10 ecommerce merchandising tips to make online shoppers happy

The success of your business depends on customer satisfaction. Here are 10 merchandising tips for using transformative content to surprise and delight online shoppers.

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Optimizely Team

“The customer’s perception is your reality.” Marketing consultant Kate Zabriske made that statement, explaining that the success of your business ultimately depends on customer satisfaction. It’s one of many valid merchandising tips worth noting. 

Statistics prove it too. Deloitte reported that client-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies not focused on the customer. So, how can you win over shoppers? Transformative content as it relates to your merchandising can help.

What is transformative content? Transformative content is how a business adapts its digital platform (e.g., website, mobile app) to new technologies and, more importantly, evolving customer expectations. Let’s look at 10 ways transformative content can improve product merchandising to cultivate a gratified customer.

Key takeaways:

  • The success of your ecommerce business depends on customer satisfaction.

  • Transformative content is how a business adapts its digital platform to new technologies and evolving customer expectations.

  • Tips for optimizing product merchandising include personalizing product recommendations, presenting ample product details, and verifying site functionality across different platforms.

10 transformative content tips for successful merchandising

Here are some tips for transforming your merchandising content to elevate the customer experience:

1. Entice with the homepage

The homepage is usually the customer’s first impression of your business. Make it a good one! Some eye-catching items consist of:

  • a banner with top offers and discounts for your ecommerce store

  • a section containing the trending products (these are products with the highest conversion rate)

  • a message that states free shipping, if applicable

  • an area advertising new products

  • a section with your online store's social media icons

When designing your homepage, don’t overwhelm the customer with too much information or imagery. A clean and straightforward homepage can be even more appealing to users than a busy one.

2. Optimize the search bar

Autocomplete makes life easier for customers. For example, if someone searches for a Gaggia Brera super-automatic espresso machine, it’s convenient not to spell it all out. If previously searched, the customer may not even have to go beyond typing the letter g to see the list best tailored to them. 

Image: Amazon search screenshot

Learning customer habits and personalizing the search function for them promotes a positive user experience.

When displaying search results, associate an image with the product name and description instead of only presenting text.

3. Provide filtering options

Once the customer sees search results for a product, further assist them by providing filtering options. For instance, if searching for a camping tent, some filter options for the results could be brand, tent capacity, customer ratings, color and price. 

4. Incorporate a live chat feature

Live chat enhances the customer experience in several ways. First, there is immediate access to assistance. A staggering 82% of customers believe receiving a quick response to sales questions is very important. 

Customers may visit a competitor’s site before they send an email to a company. With capable live chat software, the customer appreciates not having to repeat themselves. The software tracks information from the user’s account and sees what page they are viewing to provide informed support. Another benefit of a live chat feature is delivering 24/7 customer support.

Image source: www.optimizely.com

5. Personalize merchandise recommendations

There are so many facets to boosting product personalization when it comes to online retailers. Here are a few:

  • If a customer previously browsed items on the site, include them in a “Recently Viewed” area. This area allows the customer to continue where they left off.

  • Permit customers to “Favorite” or “Save” an item. If there are promotions on these items, feature those sales on the homepage or email them to the customer.

  • When a customer views a product, include other options in the same line that may pique their interest. 

  • Provide suggestions for complementary products. For example, if someone is looking at seeds, a section could display potting soil or plant pots.

6. Present ample product details

When the customer is on the product page, providing as many details as possible facilitates their purchasing decisions. Here are some ideas:

  • Display pictures from all angles of the product and allow zoom-in and zoom-out.

  • Provide a video demo.

  • Include product dimensions in the measuring system the user knows. Someone in the United States could become discouraged if they had to convert centimeters to inches.

  • If there are different colors of the same product, allow the customer to see the product in each color option.

7. Leverage product reviews

There is a psychology term called social proof, which highlights an aspect of human behavior. Customers value feedback from previous buyers of a product. People take cues from others to ensure they fit in a social setting or, in the case of purchasing, they buy a product fully vetted and approved by the community.

Permit buyers to leave feedback for a product, including an option to upload pictures. Include the number of reviews related to a product.

8. Perform A/B tests

Content experimentation ensures your site is engaging to users and unique from the competition. A/B tests change one variable on a webpage, like an image location, and present one of the two versions to different customers. The page that receives the most user action (e.g., click “Add to Cart”) becomes the approved webpage. You can also play around with your email marketing tactics by A/B testing your subject lines.

Image source: https://cxl.com/blog/ab-testing-guide/ 

9. Improve search engine ranking

Search engine optimization is crucial to attracting customers to your site. In a 2021 report, almost 70% of online experiences begin with a search engine, but less than 1% of Google browsers click on results from the second page.

A few suggestions to improve search engine ranking are:

  • Decide which keywords are most relevant to your business and build quality content that features those words.

  • Search engines give extra attention to headings and subheadings, so include them in your content. Place your keywords in these headings.

  • Organically add keywords in image names and corresponding alt text.

10. Verify functionality across different platforms

More and more people access ecommerce sites through mobile phones. Make sure that your site looks great when displayed on a desktop as well as on a smartphone for those who enjoy online shopping. Furthermore, verify site functionality across various types of browsers. The same principle applies to your apps, which should be available on different smartphone operating systems and working flawlessly.

Get more ecommerce merchandising tips to win over customers with Optimizely

Optimizely delivers all the tools you need to improve your digital marketing and transform your merchandising content to delight customers and drive business results. Its offerings include maximizing user personalization by collecting data, managing features such as a live chat, and performing content testing.

Ready to get started? Then contact us for more information.