Triple Your Conversions with These Advanced Digital Merchandising Strategies
Digital merchandising (or eCommerce merchandising, as it’s often called) is the single most crucial aspect of your entire marketing strategy.
After all, a high-performing digital marketing campaign means nothing if your online store shopping experience doesn’t get potential customers to actually check out!
So, where to start?
With these seven advanced digital merchandising strategies to implement in 2024:
Ready to boost sales? Let’s jump in.
1. Upgrading Product Page Optimization Techniques and Tools
The first place you will want to possibly implement your new digital merchandising strategies is your product page. When you consider that over 85% of shoppers reported in one survey that “product content plays an ‘extremely important’ role in their purchase decision” — not optimizing this year is a considerable risk.
But when it comes to advanced product page optimization, where to start? You should be reviewing your page metrics to ensure your page layout, product information, product descriptions, and product placements not only educate potential customers but engage them all the way to the checkout pages.
As an added bonus, by upgrading your product pages, you can also boost search engine optimization, which in turn brings more (targeted) online shoppers to your store.
Here are some key elements worth reviewing, testing, and optimizing:
- Trust signals
- Product placement, visuals, and videos
- Page CTAs
- Each product description
- Social proof (reviews, ratings, and/or UGC)
- Checkout/buying options
- Related and/or recommended products
- Important brand, shipping, or product information pages
An excellent example of an online store using fundamental product page optimization techniques is SURI.
2. Boosting Product Recommendations with AI
Additionally, you want to invest in product page merchandising tools to help you optimize your product pages in real-time to create a personalized experience that traditional merchandising can’t accomplish.
Why invest in product recommendation AI? Adding AI-powered product recommendations to your digital merchandising strategy helps you:
- Improve customer experience
- Increase AOVs (average order values)
- Boost sales and conversions
- Drive brand loyalty and customer satisfaction
- Improve product discoverability
- Enhance customer engagement
The bottom line is that by investing in the right AI technology for product recommendations, you can tap into each online shopper and their specific needs to offer personalized recommendations more likely to convert.
A good example would be Kimonix’s product personalization and digital merchandising tool, which will improve the shopping experience, as well as profitability.
Powered by AI, Kimonix ensures that product displays and recommendations throughout your whole site — including your product pages — and your social media and digital marketing campaigns are not only 1:1 personalized but also optimized for real-time retail and marketing KPIs and inventory levels.
You can find out more here.
3. Combining Retail and Marketing KPIs for Advanced Optimization
We know that the secret to any good marketing campaign is the ability to collect customer data and metrics and then leverage those insights and analytics to drive even better results. This is even more important when optimizing your eCommerce merchandising strategy.
However, it’s more than just marketing analytics you should be considering. To ensure your digital merchandising can perform at an advanced level, retailers and merchandisers should factor both frontend marketing and backend retail KPIs into their strategies.
This will ensure you are able to find that perfect spot between what your online shoppers need and your brand’s business goals and inventory standings. To do this, you will need to:
- Audit your entire customer journey and digital touchpoints to assess which products customers are engaging with, and at what stage
- Assess your most critical marketing and retail metrics to ensure you meet your most important KPIs
- Factor in these important marketing and retail KPIs into your product recommendation and product sorting strategies
- Optimize your store’s overall online shopping experience to enhance product discoverability
- Ensure your store’s digital signage and online and offline digital marketing highlight products that combine customer personalization with these essential metrics
- Harness the power of automation, machine learning, and other AI technology to adjust digital and visual merchandising strategies (to these KPIs) in real-time
You can read about these steps in more detail in our How to Create Merchandising Strategy That Answers Retail and Marketing KPIs post.
4. Investing Heavily in Inventory Management Optimization
Online retailers who invest in streamlining their inventory management not only improve eCommerce merchandising but also profitability. Why? Because it reduces dead stock and boosts efficiency, all while digital marketing and in-store merchandising are driving conversions.
Here are some top inventory management strategies worth testing:
- Optimizing your supply chain management by assessing manufacturers, vendors, suppliers, and/or sourcing partners, and/or looking at your admin systems to ensure there aren’t any duplicate processes, tasks, and data eating your efficiency
- Focusing on front and backend inventory optimization as a whole, not just inventory management
- Melding demand forecasting and inventory planning together (bottom-up inventory planning approach) to limit dead stock, lower overall costs, and increase revenue
- Using AI and automation to streamline management and decrease shrinkage
- Rearranging and optimizing inventory storage and warehousing
You can read more about these and other important strategies in our [eCommerce Management] 7 Inventory Management Strategies to Quickly Boost Profits post.
5. Improving the User Experience with Personalized Store Search
The easier it is for a potential customer to find the type of product they are looking for, the higher your chances of converting them. Even better if you can make the search results a personalized experience based on specific customer behavior.
A high-performing online merchandising strategy considers not just external search engine optimization but uses advanced techniques to upgrade the online retailer search.
The best way to do this is to ensure that product sorting of results and category pages factor in your sorting requirements and online shoppers' personal preferences (1:1 personalization). This will likely require an advanced product sorting tool like Kimonix.
Here are some other digital merchandising best practices to consider when optimizing your online retailer search:
- Account for product synonyms and typos to avoid customers landing on “no results” results
- Include similar product recommendations on results and product pages
- Consider image search
- Offer as many filters as possible to help shoppers refine their product searches
- Use customer behavior to refine search product sorting
6. Refining Your Homepage Shopper Experience and Visual Merchandising Strategies
Your store’s homepage is one of the most important elements for a high-performing visual merchandising strategy. To really ensure you are able to use it to move shoppers seamlessly to your product and checkout pages, digital merchandisers should ensure their homepage digital merchandising strategies:
- Tell a story through brand identity and themes
- Highlight social proof and UGC
- Display user-friendly navigation prompts and search features
- Link to vital brand and product information
- Spotlight the categories and collections your store sells
- Include 1:1 personalized product recommendations for a more personalized experience
- Showcase essential brand and/or product features that give users a reason to shop on your store
Here’s an example of a retailer who does all of these things:
You can read about this and other top strategies from top merchandisers in our The Ultimate Guide to Online Visual Merchandising post.
7. Use On-Store Promotions to Drive AOVs
Yes, digital marketing is important to ensure you are bringing targeted traffic to your online store. However, as we know, your marketing strategy doesn’t stop before that final click-to-pay button has been pushed.
Like the impulse product placement displays for traditional merchandising used at brick-and-mortar stores, on-store promotions can drive impulse shopping. But there is more to it than that. With the right promotions implemented into your merchandising strategy, it can also boost AOVs.
These include promotions such as:
- Free shipping thresholds
- Loyalty programs
- Coupons and flash sales
- Free gifts and samples
- Strategically placed upselling, cross-selling, and personalized product recommendations
Final Thoughts: Focus on Originality and Test, Test, Test!
When implementing any digital merchandising strategy, you want to ensure it’s as personalized to your brand identity, products, and market as possible.
This will help keep your digital merchandising unique to your retail store while also ensuring it speaks to your specific target audience and ideal shopper. Ultimately, making sure the user experience — whether offsite on social media or other digital platforms, or onsite with a well-placed product recommendation — is good enough to turn product searching into online shopping!
And, of course, you want to run an A/B test on every tweak to ensure the performance potential adds up before going all in. This can either be done automatically (if you’re a Kimonix user) or manually, but it’s vital to ensuring every merchandising strategy you implement is designed to triple your conversions.