Shopify Ecosystem

What Is Online Merchandising?

what-is-online-merchandising?

If you’re new to the world of ecommerce, you might be asking yourself, “what is online merchandising, and why do I keep hearing so much about it?”. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

This quick guide will give you an induction into what online merchandising is and why it matters. Think of it as your crash course on the definition of online merchandising, its implications for your business, and winning strategies you can begin implementing immediately.

What is online merchandising?

Our online merchandising definition is simple: it’s all about getting the right product in front of the right shopper at the right time.

Why does it matter?

Ecommerce platforms have made it easier than ever for people to start online retail businesses. It’s excellent news for entrepreneurship, and ecommerce has proliferated thanks in part to this increased accessibility. 

This also means that shoppers have more options than they’ve ever had before, which is a blessing and a curse for them (decision fatigue is all too real).

For online retailers, increased competition means you have to work that bit harder to stand out. Ecommerce stores that put little thought into their site navigation, product arrangement, and search features will flounder. Conversely, retailers that create a solid online merchandising strategy can create a better shopping experience, convert more customers, grow their revenue, and prosper when the competition folds. 

Tried and true online merchandising strategies

Itching to see what online merchandising actually looks like in action? Here are some tactics from our playbook that you can adopt on your website.

1. Optimize product arrangement

Our first online merchandising tip? Arrange the products on your category and search results pages deliberately. Instead of using your ecommerce platform’s default arrangement, optimize how products are shown to shoppers based on your sales goals. 

Fabletics has this technique down pat. Every time the athletic apparel company releases a new monthly collection, it features the line prominently on its homepage. Later in the month, Fabletics switches up its homepage arrangement to show a mix of new products, bestsellers, and sale items. 

what is online merchandising for fabletics

Here you can see Fabletics’ latest collection, a line by celebrity couple Kevin and Eniko Hart, strategically displayed on the company’s homepage.

2. Customize results based on location

Another way to stand out from the competition is to configure your ecommerce store to show shoppers certain products, categories, and landing pages based on their location. Geo-merchandising presents a treasure trove of customization opportunities that makes shoppers feel like you’re reading their minds. 

An online garden shop could use this tactic to display plants that will thrive in a customer’s growing zone, while a sports merchandise store could leverage geo-merchandising to feature apparel from a customer’s local team. 

Special thanks to our friends at Searchspring for their insights on this topic.
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