6 eCommerce Merchandising Tasks Successful Merchandising Managers Automate
Bottom line: Automation can make or break your merchandising strategies.
As any successful eCommerce retail merchandising manager knows, managing extensive, dynamic inventories and promoting the right products at the right time is vital in ensuring you meet both your marketing goals (conversion) and retail KPIs (inventory optimization).
The bigger a retail business grows, the harder it is for merchandising managers to fulfill these key task objectives without automation. In fact, it is almost impossible to compete in the highly competitive online retail space without it.
Instead, by automating key eCommerce merchandising tasks, online retail managers are able to:
- Optimize for specific business goals more efficiently
- Reduce manual errors
- Increase merchandising efficiency and productivity
- Adapt to market changes in real-time
- Advance team efficiency
And how do you achieve that? With the right automation tools.
In this post, we will take you through the six eCommerce merchandising tasks successful merchandising managers automate, including:
- Team Collaboration and Admin
- Inventory and Product Tagging
- Product Sorting
- Customer Tagging
- Product Sequencing
- Product Marketing
Let’s jump in!
1. Team Collaboration and Admin Automation
Being able to automate specific administrative tasks and collaborate across different teams is vital when streamlining eCommerce business efficiency. Third-party tools such as Slack, Trello, or Asana, for example, will help set up automated notifications for specific tasks and allow teams to stay up-to-date with merchandising goals.
Additionally, if your store runs on Shopify, you can use backend team collaboration and admin tools such as Shopify Flow or Arigato Automation to help you automate a variety of backend admin tasks, including assigning tasks to tools like Asana, so you can streamline your eCommerce management team efficiency.
2. Inventory and Product Tagging Automation
The next task eCommerce merchandising managers can streamline with automation is product tagging. How products are tagged is the foundation for building advanced merchandising strategies and plays a key role in:
- Customer product discovery
- Proper sales and demand data monitoring for inventory optimization
- Shopping behavior insights
For bigger eCommerce retail stores with fast-growing product inventories, relying solely on tagging teams can be both time-consuming and inconsistent, which is why many successful merchandising managers opt for AI-powered tagging solutions instead.
Backend admin tools like Arigato Automation, mentioned above, offer Shopify store managers automated tagging options. Alternatively, there are dedicated tagging apps such as Auto Tags that provide automatic tagging workflows for products, customers, and orders.
3. Product Sorting Automation
The products you place on your category pages, search, and visual displays will all come down to product sorting automation.
Implementing, managing, and optimizing product sorting and category hierarchy is the most vital part of successful merchandising. Unfortunately, it is also the most tedious task without automation that allows merchandising managers to allocate product categorization based on specific brand requirements. There are a few options for product sorting automation that rely on simple personalization and marketing KPIs. This might boost conversion rate and revenue, but not necessarily your store’s profits.
However, customizing your product sorting and catalog curation by customer behavior alone is no longer enough. Instead, you need smart automated (multi-segment) collections that allow you to sort products by a variety of important data points at once, including:
- Sales data and marketing KPIs
- Inventory analytics and retail KPIs
- Customer preference insights
An AI-powered, holistic eCommerce merchandising tool that offers this type of advanced merchandising automation is Kimonix.
4. Customer Targeting Automation
Another important merchandising task worth automating is customer targeting. Being able to target specific customers more precisely plays a significant role in ensuring a potential customer is seeing the right product collection at the right time to improve conversion chances.
Therefore, merchandising managers need to look at the entire customer journey, and ensure the right customers are being targeted at the right time (touchpoint).
When it comes to onsite customer targeting specifically, merchandisers should be taking a potential shopper’s query, category, preferences (previous site behavior), and intent into account. To do that effectively, it needs to happen in real-time.
Simply put: You need good store search automation that works with advanced product sorting and smart collections.
This is something big retailers such as Allbirds are experts at.
Successful eCommerce merchandisers ensure that the results page from search combines an advanced product assortment in terms of features, ranking, and KPIs.
This unifies the shopping experience instead of relying on only request-based or result-based merchandising. It takes into account the keyword search, advanced category browsing filters, and marketing KPIs such as customer reviews all at once.
5. Product Sequencing Automation
How products are grouped or sequenced is vital in ensuring the right customers see the right product at the right time; in other words, you need optimized product discoverability. Doing this manually, without the help of data intelligence, especially when using multi-segmented product sorting, is virtually impossible.
A good advanced eCommerce merchandising tool such as Kimonix will ensure you don’t need a separate tool for this. It enables you to automatically adjust product sequencing and promote or demote products based on a variety of factors, including:
- 1:1 personalization
- Conversion rate
- Reviews (ratings and amount)
- 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
- Product demand and price competitiveness in market
6. Product Marketing Automation
Another automation that will streamline merchandising and boost sales is product marketing. There are a variety of ways you can automate your product marketing across a range of channels. This includes combining:
- Smart product collections with automated email campaign-specific product positions
- Personalized landing pages (collection pages) for optimized email marketing
- Advanced product sequencing or grouping with Facebook and Google product feeds
- Advanced automated collections and AI collection sorting with onsite navigation and real-time promotion displays
An excellent merchandising solution like ours can help all three.
Beyond merchandising, you will want to automate email marketing with apps like Klaviyo, social and CRM with all-in-one full-stack tools such as HubSpot, and campaigns with PPC automation tools such as Traffic Booster.
Bottom Line: Use Merchandising Automation to Boost Conversions
As with every aspect of eCommerce management, without automation, your merchandising strategies are going to fall short. With growing competition and limited time to convert, real-time inventory and merchandising optimization are vital and, without automation, impossible.
This means that that if merchandising managers aren’t automating essential tasks such as:
- Inventory and product tagging
- Product sorting
- Customer tagging
- Product sequencing, and
- Product marketing
...they can’t react in time to market and business changes, and will lose out on valuable revenue. Ultimately, this will result in brand niche dominance falling short and limited business growth.
On the flip side, automating important merchandising tasks by harnessing the power of advanced merchandising will not only help boost sales but increase profits and optimize inventory at the same time. Not to mention saving your merchandising team a ton of wasted admin time.
For a demo on how Kimonix’s advanced merchandising strategies and automation works, sign up here.
If you have merchandising questions, feel free to reach out to us – our merchandising gurus are standing by.