The Fast Lane
Discover the world of AI-driven shopping optimization and fast-track your way to increased conversion rates, AOV, and customer loyalty. Explore expert insights on e-commerce personalization, merchandising, site search, and more.
MerchandisingBest Practices to Optimize Your Website for Mobile eCommerce MerchandisingWith most people accessing websites on their mobile devices, optimizing your site for mobile can significantly enhance the shopping experience and improve your conversion rates. But that's not the only reason you should optimize your eCommerce site for mobile. Let's look at how having a mobile responsive website can improve your business and delve into best practices and emerging trends to enhance mobile eCommerce merchandising. Meet the Expert Jameela Ghann is a seasoned online store owner with over a decade of eCommerce experience. Apart from running Alora Boutique, she's also the marketing manager for Fera Product Reviews. » Want a better website layout? Start here. Why Mobile Responsiveness Matters Imagine visiting a website on your mobile device, and the page is cluttered, the buttons are tiny, and you have to zoom in and out to read the content. Frustrating, right? This is the experience you want to avoid for your customers. If your website is not mobile-optimized, you risk higher bounce rates and abandoned shopping carts. Mobile responsiveness ensures that your website adapts to different screen sizes and devices. It offers a seamless browsing experience, making it easier for users to explore your products, read descriptions, and make purchases. Best Practices to Optimize for Mobile eCommerce Merchandising 1. Prioritize Site Speed and Performance A slow-loading website can be a deal-breaker for mobile users. To improve site speed: Optimize images for mobile devices.Minimize server requests for faster load times.Use apps, such as those on Shopify, to help optimize images and improve page speed. 2. Streamline Navigation Make navigation on your mobile site user-friendly by: Using clear menu items and intuitive icons.Keep the design minimalistic.Ensure adequate spacing between clickable elements. This is something that search engines look for and can help boost your website's visibility. » Have you tried visual search? If not, you may want to check it out. 3. Simplify the Checkout Process Mobile users appreciate a hassle-free checkout process, and this is how to provide that: Implement guest checkout options.Minimize the number of fields in forms.Use quick checkout solutions like Shop Pay or PayPal. Now, let's explore how you can optimize mobile search functionality to improve product discovery. Enhancing Mobile Product Discovery 1. Clear Categories and Subcategories Organize your products into clear categories and subcategories to help users find what they're looking for. » Categories vs collections: Find out which is best for merchandising 2. Implement Predictive Search Incorporate predictive search functionalities into your mobile site that suggest real-time search queries to help users find products quickly. 3. Use Voice Search Explore voice search capabilities to cater to users who prefer voice-activated searches. If you can find an app that can help you with voice search and integrate it into your website or mobile platform, this can greatly enhance the user experience. Voice search optimization can also improve your website's visibility in search engine results as voice searches continue to grow in popularity. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of your search functionality depends on how well you've tagged, categorized, and described your products. » Improve your site's product descriptions with this handy guide. AI and Machine Learning for Mobile Product Recommendations AI and machine learning have the potential to revolutionize product recommendations on mobile eCommerce sites. Here's how: 1. Automated Product Descriptions You can use AI to generate product descriptions and tags based on specific keywords, ensuring that your content is SEO-friendly from the start. 2. Personalized Recommendations Machine learning algorithms can analyze user behavior and preferences to offer personalized product recommendations. You can then use these algorithms to create a more tailored and engaging shopping experience for your customers. 3. Upselling and Cross-Selling You can also integrate AI-powered apps into your eCommerce store to recommend popular or related products. Some examples include SEO Ant and Fera. These apps can automate various aspects of your eCommerce store, from SEO optimization to product recommendations. » Here's how to integrate AI personalization into your eCommerce website. Mobile-Exclusive Promotions and Offers Mobile-exclusive promotions can be a game-changer for boosting sales and conversions. They're effective because mobile users are more prone to impulsive buying due to the convenience of mobile shopping. Plus, the limited-time nature of these exclusive offers adds a sense of urgency. Running these promotions can lead to increased revenue, especially for low-cost and one-off products. Consider using mobile-exclusive promotions strategically, such as offering upsells in the cart exclusively for mobile users or providing limited-time discounts for mobile app users. Emerging Technologies in eCommerce Merchandising Looking ahead, several emerging technologies and trends are set to impact eCommerce merchandising, including Augmented Reality (AR). AR will transform mobile shopping by allowing users to visualize products in their environment, particularly in the beauty, fashion, and home decor industries. Mobile Is the Future Having a mobile responsive website is no longer optional for eCommerce businesses. It's a necessity, especially if you want to provide an excellent user experience and boost conversions. Embracing AI, improving mobile search functionality, and leveraging mobile-exclusive promotions can further enhance your mobile eCommerce strategy. And as technology continues to evolve, staying updated on emerging trends like augmented reality will be crucial for long-term success in the eCommerce landscape. » Discover even more benefits of AI for your business.
MerchandisingEcommerce Visual Merchandising Guide: Improving the Online Shopping ExperienceVisual merchandising is an essential aspect of eCommerce that can significantly impact customer experience and sales. As a merchandiser, you have many tools to create an engaging and visually stunning eCommerce experience for your customers. From designing navigation and product categories to using images and videos, every element of your online store can be strategically arranged to captivate and convert your customers. What Is Visual Merchandising? Visual merchandising is the process of designing and arranging the physical or digital presentation of products in a way that engages and entices customers. In eCommerce, visual merchandising refers to using online visual elements to create an appealing and intuitive shopping experience. Your website's design, layout, and product displays are the first things your customers see, and they can significantly impact their purchasing decisions. An effective visual merchandising strategy for eCommerce can help your business stand out from competitors, improve customer engagement, and ultimately drive sales. Pela: Sustainable Visual Merchandising Practices For example, by using high-quality product images, you can give your customers a clear idea of the product they're interested in, thereby increasing the likelihood of converting and purchasing. Plus, if you couple this with effective calls to action, such as prominent "Shop Phone Cases" or "Shop Watch Straps" buttons, it can also help guide customers toward the right category. A Look at Visual Merchandising in Traditional and Online Retail The goals of eCommerce vs. retail merchandising are the same: Drawing in customersBuilding brand awarenessEncouraging repeat purchasesStreamlining the shopping experience However, your visual merchandising strategy will vary depending on whether you're working in a brick-and-mortar store or an online marketplace. The key features, benefits, and drawbacks of each strategy are as follows: Retail Visual Merchandising Retail visual merchandising refers to curating product displays and layouts within physical stores to entice and captivate customers. ProsImmersive shopping experience with physical interactionEfficient product placement & optimized store layoutInstantaneous feedback for quick adjustmentsOpportunity for in-person engagement & personalized assistanceConsLimited reach due to physical locationSpace limitations affecting display optionsTime-consuming updates with static displays eCommerce Visual Merchandising eCommerce visual merchandising involves presenting products and arranging displays within online stores to maximize customer engagement. ProsPersonalization based on customer behavior and preferencesFlexibility with dynamic updates to adapt to trendsWider reach, accessible to a global audienceEnhanced data insights for data-driven decision-makingConsLack of physical interaction with productsTechnical challenges in managing an eCommerce platformSecurity and privacy concerns with customer data » Delve deeper into the similarities and differences between retail vs. eCommerce visual merchandising Creating a Visual Merchandising Plan Creating a cohesive and consistent visual identity is crucial for your eCommerce store. By ensuring that your website's visual elements, including colors, typography, and imagery, align with your brand values and target audience, you can establish a memorable and trustworthy image for your business. This, in turn, creates an immersive shopping experience that captivates your customers and drives results. Popular Visual Merchandising Elements Some examples of visual features that you can use to create an effective visual merchandising plan are as follows: Product images and photographyVideos and animationsColor schemes and typographyGraphics, icons, and illustrations Product displays and arrangementsNavigation and category designCalls-to-action (CTAs)Social proof elements » Here's how to optimize your eCommerce merchandising management The Benefits of Visual Merchandising 1. Increased Customer Engagement By creating an immersive and interactive experience, you can hold the attention of your customers for longer. Whether this is through videos and animations showcasing your products in action or giving your customers more options than they bargained for, the right visual merchandising strategy will keep your customers engaged. For example, popular designer Steve Madden gives their customers a view of their products from all sides. Each image is clickable and can be viewed in a larger format. Even the color variations of the particular shoe design are merchandised and easy to navigate. Because these merchandising elements help make the website easy to use, customers are encouraged to engage more. 2. Higher Conversion Rates Visual merchandising, coupled with the right prompts, can help you increase your conversion rates and sales. Effective calls-to-action can encourage your shoppers to take action and complete their purchase, while showcasing related or complementary products can encourage customers to make additional purchases. Keeping with the Steve Madden example, if customers are unsure how to style their purchase, the "Wear It With" section provides suggestions with clearly merchandised items to create a complete outfit. This gives Steve Madden the perfect opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. » Find out why product recommendations also require merchandising rules 3. Improved Brand Recognition Visual merchandising can improve brand recognition by establishing a consistent and memorable visual identity. When you use consistent branding across different touchpoints, you can create a strong visual presence that helps customers recognize your brand and strengthens your position in the marketplace. Additionally, incorporating user-generated content, such as customer photos and videos, can also help build customer trust and authenticity. For example, apart from social proof elements like product reviews and ratings, Steve Madden also encourages customer engagement on social media, where customers can share photos and stories of enjoying their purchases. » Discover how user generated content influences brand loyalty Boost Your Customer Satisfaction the Fast Way Visual merchandising is a vital aspect of your eCommerce store that significantly impacts customer experience and sales. By strategically arranging every element of your online store, from navigation and product categories to images and videos, you can create an engaging and visually stunning shopping experience for your customers. Implementing effective visual merchandising strategies such as high-quality product images, calls to action, consistent branding, and social proof elements can increase customer engagement and loyalty and ultimately lead to higher conversion rates. Therefore, it's essential to have a cohesive visual merchandising plan aligned with your brand identity, target audience, and business goals to drive results and stand out from competitors. » Explore this ultimate merchandising guide for more best practices
MerchandisingEcommerce Web Design: How to Create the Best Ecommerce Website Layouts for 2023First impressions matter. In fact, 94% of your customers' first impressions of your website are layout and design-related. So, revamping your e-commerce site to create an irresistible layout and merchandising strategy can be the first step toward boosting your conversions and keeping your customers coming back for more. Why Should You Have a Great Store Layout? Your store's layout affects your customers' entire shopping experience. A well-designed layout can help you: Showcase your products effectivelyMake navigation easyGuide your customers toward purchasing It can also improve customer engagement and increase loyalty, leading to higher conversion rates and increased revenue. This isn't lip service: a study by Adobe showed that 59% of people prefer browsing 'beautifully designed' sites to 'simple and plain' ones. Tip: Get constant customer feedback and A/B split test changes in your e-commerce site layout to create the perfect design. Understanding Your Target Audience Knowing your target audience is crucial when designing your e-commerce site because you can tailor the layout to their needs and preferences. If you know what your customers are looking for and how they like to shop, you can create a layout that resonates with them. Here are some specific examples of how understanding your target audience can inform your site design: Design for Mobile If your target audience is primarily mobile shoppers, your site should be optimized for mobile devices. This means using responsive design, simplifying your layout, and prioritizing quick load times. For example, Mersi Cookware & Co. targets moms, so they include large, high-quality lifestyle images and large buttons that are easy to view and click on a mobile device. Tip: If you need help determining the percentage of your mobile users, check your Google Analytics for the answer. » Ensure your e-commerce merchandising is optimized for m-commerce Prioritize Search If you find your target audience is looking for specific products on your site, you'll want to make those products easy to find. This means prioritizing the search functionality on your e-commerce site and making it visible and user-friendly. For example, 54kibo is a home goods store that targets busy parents, so they've included a prominent search bar on the homepage that lets their customers search for the products they need quickly. » Discover the benefits of e-commerce product engines for your store Highlight Social Proof If your target audience is skeptical or values the opinions of others, you need to incorporate social proof into your site design. This can include customer reviews, ratings, or testimonials that demonstrate the quality and value of your products. For example, Fiji Water features their customer reviews on their product pages to boost the relevant product's credibility. A customer sees the rating system first, and then it takes them to testimonials when they click on it. Tip: You can determine if your customers are skeptical about your products by searching for your brand name followed by "reviews" or "unboxing" in Google. » Enhance your e-commerce and merchandising strategies with personalized reviews Key Elements of an Irresistible Layout An irresistible layout for e-commerce stores should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for conversions. Clear and intuitive navigation Navigation should be easy and intuitive, with a clear hierarchy of categories and subcategories that allows your shoppers to quickly and easily find what they're looking for.High-quality product images Using only the best images is essential for showcasing your products and giving your shoppers a clear idea of what they're buying. These images should be well-lit, high-resolution, and show the product from multiple angles. You should also use a Web format for quick loading times!Distinct and consistent color and branding Your e-commerce store's branding should reflect your company's values and personality. This includes a well-designed logo, a cohesive color scheme, and typography.Persuasive product descriptions Product descriptions should be compelling and informative to highlight your products' benefits. This helps your shoppers make informed decisions and encourages them to purchase. Apple: Customers Like Them Apples Apple's e-commerce site encompasses the majority of these elements. The site has a sleek and minimalist design with a clear focus on the products. The ample use of white space helps to create a clean and uncluttered layout and highlights the products on display. The product images are large and high-quality, while the calls-to-action are clear and prominent in blue. Best Practices for Layout Design Keep It Uncluttered An uncluttered layout design can help shoppers focus on what's important—your products. Avoid cluttered layouts with too many graphics or distracting elements that can confuse or overwhelm your visitors. Use White Space White space, or the empty space around design elements, can help create a clean, organized layout that's easy to navigate. It also draws attention to the key elements of your site, such as your products and call-to-action buttons. Follow a Grid System Using a grid system can help you create a balanced and visually appealing layout. A grid system can help you ensure that your design elements are aligned, consistent, and easy to follow. Make It Accessible Accessibility is crucial in e-commerce. You can follow these tips to ensure your site is accessible: Use descriptive alt tags for images.Ensure website compatibility with assistive technologies.Use high-contrast colors.Provide captions and/or transcripts for multimedia content.Avoid relying on color alone to convey information.Ensure keyboard navigation functionality.Test the website with users who have disabilities. Call-to-Action Buttons Clear and prominent call-to-action buttons should be used throughout your site to guide shoppers toward buying. Incorporating these key elements into your e-commerce layout will help you create a visually appealing site that is easy to navigate and optimized for conversions. Fast-Track Your E-Commerce Success Don't let a poor layout design hold back your e-commerce success. By incorporating key elements such as clear branding, easy navigation, high-quality images, and persuasive product descriptions, you can revamp your e-commerce site's layout to engage shoppers and encourage them to make a purchase. » Dive deeper into this ultimate merchandising guide to drive your store forward
MerchandisingHistory of Merchandising: How Strategies Have ChangedWhen you think of merchandising, you probably think of a modern-day storefront that's online or brick-and-mortar. But what many people don't realize is that the history of merchandising goes back to ancient times. Even in the cradle of civilization, bustling bazaars and vibrant trade routes depended on core merchandising principles to sell and exchange goods. Below, we explore the history of merchandising and how strategies have changed through 3 main periods: Ancient roots of merchandisingGolden age of brick-and-mortar retailDigital revolution and eCommerce merchandising Ancient Roots of Merchandising Merchandising and trade go hand in hand—and trade can be traced back to the earliest human civilizations, like Mesopotamia and Egypt. These ancient cultures laid the foundation for commerce and trade practices that continue to shape and influence merchandising as we know it today. Just picture it: lively marketplace scenes that go on for miles. Packed bazaars adorned with exotic goods. Buzzing trade routes connecting villagers from distant lands. In these environments, sellers used different merchandising strategies to make sure their businesses were noticed and patronized: Visual display: Merchants skillfully displayed their wares, enticing customers with colorful textiles, fragrant spices, and precious metals.Product demonstrations: Merchants often demonstrated the quality and usefulness of their wares to prospective buyers. For example, they might showcase the durability of a tool.Bartering and haggling: Buyers and sellers engaged in lively interactions and negotiations until a mutually agreeable exchange was reached. Golden Age of Brick-and-Mortar Retail Fast forwarding through the medieval period, Renaissance, and Industrial Revolution gave rise to trade fairs, printed materials, mass production, and department stores. The result of these advancements is the 20th century, when brick-and-mortar retail was at its high point. Specialty stores, supermarkets, and grand shopping malls lured in shoppers with: Impeccable visual displaysCaptivating store layoutsUnforgettable in-store promotions From the bright lights and shiny floors of department stores to the cozy atmosphere of mom-and-pop shops, there was something for everyone. Shoppers loved to browse through aisles of merchandise, interact with friendly salespeople, and take home new purchases. Brick-and-mortar retailers understood the importance of creating a memorable shopping experience, and they went to great lengths to make sure that their customers felt special. The golden age of brick-and-mortar retail may be over, but the impact it left on our consumer culture still lives on. Up to 85% of US consumers are returning to in-store shopping to rekindle the physical shopping experience. What does this mean for online retailers?A bigger investment in omnichannel merchandising can help sellers to give their customers the right engagement at the right time. Seamless integration of online and offline shopping experiences is crucial and allows customers to move fluidly between various channels and touchpoints. » Explore more differences between eCommerce vs retail merchandising Digital Revolution and eCommerce Merchandising The digital revolution led to a massive shift in the retail industry, giving rise to the booming world of eCommerce. With the birth of online platforms, traditional brick-and-mortar stores faced new challenges and opportunities. Merchandising strategies swiftly adapted to the online landscape, leveraging technology to enhance customer experiences. This includes: Data analytics: A powerful tool that provides valuable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. Today's retailers harness this information to refine their merchandising approaches and create tailored shopping experiences for each customer.User-generated content (UGC): Reviews, ratings, and social media interactions influence purchasing decisions. Savvy retailers integrate UGC into their product displays and promotional campaigns, building trust and engaging with their customer base. The digital revolution disrupted traditional retail, but it also opened up new doors. Retailers can reach global audiences, operate 24/7, and leverage targeted marketing strategies. The boundaries between physical and digital worlds blurred, making way for concepts like click-and-collect and showrooming. » Need more merchandising guidance? Follow these eCommerce merchandising do's and don'ts Popular Merchandising Strategies We Still Use Today Upselling and cross-selling Upselling encourages customers to purchase a higher-priced item, while cross-selling suggests complementary products. In a physical store, a salesperson skillfully recommends a pricier version or additional products at the checkout counter. But in eCommerce, personalized recommendations and "Customers who bought this also bought [x]" sections take center stage.Product bundling Product bundling involves grouping related items together and selling them as a package at a discounted price. For example, a hardware store may bundle gardening tools, fertilizers, and seeds to entice gardening enthusiasts. Similarly, an online grocery store may offer a pantry essentials kit with snacks and certain dry, bottled, or canned staples.Personalization Personalization means customizing shopping experiences to match customers' preferences. In a physical store, salespeople can remember and suggest suitable products during future visits. In eCommerce, algorithms analyze customers' browsing and purchase history to deliver tailored product recommendations. Imagine an online bookstore suggesting books based on your favorite titles or preferred genres.Influencer marketing Influencer marketing involves collaborating with individuals who have a substantial public following and leveraging their reach to promote your brand. In traditional retail, a beauty store might partner with a local influencer and host a meet & greet to attract customers. In eCommerce, a cosmetics brand may partner with a beauty vlogger to promote products via Instagram or TikTok. The Future of Merchandising It's easy to live our day-to-day lives without realizing how deeply ingrained the history of merchandising is in the fabric of society. From ancient trading routes to the golden age of brick-and-mortar to the digital revolution, merchandising grows and morphs along with us. Merchandising practices have continuously adapted to meet changing consumer demands and technological advancements. It's critical to understand the history of merchandising if you truly want to inform effective strategies in the present and future retail landscape. » Keep an eye on these future merchandising trends to stay ahead of your competition
MerchandisingE-commerce Homepage: 4 Best Practices for Promotions (+ Examples)Your e-commerce homepage is often the first thing your visitors see, so it's a crucial place to showcase promotions and make sure your merchandising is on point. After all, potentially 67% of your visitors can make unplanned purchases based on a promotion. To help you get started, consider these best practices with examples to convert visitors to your e-commerce homepage into customers. 1. Keep It Simple Simplicity is key when it comes to your e-commerce homepage promotions. If your text and visuals are too busy or confusing, you'll lose the critical window of opportunity to capture and keep your customers' attention. This window is extremely short—just 3 seconds. But when you have a clear, consistent, and concise message, you're able to drive your customers through the funnel quickly and more efficiently. They'll know exactly what the offer is and what they need to do next. Amazon: No-Frills Promotions Amazon's "Today's Deals" page does a great job of this. The page starts with categories of products, including a crisp photo with a white background to represent each category. This helps users easily navigate to the types of products they're looking for. This visual merchandising strategy continues down the page with intuitive organization, clear photos, descriptive titles, and badges that show the percentage discount. » Enhance your visual merchandising to create an engaging e-commerce experience 2. Highlight the Value Proposition It's critical that, right off the bat, your customers recognize why your promotion is worth their time and money. They must be encouraged to take action and convert. You can do this by being clear about the terms of your promotion. If it's a discount, state the percentage or dollar value clearly up-front. Don't make them fish around for the most relevant information. Sephora: The Beauty of a Good Deal Sephora's "Beauty Offers" section states the 50% discount in a bright pink bar across the top of the page. This also includes how long the promotion is running, which further grabs the customers' attention and piques their interest. An additional merchandising technique is showing which of the discounted items are already sold out by using an "Out of Stock" button instead of an "Add" button. This builds extra value for customers, creating the impression that these items are so hot they'll be gone soon if customers don't act fast. » Ensure your promotions stand out and drive traffic with promotional tiles 3. Create A Sense Of Urgency When your message instills a sense of urgency and limited supply, your customers are less likely to say, "Maybe later..." and more likely to say, "Gotta have it!" You can create urgency through the "limited time offer" or "limited stock left" sections on your e-commerce homepage. H&M: Not Fashionably Late H&M chose to offer free shipping on orders for a limited time. This is communicated through a banner that runs across the top of the screen, claiming, "Free shipping ends tonight!" To drive home the urgency of the offer further, H&M includes a countdown timer that shows how many hours are left until the promotion expires. This is a classic e-commerce strategy to alert shoppers that the good deals won't last. Underneath this, another brighter banner advertises the Winter Sale, which gives access to deals up to 50% off. Combined, these two banners create a visual hierarchy that packs a powerful punch to create urgency and nudge shoppers to make a purchase they otherwise may not have made. » Implement these critical visual merchandising strategies to drive sales 4. Personalize Promotions Personalization can help you stand out from the competition and build strong relationships with customers. It also assures customers that you "get them" and have an understanding of what they're looking for when they shop. A study from Accenture showed that a whopping 91% of respondents said they're more likely to shop with brands that personalize the shopping experience and provide recommendations accordingly. This fact is no hard-kept secret. Customers expect personalization—and will go elsewhere when brands don't provide it. Netflix: Personalize Your Watchlist Netflix runs on one of the most successful and well-known personalization engines in the world. It churns out a never-ending list of suggestions based on titles you've already watched as well as titles that are popular in certain regions and within certain categories. It keeps people locked in for hours of viewing. In the e-commerce world, personalization can be found everywhere, from global powerhouses like Amazon to mom-and-pop shops. » Delve deeper into how personalization can help merchandising Maximize Your E-commerce Success the Fast Way Effective e-commerce homepage promotions can be a game-changer if you want to attract and retain customers. When executed well, they can paint a bright, vivid picture for your customers about the opportunities and deals they have access to. By implementing these merchandising strategies and best practices, you can deliver an incredible user experience, draw your customers in, lead them to exactly what they're looking for, and keep them coming back for more. In today's highly competitive online marketplace, can your e-commerce business afford to ignore the power of effective promotions on your homepage?
MerchandisingResponsive Web Design: Craft a Seamless E-commerce UX (+ Examples)Did you know that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad user experience? In today's supercharged digital age, using virtual merchandising techniques, such as responsive web design, to craft a seamless e-commerce UX is a necessity. More consumers than ever are shopping on different types of devices, so your web design must be able to respond to your customers' needs. What Is Responsive Web Design? Responsive web design allows web content to adapt how it is displayed based on the user's device, window size, and screen size. The user's browser will detect the device being used and morph the site's layout. This can include altering the layout to optimize the site's text, images, and other design elements for the screen. For example, condensing three columns on a desktop version to one easy-to-scroll column for mobile. E-commerce sites that can standardize the user experience with seamless functionality between different devices can achieve: Happier customersStreamlined engagementMore conversions » Consider the differences between adaptive vs. responsive design 1. Mobile-First Design Strategy A mobile-first design strategy prioritizes the web page design for mobile, then adapts it for larger screens. This way, you can avoid: GlitchesIrregular displaysBroken imagesOther technical issues that occur when you design for desktop size first A mobile-first design strategy leads to faster site speeds and an overall better user experience. Here are some of the core focuses when using this strategy: Minimal designVisual hierarchiesContent-focusedBold, consistent CTAsGrid systemsTouch navigation Targus: Geared Up And User-Friendly Targus, an electronics and accessories store, effectively implements a mobile-first design strategy with large, easy-to-click blue CTAs and capitalized headings to guide the user through the page. The site uses visual hierarchies, minimal design, and touch navigation for an overall better user experience. » See why customers are leaving your e-commerce store and how to make them stay 2. Flexible Grids and Images Flexible grids and image use can fortify your visual merchandising techniques, which can help boost conversions and create long-lasting customer relationships. This also allows the web pages to adjust to the customers' browsing behaviors. Flexible grids are a method of dividing a page into multiple columns and rows, which you then pop your content and user interface (UI) elements into. Zachys: Brimmed With Variety Zachys is a family-owned e-commerce store that sells wines and spirits. Their site highlights how flexible grids can be used to create a visually appealing and functional mobile site. Its fluid layout with columns (see on the right) and different image sizes gives an intuitive way to engage with the product offerings. Combined with the use of bold heading fonts and easy navigation, like side arrows, the layout offers a visually stimulating experience that entices users to explore more and convert. Tip: To accomplish flexible grids, you can use percentages instead of fixed pixel widths when designing a page. » Explore this helpful list of the best e-commerce merchandising strategies and practices 3. Navigation and Menus Clear and intuitive navigation helps create smart collections on your site, which can boost conversions because users can explore your page effortlessly and intuitively. An effective path is what users will take to get to know your brand, browse through your inventory, and eventually make a purchase. A common menu technique that works across different devices is the hamburger menu. A hamburger menu is an interactive visual that consists of three horizontally stacked lines. It allows you to keep a full menu in a compact and expandable format, so it's only visible when users click it. Other beneficial tips include: Using collapsible or expandable dropdown menus and sub-categories.Styling with fonts and colors to enforce hierarchies.Keeping the design simple and clean to minimize distractions.Maintaining consistent navigation and menus across all pages. Spiceology: Guided By Spice Spiceology, a premium spices and herbs retailer, leverages its visual hierarchy from a navigation, typography, and graphics perspective. This can help them optimize customer experience and drive conversions. The site maintains consistent navigation, with slight tweaks, like the hamburger menu (see image 1), for mobile. It uses expandable menus and sub-categories with pictures (see images 2 and 3), plus bold CTAs (see image 1) for easier navigation. The white background and bold black text help users scan without clutter distracting them. Using varying expansion types and heading sizes enforces a desired conversion hierarchy. This refers to the expandable headings (see image 2) being the main product categories and the smaller headings highlighting other site features less aligned with higher sales and conversions. Benefits of Responsive Web Design This design strategy offers the following positives that can lead to higher engagement and conversions: Improved user experience: Ensures a seamless user experience across all devices.Increased reach: Research shows about 76% of Americans make purchases only on mobile devices. Responsive web design enables your site to seamlessly reach users on various device types.Cost-effectiveness: Eliminates the need for separate mobile and desktop sites, which can help lower development and maintenance costs.Improved SEO: You can achieve better search engine rankings and visibility by providing a consistent user experience across devices. » Find out why the e-commerce world is moving to no-code design Fast Potential For Fast UX Responsive web design can help you ensure your e-commerce site provides a seamless user experience across various device types. You can adopt multiple fundamentals of this design strategy based on your merchandising and business goals. Understanding user intent and prioritizing user behavior and preferences can contribute to better brand recognition, improved reach and engagement, and more conversions and sales.
MerchandisingeCommerce Product Pages: 5 Best Practices to Improve Online MerchandisingProduct pages can make or break a sale. This is where you showcase your products in the best possible light to convince potential customers to become paying customers. Below, we list and discuss five best practices you can apply to your eCommerce product pages to improve your online merchandising techniques and ultimately boost your sales. 1. Use High-Quality Product Images Visual appeal has a high impact. About 85% of your customers feel product images are important to help them make their purchase decisions. Your customers must be able to picture the product and its quality clearly, as well as understand how it will fit into their lives, before buying it. Here are some tips for selecting and displaying product images: Use high-quality equipment to capture optimal lighting and details.Choose angles that showcase the product's best features and unique selling points.Provide context through lifestyle images, demonstrations, or showing the product in use. Steve Madden: A Step in the Right Direction Steve Madden, a global fashion brand, uses multiple images to showcase this pair of high heels from different angles. Plus, there's even an image of someone wearing the shoes. This allows customers to get a full idea of the shape and details of the product. It also helps customers imagine how they could wear it if they were to make the purchase. Attention to detail and keeping the customer informed visually by using a display merchandising optimizer can help you improve conversions. » Want to improve search? Find out why your store needs visual discovery 2. Write Clear and Detailed Product Descriptions Product descriptions should provide a laser-sharp idea of your product's specifications, like ingredients, materials, dimensions, and weight. You can even try to incorporate storytelling elements to engage and meet your shoppers' intent. Enticing product descriptions can include: Descriptive, specific language that paints a picture of the product and its uses.Simple language that's easy to understand for any audience.Benefits that show how the product can improve your customer's life.Bullet points and formatting that are easy to read and digest. Spiceology: A Dash of Engaging Details Spiceology, a spice and herbs store, provides creative copy to engage customers. It mentions ingredients, foods the seasoning can be used on, and information about how well the product sells. This combination can excite and inspire customers to use this product in their own cooking, which can increase the chance of a purchase. Additionally, Spiceology also includes collapsible sub-sections that include bulleted lists on their product images. These provide a summarized, easy-to-digest view of the copy. This can be perfect for those skimming for key information before making a purchase. 3. Include Product Reviews and Ratings With more than 99.9% of customers reading reviews when shopping online, it's crucial to make these readily available. Social proof, like product reviews and ratings, is a top-tier way to show your customers that they can trust you and the products you sell. Some tips for building trust through your product reviews and ratings are: Use a third-party review platform like REVIEWS.io to collect and display reviews and ratings.Respond to customer feedback, both positive and negative.Use star ratings and customer comments to showcase the overall product experience. Targus: It's in the Bag Targus, an electronics and accessories brand, helps encourage purchases with easy-to-access and detailed reviews. From any product page, you can easily click on the review and rating. This then auto-directs you lower on the page, where average ratings based on categories like "Quality" and an overview of customer review images are included. Then, for even further detail, each of the reviews appears in full with ratings and whether the past customer recommends the product. » Learn the importance of personalization in your eCommerce strategy using reviews 4. Highlight Calls-to-Action Your calls-to-action (CTAs) should be clear and concise for more efficient online visual merchandising, so you can guide your customer intuitively through the purchasing steps. Here are a few ways you can implement effective CTAs: Customers should be able to find CTAs instinctively and shouldn't have to search for them.CTAs should be clear about what action the customer is expected to complete.CTA colors should stand out but still work with the overall page and website design. Zachys: Pour Us Some Clear CTAs Zachys, a wine and liquor store, uses deep red for the CTA, which stands out against the white background and matches other design elements on the page, such as the search button and price. Additionally, the color can allude to red wine, which fits their product offerings. The standout CTA helps guide the customer to complete a purchase. Plus, the CTA is clear about what it does with "Add to Cart" marked on it. 5. Personalize Product Recommendations Product recommendations are key to successful upselling and cross-selling, which are fundamental methods to help boost your average order value (AOV) and overall revenue. Some tips for identifying products to upsell or cross-sell are as follows: Use personalized recommendations based on the customer's previous purchases or browsing history.Evaluate data analytics to find related products that other customers have purchased with the main product.Offer bundles and promotions that include products that can be used alongside the main product. Princess Polly: Complete the Look in One Sale Princess Polly, an online fashion retailer, uses personalization based on each customer's previously clicked history, which can inspire larger AOVs. By including a "Complete the Look" section on each product page, they have the opportunity to cross-sell to their customers by suggesting other products that can be worn with the particular item being viewed. Plus, by offering options, like two similar necklaces, the brand gives their customers a choice. Because the necklaces are priced differently, Steve Madden also has the chance to upsell the more expensive necklace. » Learn more about the benefits of upsell and cross-sell personalization The Power of Effective Online Merchandising Online merchandising can make or break your eCommerce store. When you use the right strategies, you'll see a boost in sales and even lifetime customer loyalty. But remember that your store and customers are unique, so don't worry if what works for one brand doesn't work for you. Put these online merchandising best practices to the test and personalize them for your store and customers to increase your conversions.
MerchandisingCreate Successful eCommerce Product Bundle Strategies (+ Merchandising Examples)Product bundles are the ultimate win-win for both your customers and your business. Your customers will love them because they can get more for less. Your business will thrive because bundles increase AOV (by as much as 20%) and keep those slow-selling items flying off the virtual shelves. Here's everything you need to know about creating successful eCommerce product bundle strategies with practical merchandising examples. What Is Product Bundling? Product bundling is when a store owner sells two or more products together as one package, often at a discounted price. For instance, a PC retailer may offer a bundle that includes a desktop, monitor, and webcam. This tactic aims to increase your profits by enabling you to sell more inventory and provide additional value to your customers. Benefits of product bundling include: Increased sales Bundling boosts sales by incentivizing customers to purchase multiple items together.Higher customer satisfaction Bundling offers convenient and cost-effective solutions, enhancing customer satisfaction.Improved profit margins Bundling at higher price points can increase profit margins through perceived value. There are several different types of product bundles you can create. The most effective ones include: 1. Complementary Bundles Complementary bundling is the practice of grouping two or more products that are functionally related and selling them at a combined price. This cross-selling approach offers several advantages, including improved customer satisfaction and increased sales. Here's how to effectively create a complementary bundle: Choose related products Choose items that naturally complement each other and offer value to customers when bundled together for cross-selling.Make it attractive Offer a discounted price or additional perks to make the bundle irresistible to customers.Promote, promote, promote Market the bundle through various channels to create awareness and generate interest among customers. Spiceology: Herb Bundle for Happy Customers Spiceology is America's fast-growing spice company, offering great deals on herbs, spices, and other seasonings. Their Herbaceous Bundle deal includes two popular dried herb mixes that home and professional chefs are likely to use when experimenting with new flavors. They clearly display the 15% discount—along with a "Sale" badge—and the original and discounted prices to make sure shoppers don't miss this bundle deal. This cross-selling strategy works by offering customers a curated selection of products that work well together—at a discounted price—providing them with more value and convenience. » Unsure when it's best to cross-sell? Find out where in the conversion funnel you should cross-sell 2. Mix-and-Match Bundles Mix-and-match bundles allow customers to pick multiple products from a range of options. Merchants can specify different options for any given product, and customers can choose their preferred ones to create their own custom bundle. This tailored experience not only boosts customer satisfaction but also encourages brand loyalty and repeat purchases. To create a mix-and-match bundle, you should: Empower customers Let customers choose their own products to bundle, giving them the freedom to curate a personalized package that aligns with their preferences.Offer incentives Provide discounts or exclusive offers for bundling to entice customers to add more items to their cart and increase AOV.Simplify navigation Ensure the bundle is easy to navigate and use, with clear instructions on how to mix different items. A well-thought-out product description can go a long way toward attracting and retaining customers. My Raw Joy: A Joyful Mix-and-Match Shopping Experience My Raw Joy, an organic snacks store, offers a unique "Mix & Match Bundle" option that allows customers to handpick their desired flavors of raw chocolate bars. This strategy empowers customers to create a customized bundle that aligns with their individual taste preferences. The result is a delightful and personalized snacking experience that encourages customers to make repeat purchases. 3. Seasonal Bundles Seasonal bundles are curated product packages that are designed to align with specific seasons, events, or holidays. You can offer timely and relevant products to customers with these bundles. For example, you can create special bundles for the summer holidays, ski season, Thanksgiving, etc. Below are the steps to creating your seasonal bundle: Choose relevant products Choose products that are aligned with the season or holiday you're targeting. For example, heart-shaped chocolates for Valentine's Day.Add value Encourage customers to purchase the seasonal bundle by offering a special discount or added value. This could be a percentage off the total bundle price or exclusive seasonal packaging.Promote effectively Promote the seasonal bundle through various channels. Highlight the limited-time nature of the bundle to create a sense of urgency and excitement among customers. CURATEUR: Convenient Curated Seasonal Deals A great example of a Christmas bundle comes from CURATEUR, an eCommerce retail community offering products hand-selected by renowned stylist Rachel Zoe. The company offers a "Home for the Holidays Set", which is available for a limited time only. This strategy created a sense of urgency, enticing customers to make a purchase. By offering a prepackaged bundle, CURATEUR made it convenient for customers to shop for Christmas-themed items, enhancing the overall customer experience during the holiday season. 4. Upgrade Bundles Upgrade bundles are collections of premium or high-margin products that businesses use to upsell and cross-sell to customers. For example, a computer brand may offer an upgrade bundle featuring a higher-priced, more advanced laptop model along with additional accessories or features. This strategic approach not only improves profitability but also lets you provide a memorable customer experience. Here are the steps to create an upgrade bundle: Choose higher-end versions Choose upgraded versions or additional features that complement the original product.Offer incentives Offer perks like freebies or exclusive bonuses to encourage customers to opt for the upgrade bundle.Market it well Use social media, newsletters, and influencer marketing to highlight the unique value of the upgrade bundle. Tank Shop: Upselling the Strategic Way Tank Shop, a high-quality bathroom fixtures retailer, utilizes an effective bundling strategy by offering an upgrade bundle for their toilet flush. This bundle includes a Max Chamber Upgrade Kit with additional features such as a dual-flush mechanism and water-saving options. This strategy creates added value for customers, incentivizes them to upgrade their purchases, and can result in increased sales for the business. » Take a closer look at how to choose which products to upsell 5. Subscription Bundles Subscription bundles are a convenient way for merchants to offer a recurring subscription service that includes a carefully chosen collection of products or services. Customers can choose the frequency of delivery, such as weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly, and receive the bundled items on a regular basis without having to reorder each time. This approach provides convenience to customers and a recurring revenue stream to businesses. To create your first subscription bundle, you'll need to: Choose suitable items Select products that are well-suited for a subscription model, such as consumables, replenishable items, or complementary products that work well together.Provide incentives Motivate customers to subscribe by offering incentives such as free shipping, loyalty rewards, or personalized upsell and cross-sell product recommendations based on their preferences.Promote effectively Highlight the convenience and benefits of the subscription model while promoting your bundle via social media or email and SMS marketing. AIA Beauty Bundle: Monthly Beauty Product Top-Up A great example of a subscription bundle is the AIA Beauty Bundle, which includes a curated selection of skincare and beauty products delivered to customers on a monthly basis. This subscription bundle makes sense as skincare and beauty products are typically used regularly and require replenishment. The convenience of receiving such products on a recurring basis saves customers time and effort while also generating recurring revenue for the brand. » Interested in subscriptions? We summarize the main benefits of a subscription-based eCommerce model Fast-Forward Your Business Success With eCommerce Product Bundles Keep in mind that product bundles are the secret sauce to sweetening your eCommerce offerings. But it's not just about tossing random items together. Embrace the power of testing and refining your product bundling strategies based on customer feedback, market trends, A/B testing, and data analysis. With strategic product bundling, you'll have your customers coming back for more and your business thriving with success! » Bundles are just the start. Learn more about upsell & cross-sell personalization to boost sales
MerchandisingCreate Irresistible eCommerce Product Descriptions: 5 Tips to Count OnCompelling product descriptions can increase sales and improve customer experience. Up to 67% of shoppers say that eCommerce product descriptions are a deciding factor in their purchase decision. That's why it's essential to create irresistible eCommerce product descriptions as part of your merchandising strategy to attract customers and boost sales. From audience segmentation to focusing on benefits, we'll show you five ways to make your product descriptions powerful to increase conversions and grow your online business. 1. Know Your Target Audience To create product descriptions that resonate with your customers, you must understand shoppers' intent, preferences, and pain points. Knowing who your customers are will help you tailor your messaging and ensure that your product descriptions address their specific needs and interests. You can research your audience by: Analyzing demographics Start by nailing down the demographics of your target audience, such as age, gender, location, and income.Using social media Social listening is a great way to improve your product descriptions. Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see how your customers describe your products or your competition.Gathering customer feedback Ask your customers for feedback on your product descriptions with post-purchase surveys. You can use this feedback to refine your product descriptions and make them more effective. » Discover different customer segmentation strategies to grow your eCommerce business 2. Use Attention-Grabbing Headlines The headline of your product description is the first thing potential customers will see. It's essential to write product headlines or product roundup headlines that are attention-grabbing and prevent customers from leaving your store too soon. To create impactful headlines, you should: Use Numbers Including numbers in your headlines is a great eCommerce merchandising tactic that makes headlines more specific and eye-catching. For example, HaiRegrow includes "100% Natural" in their product heading, adding a unique selling point to the simple description, "Men Beard Oil". Ask Questions Asking a question in your product headline can pique your shopper's curiosity and encourage them to scroll further down your product page. For example, "Looking for the Perfect Gift? Discover Our Top Picks" is more likely to grab attention than "Gift Ideas". Create a Sense of Urgency Using urgent language in your headline can create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourage shoppers to take action. For example, Sephora uses "Just-Dropped Scents" or "This Just In" because it resonates better than "New Products". Similarly, you can highlight any limited-time promotions like product bundle offers or discounted prices. Tip: If you're struggling to think of creative, eye-catching headlines, try ChatGPT to elevate your marketing strategy. Be as specific as possible when giving ChatGPT instructions, and the AI-driven chatbot will come up with lists of possible headlines in just a few seconds. 3. Focus on Benefits, Not Just Features Any successful eCommerce marketer will tell you that benefits far outweigh features when it comes to product marketing, including product descriptions. Benefits are the emotional appeal of your product, which will ultimately persuade customers to click "add to cart". Highlight the Results Show customers the end result of using your product. For example, instead of saying, "Our vacuum has a strong suction", say, "Our vacuum will leave your floors spotless and your home feeling fresh and clean". Focusing on the benefits and results of your product that speak directly to your customers' needs and emotions will lead to increased sales and customer satisfaction. » The layout of your product descriptions is also important. Explore how to create an irresistible layout 4. Use Descriptive and Sensory Language Using descriptive and sensory language in eCommerce product descriptions can help make your products more memorable and appealing. It can create a more vivid picture of your product in your customers' minds, allowing them to imagine using and enjoying it. Use Strong Adjectives Use language that paints a picture of how your product will benefit your customer. For example, instead of saying, "Our shampoo has natural ingredients", say, "Our shampoo will leave your hair feeling soft, shiny, and smelling amazing". Appeal to the Senses Appealing to the senses using sensory words can help customers imagine using your product. For example, in Sephora's product description, the lip color has a "juicy sensation" when applied to the lips. Use Comparisons Comparing your product to something else, especially something tangible and commonplace, can help customers understand its unique qualities. You can say something like, "Our car has a trunk larger than a shopping cart, so you can easily fit in all your gear!" » It's not only the words that are important. Carefully consider the font style as well 5. Optimize for Search Engines Optimizing your product descriptions for search engines will improve your rankings and make it easier for customers to find your products online. Here are some key SEO strategies: Use relevant keywords Research and use relevant keywords in your product descriptions, such as the name of the product, its features, and its benefits.Write compelling meta descriptions A meta description summarizes your product description that appears in search engine results. Write compelling meta descriptions that accurately describe your product and make shoppers click through to your product page. You can see an example of a meta description below. Use alt tags for images Alt tags are descriptions of your images that appear when images can't be loaded. Use descriptive alt tags that include relevant keywords to help improve your search engine rankings.Use structured data Structured data helps search engines understand the content on your website. Use structured data to provide additional information about your product, such as its price, availability, and reviews. Fast-Track Your eCommerce Success With Enticing Product Descriptions When it comes to eCommerce success, product descriptions play a critical role in capturing customer attention, building trust, and driving sales. With so much online competition, compelling product descriptions can make all the difference in attracting and retaining customers. Carefully crafted product descriptions serve as a virtual salesperson, enticing customers to move further down the sales funnel—an essential role for any eCommerce store. » Use these best practices to improve online merchandising on your product pages