Guides and Templates

Online retail merchandising guide

Improve your online trading with the practical tips in this guide

Merchandising retail products online isn't easy given the number of products and the many options to feature them through customer journeys. But if you follow best practices, then the impact on conversion rates and average order value can be significant. This in-depth guide from ecommerce expert Chris Jones is designed to show you how to follow best practices to perfect your users' experience and build customer trust.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for trading and user experience teams working for online retailers or other businesses with a complex range of products with many SKUs. It's designed for professionals working on improving merchandising for existing sites, but will also be useful for those looking to learn best practices when launching their own ecommerce sites. Those working for smaller businesses may find they do not have the capacity to implement all the recommendations outlined, but will still find it useful to be able to review the most important optimizations.

How is this guide structured?

This template is a comprehensive reference to merchandising best practices broken down into sections based on key success factors to help you better understand all the different page types and page elements of a modern retail ecommerce site. At a top-level, it is broken down into two sections covering best practices for different interface elements and how to use merchandising to support the customer journey.

Best practices for merchandising options:

  • Introduction
  • Verbs & Missions
  • Thumbnails
  • Images
  • Product Data
  • Search
  • Taxonomy
  • Filters & Facets
  • Ratings & reviews
  • A/B Testing
  • Recommendations

Managing merchandising to support customer journeys

  • Telling Stories
  • Measuring success
  • Browse
  • Research
  • Investigate
  • Buy
  • Replenish

Why do I need this guide?

If you manage an ecommerce site, you'll know that given tight margins on trading, boosting your conversion rate by just a small percentage can make an enormous difference to your bottom line. This guide reviews recommendations on merchandising across all aspects of the buyer journey and gives specific tips to improve your customer's experience and make them more likely to buy. Best practices are illustrated by detailed examples of sites including, B&Q, Asos and more, in both desktop and mobile views, the guide lets you learn from market leaders and outdo them when they make mistakes.

Resource Details

  • Author: Chris Jones Independent Multi-Channel Retail Consultant at
  • Last updated: June 2016
  • Format: Comprehensive 275 slide Powerpoint reference giving detailed recommendations on the different options for retail merchandising with best practice  examples. You can also use it as a source to develop your own merchandising style guide.
  • Related resource: Ecommerce design pattern guide

About the author

Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Chris Jones, Independent Multichannel Retail Strategy and Solutions consultant at Redsock Management. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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