Have you ever walked into a big box retailer such as Kohl’s, Bass Pro Shop, Sears, Autozone etc? What is the first thing you notice? Key products conspicuously displayed to catch your eye. Maybe it is close-out items the store wishes to liquidate or perhaps it is the newest seasonal garb or even high volume items. These stores all do this for the simple fact that it helps move those products. The same is true with your website. How, what and when you display items on your home page and subsequent pages will greatly impact your sites conversion rates. If you make no effort to set things up to catch the eye of your target audience you will lose visitors. You should be considering your categories. Arrange them so they make sense to your target customers. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you would like to search for items. Make it as simple and intuitive as possible. The same goes for arranging and showcasing Featured or Special products on your home page. I am a strong believer that you should only show off products that are readily available or actually in stock. If a customer starts clicking on 3 or 4 products in your “Specials” section only to find that they are all out of stock you will lose them quickly. So assuming your showcased products and categories are inline and in stock take the time to optimize each category page and each of your actual product pages. Another thing to help merchandize is to create graphically enticing banners for say specific brands to catch people’s eyes. Link that banner to those products pages. Do not simply put a picture on your site and have it not go anywhere. Add to the art work “click here or buy know”. Make it abundantly clear to the consumer what they are supposed to do and what will happen when they click. So that’s the basics of merchandizing now get busy or give us a call to help. 1-800-699-0820 ext 1.
Next in our series we will go over the ways in which you can merchandise your online store to suit the needs of your customers and get their return business. Generally, retail stores change their visual merchandising once a month – sometimes more if there are specific promotions that they need to do a floor change for. This is helpful advice to online retailers, as your online store should also be re-merchandised on a regular basis.
Think of your brick and mortar store or the last time you visited a retail store. The products in the store are going to be organized and displayed in a manner that provokes the customer to shop and to buy. If it was a pet store, for example, there would be different areas for dogs and cats and fish set up so that customers would know to go to a specific part of the store to find what they are looking for. Your ecommerce site should also accomplish this by categorizing and organizing your products in a way that makes sense to you and your customers. You wouldn’t want someone to click on a link for dogs and end up with aquariums and hamster food.
Aside from organizing your products in a shopable manner, you’re going to want to update this merchandising on a regular basis. You don’t have to change your entire product arrangement every month, but you should be conscious of your featured products and specials. These things need to be updated so that customers get a sense of new and exciting offers and items when they visit your site. If you can keep a customer engaged when they come to your store, you can get their return business instead of a one-time shopper.