Chart of the Day: Which are the most popular merchandising techniques used by online retailers?

Best practices for creating effective user experiences for Ecommerce sites are often discussed along with how to improve experiences through conversion rate optimization. However, it's less common for retail merchandising techniques to be discussed. To help retailers learn best practices, we've created a new online merchandising guide by retail Expert Mark Hall which is available to Business members. To highlight some of the merchandising techniques available this research reviews techniques used based on a review of the Ecommerce sites of some of the 50 top global Ecommerce brands. The results suggest a variation in merchandising adoption with some techniques such as top sellers, trending now and top-rated products having a surprisingly low adoption. This in turn, suggests, the challenges of including merchandising features when retail brands are looking to simplify experiences on mobile devices…
Sales guru Jim Rohn aptly said:

‘Success is neither magical nor mysterious; it’s the natural consequence of consistently applying the fundamentals.’

I agree wholeheartedly. In order to sell better online you need to know the fundamentals, or essentials, of persuasive selling. These same principles apply whether you’re selling face-to-face or on a website. Only by doing so will you achieve your overarching merchandising goals: more add-to-carts and conversions, triggered by higher click-throughs on your website’s sales pages. In this post I cover essential selling practices. I discuss best practices and optimisation techniques separately.

Start with the essentials

For us humans, the essentials are food, water and rest. For online merchandising, selling essentials are more emotion-based, and include: Understanding your prospects needs and desires Earning the trust of your visitors Using persuasive selling tactics Tailoring your pitch to your shopper’s stage Creating a Product Finder tool Offering proactive customer support

Understanding your prospects

Here’s another saying…

Jakob Bignert examines the spectre of automated merchandising and tries to reassure us that there is nothing to worry about – no seriously, you’ll be fine!

Since the industrial revolution, automation in the workplace has been met with extreme reactions. As a business owner you would rub your hands in glee as you realised you could punch out more widgets, more quickly while employing fewer people. However, if fate had dealt you a different hand, you’d be quaking in your boots as you realised your widget making skills were no longer required and unemployment beckoned.

Retail automation

Retail, though, has seen remarkably few significant step changes when it comes to automation. And understandably; buy products, display them attractively, take the money, count it, bank it and repeat. OK, an oversimplification I grant you, but you get the point. There are some though: Cash registers and subsequent EPOS systems have removed the need for a counting…

5 steps to getting started with merchandising for Online Trading

In the broadest sense, merchandising is defined as 'the activity of promoting the sale of goods'. Whether this is in a store, over the phone or online the principle is the same – 'Sell more stuff (Profitably)'; the differences come in the techniques employed to do this. A traditional retail store will use gondala end displays, clip-strip cross-sells and sales assistants to maximise revenues, but without the advantage of face-to-face sales influence how can we sell online?

[si_guide_block id="74974" title="Download Expert Member resource – Online Retail Merchandising guide" description="This guide examines all aspects of the buyer journey and gives great tips along the way to improve your customer's experience and make them more likely to buy. Via detailed examples of sites including JohnLewis.com, B&Q, Asos and more, in both desktop and mobile views, the guide lets you learn from market leaders…

Research reviewing factors that can limit conversion

Retailers will know that there are many factors that can limit online conversion resulting in between 95 and 98% of visitors to an online store not converting  on average (based on our compilation of cross-device online retail conversion rates).  This infographic combines the results of different surveys to give a summary of these factors that limit conversion One of the main factors is simply that site visitors do not intend to buy online because of cost. This influences cart abandonment with 28% of online shoppers not buying products online due to the hidden or unexpected shipping costs. Another 23% don’t like account registrations followed by the 12% that have trouble understanding the checkout page. Cart recovery programmes using remarketing through email or ad network retargeting are one solution. Price-led promotions targeting high priced products with flexible discounts were responded to positively by 54% of the…

How optimised sales messages on category pages can give your revenue a huge boost

On many ecommerce websites one of the first things that is discussed is the design and 'feel' of the site. Phrases such as 'I want the site to look clean' and 'slick' are a frequent occurrence. Yet it is important to note that a balance has to be struck between being representative of the brand, heritage, look / feel,  and actually selling stuff (luxury brands tend to be the exception to this rule). Offline stores maintain the design and look that you want, with your sales assistants being the ones that can step outside of the 'design', be human and actually do the selling. Online your website has to achieve this to ensure that you end up with a website that converts as well as looking pretty. To test the impact that sales messaging alone can have, we looked at a client's website whose site…

Data shows uplift retailers in the UK and worldwide can expect from the key e-commerce dates this month

For retailers, the festive season effectively starts with Black Friday on 27th November 2015 and Cyber Monday three days later. This year some experts are predicting that UK sales could top the one billion pound mark. To understand what we should expect this year let’s take a look at how things panned out in 2014. The data in the charts below is compiled by Fresh Relevance and the predicted uplift is based on billions of page views across retail websites in previous years (approx. 50% in the UK and 50% worldwide). The impact of the two day shopping bonanza starts one week ahead of Black Friday as traffic falls back slightly, suggesting that consumers are delaying purchases in the anticipation of lower prices. Then the day before a 25% increase in traffic as shoppers’ scope…

8 areas for SMB retailers to focus on to increase retail sales

Where did 2014 go? The holiday season has come and gone, and now we’re facing a whole new year of marketing innovations and trends. To make sure you’re staying on top of your sales game, spring is the perfect time to try some new marketing and sales trends on for size. By the time fall rolls around, you’ll be pleased at the progress you’ve made improving your sales numbers and conversion rates.

By considering the following tips and tricks, you can better prepare for a great year of sales:

 1. Work on your website

If you have an ecommerce website, now is the time of year when you should consider some changes and think about making some enhancements. The trends in 2015 are all about user experience. Focus on making your mobile site easy to navigate and visually appealing.…

Holiday marketing planning for retailers

Marketers, we know the struggle. We know that taking into account the holiday seasons are vital to your retail strategy and it's not just having an idea of what you will do, it's having a plan, a system and a course of action. Without these things, you’ll be left in the marketing dust. Timing is everything. At Fathomdelivers.com, we have created this infographic and content, to give you a framework that you could work to for the year. If you are looking for management buy-in, it can help to have a visual calendar to show your plans - whether it's for a quarter, a six month period of the year ahead and also a great way to show your results if you don't have an analytics dashboard. Here are some ideas of how we have used it to plan from October - January, for a retailerr.

October - SEO…

Recommended design patterns and best practices for online retail Product category pages

This is the second in the series of posts from me in which I hope to give you ideas to consider for testing improvements to page elements on retail and other ecommerce sites following emerging best practices. In my first post, we covered best practices for ecommerce homepage designs. If you work in an ecommerce team at a retailer, or are involved in design for your client’s accounts, then I hope these templates and tips will help generate ideas for testing page enhancements.

Key Ecommerce category page wireframe requirements

In retail, 'product category page' is the general term referring to pages listing the range of individual products. But you may know Category pages as Hub, Department or Division pages. Then there will often be sub-category pages too depending on the information architecture for the catalogue. The key core elements of…

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