testing and data analysis.

Proof of an effective strategy will come in the form of growing sales, page views and order values. So be sure to keep track of these key eCommerce KPIs.