Digital merchandising is an important activity of any online store. With the right merchandising strategy, you can sell more and sell better.
So, 2022, another year of Covid pandemic and expected to be the first trillion-dollar year for online sales, what is new with digital merchandising? How do online business owners make use of trending merchandising tactics this year to keep up with the rapid growth of eCommerce?
Let's find out in this article.
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What is digital merchandising?
This term originates from the merchandising activities of brick and mortar stores. According to Wikipedia, merchandising is any practice that contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to displaying products for sale in a creative way that entices customers to purchase more items or products.
Therefore, digital merchandising also referred to as online merchandising or eCommerce merchandising, involves all promotional activities used to sell a product online.
The activities include:
- Product placement
- Product displaying
- Other marketing, branding activities.
With that definition in mind, we will review five important digital merchandising trends this year.
Learn more about digital merchandising:
- 6 Merchandising & Promotion Ideas From Top eCommerce Sites
- Traditional vs Digital Merchandising: How to Merchandise Online
Leverage content marketing activities to sell more products
Nowadays, everyone is doing content marketing, yet it still proves a very effective method to attract and persuade customers.
Since customers are more familiar with the internet and online shopping, their behavior changes rapidly. Before buying anything, looking for a review or additional information is their first behavior. According to Google, 51% of surveyed shoppers said they used Google to research a purchase they plan to make online.
Therefore, showing related articles to the product or their search query is an excellent idea. It helps you guide your customer to their wished products and promote many other items along their journey.
And doing it is very simple; you can look at the example of the Amazon search page when searching “gaming chair”. Besides showing the gaming chair product, they also give related articles for more information so they can select the most suitable products.
Display your product on social platforms
Your website is not the only place to display and sell your products. With the popularity of social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or marketplace like Amazon, eBay, modern customers tend to make their shopping first on those channels.
According to the latest report of Shopify, Social Commerce is one of the biggest trends this year. In Southeast Asia, 1 in 5 dollars is spent on Social platforms. Also, a typical social media user now spends about 15% of their waking life using social platforms.
Don't miss a chance to expand your business on social networking sites. It is not only about driving more sales or traffic; it's also about delivering a better customer experience to your customers. Whenever they feel comfortable buying, you need to show your product on these platforms.
Facebook and Instagram are pioneers in making their social platform fit in with social commerce. You can tag the product with detailed prices and information or link directly to the website in the image you share
Instagram product merchandising. Source: shopbop.
1:1 Personalization merchandising
According to Forbes, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.
However, when we talked about personalization decades ago, it was still a simple idea, like using customer names in the email. Or in a little more advanced way: using rules-based Personalization (if this, then that), which you see very often in automation tools nowadays.
In 2022, the personalization game is changing rapidly. Now, big brands are adapting tools with AI and machine learning technologies to give their customers 1:1 Personalization, real-time recommendations.
It means that when you recommend or display any product for a visitor, it should cater to the person’s preference based on their past and current activities (real-time).
For example, Office Depot knows that different shoppers need different information and product recommendations on different buying state. However, if they are only using traditional testing tools, the problem can not be solved.
Therefore, by adopting an AI solution that determines which sections appeared first, thereby emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain information for each customer depending on where the visitor is in the buying cycle, they have seen an increase of nearly $6.9M in revenue for only four months.
The rise of Metaverse in merchandising application
Although Metaverse has been mentioned since 1992, its definition wasn't widely accessible to the public until Mark Zuckerberg put his company's future into this technology by changing his company name (from Facebook to Meta).
Since then, many top companies & ventures have invested millions of dollars into this technology, believing Metaverse will be the "next Internet."
According to Wikipedia, Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. If you have already watched the movie "Ready Player One," you can imagine what it looks like.
Glancing at what it can do for merchandising, we can see that it will blur the barrier between online and offline shopping. Imagine a future where you can go to any metaverse store in your home, see all the products, and try them on yourself like in an actual store (maybe except that you can't touch it). It would revolutionize the way we go shopping.
Customer behavior has changed significantly since the introduction of the internet and eCommerce. But all of those things could be replaced and changed again if Metaverse becomes more popular.
With Metaverse, you can combine all the best merchandising strategies online and offline, creating a unique customer experience. It would be unlimited for design and technology when applying to a metaverse store.
For example, H&M has opened its first store in the metaverse world. It still looks very basic with limited interaction, but it's very promising for the future:
Filter and search are still crucial to any merchandising strategy
According to Econsultancy, up to 30% of visitors will use the Site Search box, those who search convert 1.8x more than those who don't. Filter usage also has quite similar numbers.
Unfortunately, only 16% of eCommerce brands provide shoppers with good filtering or searching experiences.
This number shows that filters and search functions on eCommerce sites are overlooked. Online store owners need to make use of these functions to bring a better experience to customers and an excellent opportunity to navigate them to their needed products.
For example, Orka uses an advanced search app to increase the conversion rate to those who use search. (convert 7x better for those who don't)
With a small investment in search apps, you can suggest your potential customer-related search queries or products with a great user interface.
On the other hand, most filter apps also come with product ranking or rule-based merchandising. You can use those features to promote trending products or your unsold product to the front, etc, anything that suits your merchandising strategy.
- Get to know Site Search Merchandising feature of Boost
- Optimize Conversion Rate with Shopify Navigation & Site Search apps
With Metaverse, AI, and machine learning technology improving every day, digital merchandising will change significantly in the next few years. It will be the merge of traditional tactics of offline stores and the high-end technology of online stores.
Let's prepare today to catch up with a rapid change of technology in the future!.
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Boost Commerce is a technology company that is helping more than 12,000 Online Stores Across 80+ Countries grow sales with Shopify Advanced Filter and Search app.
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