How can e-commerce improve merchandising?
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E-commerce can improve merchandising in a variety of ways including optimizing your website for easy navigation and more visual appeal, automating data analysis to collect more specific information to better target merchandising efforts to your audience, optimizing your site for mobile devices, and working with a 3PL service provider for your order fulfillment operations.
- Most important information up top – A general rule of thumb is to design your landing pages with the most important information about your company’s goals or products in the first half of your page. If you offer free shipping, it is good to include that as up to 55% of online shoppers say they will abandon their carts when they learn they’ll be required to pay extra costs for shipping, taxes, and other fees, during checkout, according to a Baymard Institute study.
- Create a sense of urgency – Design your landing page with clear calls to action (CTAs) that motivate your visitors to convert to customers on the first visit. E-commerce vendors need to show striking images of their most popular products on their landing pages. Some offer deals that may contain a time-sensitive element, such as “today only,” or something else that creates a sense of urgency, such as, “only 2 left in stock.”
- Easy navigation – Your site navigation should easily connect your customers to the products they are searching for and like brick-and-mortar merchandising, display your category products in montages that include complementary products available on your site. This can encourage cross-selling and improve average order values, (AOVs). You also can include links to cross-selling opportunities or include images and links to these items on your “View Cart” or “Checkout” page. Action buttons such as “Buy Now” and “Proceed to Checkout” should stand out from the other objects on your pages, by using unique shapes and vibrant colors.
- Product pages – Unlike brick-and-mortar merchandising displays, online customers cannot touch or feel the products they are interested in buying. Including several images of your products from every angle is critical. Also, include pertinent information or specifications about your products, and build in zoom in and zoom out functions. Also include customer reviews, influencer endorsements, and how-to videos for your products and services.
- AI and Virtual Reality – More e-commerce companies are investing in AI and Virtual Reality technologies to create more of an immersive experience for online shoppers along with Live Chat, virtual try-on, and avatar sales associate features to help shoppers with purchasing decisions and speed up purchases.
- More targeted analysis – Using a variety of automated data analysis tools to learn more about your audience helps to personalize your customer’s experience. By using an array of diverse data sets, you can target potential customers by geographic location, income, shopping behaviors, age, etc. You can better target your brand’s base to find out what types of merchandising works better for them. 54% of e-commerce brands have already invested in AI to get to know their customers better-, according to Sli-systems.com’s “Q3 2017 E-commerce Performance Indicators and Confidence Report.”
- Optimizing for Mobile Devices – As of February 2022, 79% of online shopping occurs on smartphones and tablets, according to outerboxdesign.com. Interestingly, 80% of in-store shoppers consult their smartphones while shopping. Since mobile devices account for three out of four e-commerce sales, optimizing for mobile devices is crucial to maintain your relevance as an online brand. Make sure your page loads quickly on mobile and keep your checkout page simple and short, using autofill for customer information, and offer popular forms of payment.
- Partnering with a 3PL service provider – As companies grow, getting orders to customers accurately and on schedule is challenging. Over 60% of e-commerce companies are choosing to partner with 3PL service providers, such as Phase V Fulfillment, for their order fulfillment operations. Leveraging the skill, experience, and advanced data-powered technology, along with deep carrier discounts, and significant packing supply discounts, expanding companies can avoid the need to lease warehouse space, invest in fulfillment equipment, and are spared the time and expense of hiring and training a fulfillment staff. Partnering with the right 3PL automates and streamlines your order fulfillment operations so you can concentrate on optimizing your website’s merchandising strategies and focus on growing your company.
Looking for the right 3PL to partner with? Look no further! Phase V Fulfillment is ready to partner with your e-commerce business as you grow to help take it to the next level. Call us for a free quote today!