7 Quick Tweaks to Make to Your eCommerce Merchandising Strategy Today

What is the biggest secret to having a successful eCommerce merchandising strategy? Continuous monitoring and optimization. 

Why? Because the smallest tweak can make or break your eCommerce merchandising strategy. 

This applies to all stores; even the most established online retail store won’t be able to dominate its niche while growing its market share at the same time without relentlessly adapting. 

In this post, we break down seven things you should be doing to tweak your eCommerce merchandising strategy today. These tweaks include:

Let’s jump in. 

1. Fine-Tuning Your Homepage 

The first thing on your merchandising strategy to-do list should be auditing and tweaking your store’s homepage. As we discussed in our visual merchandising guide, your brand’s homepage is a vital part of building your brand and pushing shoppers further down the buying journey. 

To assess and tweak your homepage, you want to ensure that it: 

  1. Makes an excellent first impression. Optimizing the above-the-fold section goes a long way to doing just that. 
  1. Offers quick and easy navigation. This is vital if you want to ensure that your products, categories, and collections are easy to find — and buy!
  1. Keeps things simple and clean. A good store homepage should be uncluttered and straightforward to ensure your navigation, CTAs, product displays, and other essential elements pop.
  1. Opts for high-quality images, graphics, and videos. Your homepage is not a place you want to skimp on product photography.

A great example of a brand doing all of the above is Ketnipz.

Ketnipz good homepage example

2. Optimizing Category Merchandising with Automation 

Machine learning and AI can do more than take the guesswork out of category merchandising and product sorting; they can also help you tweak and optimize your strategies in real-time based on specific parameters or criteria you set. 

Yes, this is more than simply factoring in shopping behavior or personalization in your category merchandising. An excellent online merchandising SaaS tool — like Kimonix — will enable you to factor in several parameters that are then adjusted on auto-pilot to ensure your sorting is tweaked daily for maximum sales and profitability. 

Merchandising tool dashboard

A good example of this in action is online jewelry retailer Swarovski (IL), who used advanced merchandising techniques combined with machine learning to increase conversion rates by 18% and boost profits by 8% — in just four weeks. 

You can read more about how they did that, here.

3. Testing and Adjusting Website Navigation 

When did you last review your online store in the eyes of a potential customer? Regularly jumping onto your store and taking a journey from navigation to checkout can be hugely insightful. 

After all, you want to ensure that your store navigation is living up to its objectives — which is ensuring that: 

  1. A shopper can find what they are actively looking for as quickly as possible 
  2. You can seamlessly move a shopper from one digital touchpoint to another

…Both of these play a big part in your online merchandising strategy while also driving conversions. 

Here are just a few things you want to watch out for — and correct — to improve your website’s navigation: 

  • Not A/B testing navigation and menus to optimize for shoppers' preferences
  • Having a poorly structured navigation flow 
  • Not using a benefits bar to highlight promotions and thresholds 
  • Excluding links to important information in your header 
  • Not including a well-functioning search bar 

A good example of a brand winning at navigation is mnml.

winning store navigation example mnml

4. Focusing on Minor Product Page Optimization 

Another important aspect of your eCommerce merchandising strategy are your product pages. Even the most optimized page should be audited and tweaked regularly to ensure it’s not only appealing to shoppers but search engines as well. 

You want to ask yourself: 

  • Are you using clear, detailed product descriptions that speak to humans but also bots (keywords)? 
  • Do your product images or videos pop in the eyes of shoppers and include good alt text for bots? 
  • Is your CTA clear and effective in moving shoppers to checkout pages? 
  • Have you included cross-selling strategies or upsell product recommendations? 
  • Do your product pages include social proof?

This doesn’t mean your product page merchandising has to be complicated. Here’s a simple yet effective example from the Shopify store Goodfair.

product page merchandising example

5. Creating and Pushing Related Product Groups 

Throughout your eCommerce merchandising strategy, you want to ensure you are highlighting product recommendations. This can help your shoppers find what they are looking for quicker and even give them ideas on products they didn’t even know they needed. 

The trick is grouping products based on specifics, such as product: 

  • Features 
  • Type 
  • Use 
  • Brand 
  • Color 
  • Style 
  • Compatibility 

The last one is particularly helpful in also improving AOVs (average order values) in terms of bundling or cross-selling. Here’s how this strategy works in your category merchandising when using Kimonix's cross-selling feature. 

Kimonix cross selling feature

6. Finding Hidden Opportunities in Your Merchandising Data 

Your store merchandising is an excellent place to start when you’re looking for ways to quickly tweak your online merchandising strategy. These include: 

  • New vs. returning traffic 
  • Conversion rates
  • CTRs (such as add-to-carts) 
  • AOVs 
  • CACs (customer acquisition costs)  
  • Cart abandonment rates 

However, it is how you use this data to drive your strategies that can be hugely valuable in further improving performance. Here are some key ways you can do just that: 

  1. Using real-time market shifts to tweak strategies. By using dynamic data to tweak and optimize your product sorting on an ongoing basis, you can adapt to any market changes in real-time. This ultimately ensures you always show the right product to the right customer at the right time for a sale. This is best done by harnessing the power of AI tools
  1. Fine-tuning every merchandising element using data from A/B tests. This doesn’t just apply to creating merchandising strategy from scratch but also optimizing it. By testing every tweak, and then tweaking some more to fine-tune, you can ensure you are improving elements to their peak potential. 
  1. Adapting product sorting and homepage recommendations to inventory optimization. By ensuring you are always on top of which products you want to push, as well as your stock levels, you will ensure that you are pushing products in your merchandising that align with your retail KPIs. But more on that in the next eCommerce merchandising strategy hack!

7. Linking Your Merchandising and Inventory Optimization Strategies 

What stock you have on hand, the profit you can earn from them, and where your profit shortfalls (dead stock) are — these are all vital in making sure you are moving the right products. 

Why? Because this ensures you are meeting those important retail KPIs that ensure your business is guaranteed long-term growth and profitability. 

Therefore, your inventory planning, management, and optimization should be working in tandem with your eCommerce merchandising strategy to meet business, marketing, and retail KPIs. At the same time, you also need to consider your shoppers and what they want and need at that moment. 

Bottom line, it's a balancing act. One that is also the major component of an advanced merchandising strategy — which is exactly what you need to improve profits and compete in a saturated market.  

So, how to link the two strategies? 

By factoring in inventory optimization and marketing parameters into your product sorting and recommendations. In other words, you need a multi-parameter approach that considers a variety of metrics, including: 

  • 1:1 personalization 
  • Conversion rate
  • Reviews (ratings and amount)
  • Margin and real margin (after discounts)
  • Sales (quantity or revenue)
  • Inventory value
  • Days to finish inventory
  • Variants stock ratio (how many variants are in stock)
  • Days since back in stock
  • Days in store
  • Discount
  • Pageviews

You can read more about this approach in our How to Create Merchandising Strategy That Answers Retail and Marketing KPIs post. 

Wrap Up 

There you have it, seven quick tweaks to ensure you are generating the best possible conversions and profits from your eCommerce merchandising strategy. 

Ultimately, the secret to a high-performing merchandising strategy lies in continuous monitoring and optimizing of your strategies — preferably with the help of advanced merchandising automation solutions

Still got merchandising questions? You can reach out to our online merchandising gurus here.

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