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Top 5 Search Merchandising Tips To Apply During Holiday Selling Season

Posted by Doki Nguyen on

Top 5 Search Merchandising Tips To Apply During Holiday Selling Season

Search merchandising, or searchandising, is a powerful tool to foster your Shopify store's overall revenue, especially during sales-sensitive seasons like holidays.

The key to successful search merchandising strategies for Shopify stores lies in removing all difficulties in product discoverability for online customers. Help your potential customers navigate holiday promotions!

Here are 5 search merchandising tips you can use to leverage your customers’ shopping experience and sell more during the holiday season. 

What is Search Merchandising?

Search Merchandising = Searchandising = Site Search + Online Merchandising

Searchandising is a frankenword that combines two eCommerce terms: “search” and “merchandising”. Search merchandising is the process of using your site search box and other search functions in combination with online merchandising tactics to drive more sales.

FAO Schwarz USA search merchandising

FAO Schwarz USA nails search merchandising with doll-related Collections as well as featured products when a user searches for “doll”

 

Search merchandising works well especially when an online shopper has a specific product in mind. Users with a “search intent” will use the site search to find products they want.

Think of search merchandising as a part of your Shopify marketing and sales process. You'll have to understand your business goals, your targeted customers, what they do on your website, and their product discovery journey.

Do it right, searchandising helps you fuel your promotional campaigns, and organize search results in ways that ultimately boost conversion rate.

Pro tip:

Check out how you can sell more with digital merchandising:

How to Use eCommerce Merchandising to Boost Holiday Sales

Top 5 search merchandising tips to boost sales during the holiday season

Choose the right products to promote in the right position

Search merchandising is not about shoving all on-sale products into your customers' faces. The small secret here is to do your research and dig into your store's statistics to find the best offer for customers. The best offer or the best product suggestion is the one they are most likely to buy.

Pro tip:

Shopify search tool like Product Filter and Search by Boost gives you an insightful report of what exact keywords your customers are looking for on your site, which keywords they enter but return no result (room for optimization!), their next actions after hitting the search box, etc. 

You just need to look at the collected data to effectively set up your search merchandising.

Which products should you promote during the holiday season?

  • Bestsellers:

Top-selling products are bestsellers for a reason. It means that the majority of visitors to your site love them.

So during peak selling season, don't hesitate to expose your top-selling items. You can put them into a collection or build a dedicated landing page for these items.

Remember to put your store's bestsellers in front of all site visitors right after they land on your website.

bestsellers in search merchandising

Glitterbels’s dedicated bestseller collection page

  • Trending (seasonal) products:

Holiday-themed products are always the most sought-after items during the holiday season. The reason is that people shop for gifting during holidays. Plus the great excitement for “the most beautiful time of the year” ahead.

Putting your seasonal products on top will help attract repeat customers and spark the interest of new ones.

  • Seasonal promoted products (especially gifts):

One of the most conversion-squeezing collections during the holiday season, is, of course, the seasonal discounted items. People shop for gifts in large quantities and they expect a high discount from all stores. Especially during BFCM 2022 (Black Friday and Cyber Monday). 

The massive discount is mainly the reason for the popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It's the norm to offer a BFCM discount of around 50% in 2022.

Plus, you’d better prepare to offer free shipping as well as easy return/exchange policies too.

Pro tips:

  • Filter and only display products with over 4-star reviews or rates from customers
  • Segment and pick bestsellers from the most loved brands
  • If you sell your self-branded products, consider prioritizing the most competitive products from your store in comparison with other competitors
  • A/B test your Sort by options on your store during the holiday season. Our suggested Sort by is “Sort by Best-selling items”, “Sort by New Arrivals”, “Sort by High/Low Discount” or “Sort by Price”.

 

Where should you optimize your search merchandising during the holiday season?

  • Collection page: set rules to automatically re-arrange and prioritize featured products on your Shopify collection page.

By pinning featured products to the top, you can guide and then engage shoppers who are unsure of what they want. Thus, boosting your store's overall conversions.

  • Search result page: here you should allow shoppers to filter the search results by various product specifications.

After they hit enter in your search box, you may want to give your online visitors an incentive to click a result and then make a purchase. 

So, the key here is to apply merchandising to display products with buy incentives such as sale off, free delivery, or products with similar keywords (synonyms) in their description.

Pro tip:

Always display alternatives when a search displays No Results Found. You can also suggest a synonym or related keywords to invite shoppers to the next action.

  • Search box: this is where you should focus your search merchandising strategies the most. 

Don’t be shy to go all in: suggesting keywords, synonyms, autocomplete, bringing up featured categories, proudly showing related pages, or enticing shoppers with your featured products, etc.

suggestion box with keyword

Howitzerclothing did a great job in optimizing search merchandising in their site search box

Aim for a hyper-personalized holiday shopping experience

Your search merchandising strategy works best with personalization. Pay attention to your customer's data and understand what triggers their purchase.

If you haven't had customer shopping behavior insights yet, you can use search merchandising for seasonality, or localization based on your customers' demographics.

To stand out in the season of price-slashing sales, you should go for hyper-personalized shopping experiences tailored to each customer. Here are what you can go after:

  • Improve the site search relevance of search results
  • Optimize product display ranking based on customer’s search history
  • Suggest upselling and cross-selling based on customer’s viewed products
  • Use synonyms and suggest search-as-you-type keywords or related products in order to spark customers’ next action (plus save their scrolling time!)

related products

Domestique Wine suggests related products based on the product you’re interested in

you may also like

Bert And Block with You May Also Like suggestions

Optimize product ranking for the holiday season

The bigger your Shopify store is, the more search results a query can yield. Too many products listed on the search result page can discourage online shoppers. They will feel less eager to browse through your product collections.

So, ultimately, you should let customers add more indicators of their personal style and taste to the search result page. Let them have the option to filter the indexed search results by specific product details such as sizes, materials, colors, price range, etc.

filter options

FAO Schwarz provides rich filter options on the search result page

Similarly, don’t overdo the product suggestions in your search box. You can organize suggestions by categories, pages, collections, trending items, etc. You name it.

However, make sure you do all the maths and strategically put your featured items first by using search algorithms, and prioritizing holiday-related keywords such as “Christmas sweater” instead of “sweaters”.

Pro tips:

  • Do your keyword research to decide more precisely which keywords will drive more conversions during the holiday season
  • Update your targeted products with holiday-related keywords: in their title, description, tags, etc.
  • Place customer’s reviews and ratings in your Shopify filter tree and sorting
  • Put keyword suggestions on top before product suggestions - and make sure you display more keyword suggestions than product or collection suggestions

Study analytics to leverage sales after peak seasons

Getting through the busiest selling season doesn't mean it is the end. You still have many things to do.

Pick up your analytics and data to prepare for the next campaign. Usually, during the off-season, your Shopify traffic will decrease.

You'll need to examine all customer data and jump to the next step to keep the traffic up. Seize the after-holiday season as an opportunity to improve your service, product display, and brand image.

If during the holiday season, you put focus on the season items. Now is the time to reposition to products that are more essential and a necessity for customers. 

Try to set other search merchandising rules to prioritize new arrivals instead of discounted ones. Also, you can run through your data and find high-performing products, bundle them together and run a post-holiday season campaign for new customers.

Pro tip:

Product Filter and Search by Boost has a built-in Analytics feature with 12-month data to help you take advantage of previously searched keywords, products, most clicked-on filters, etc., and help you get your post-holiday campaigns ready in no time!

Save time with an intuitive search merchandising solution

The holiday selling season requires significant effort in not only preparation but also execution and keeping track of your store’s performance through the peak-traffic months. 

Save your team time, money, and (maybe) gallons of coffee in constructing a high-converting store with search merchandising.

Boost is here to save your day with our smart search and powerful merchandising tool:

  • Easily setting up strategic triggers to promote targeted products from different collections just by dragging and dropping
  • Freely create condition-based attributes that tailored to your product AND your customers' preferences
  • Intelligent personalized site search with blazing-fast indexing time even in stores with +100,000 products
Shopify merchandising

Sell more with Boost’s merchandising tool

shopify search by boost

Turn searches into sales with our advanced Shopify search functions

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May the holiday spirit be with you!

Holidays are always a tremendous opportunity to maximize sales. With the 5 search merchandising tips above, we hope you'll have a victorious year-end selling season.