eCommerce Merchandising: 16 Strategies & The Ultimate Guide for eCommerce Brands [+Examples]

Securing eCommerce sales is challenging for most businesses. The best way to maximize your chances of customer purchases is through proven eCommerce merchandising strategies.

Almost 100% of global internet users have purchased a product online. Between 2021 and 2026, Statista forecasts eCommerce to grow by 56%. 

With such promising value in the eCommerce market, you need to take your eCommerce marketing approach to a whole new level.

Without securing brand loyalty, considering mobile users and many other eCommerce merchandising strategies, you’ll miss out!

But how do you practice truly effective eCommerce merchandising? And what are the best strategies to use for results in 2023 and beyond?

We’re going to help you boost your eCommerce sales like never before with an ultimate guide on eCommerce merchandising strategies.

In this guide, we cover the top proven eCommerce merchandising tactics, and the best examples to learn from!

Ready to become an eCommerce marketing pro?

Here we go!

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    What is eCommerce Merchandising?

    eCommerce merchandising is a practice eCommerce businesses use to highlight their products and secure a seamless buying journey without interruptions. Brands must consider their website design and content format for successful eCommerce marketing. Your products should be easy to find, relevant, and offer a quick checkout process.

    Summary: What is eCommerce Merchandising?

    eCommerce merchandising is a digital marketing practice that businesses use to highlight their products, promote their brand, and structure their website to maximize sales.

    Source: Ocey Phillips

    eCommerce Merchandising vs. Traditional Retail Merchandising

    Traditional retail merchandising is a practice brick-to-mortar businesses use to drive sales. Instead of online marketing strategies like eCommerce merchandising, physical stores use tactics to highlight products and guide shoppers effortlessly through their stores to the checkout counter.

    After the internet began, eCommerce merchandising grew as more businesses developed an online presence. Brands can now use digital strategies for successful eCommerce merchandising and have many more ways to entice customers. 

    These are the main differences between eCommerce vs. traditional retail merchandising:

    • You can only do traditional retail merchandising offline, while eCommerce merchandising is always online.
    • Businesses need user-friendly websites and apps for eCommerce merchandising but only a well-designed store for traditional retail.
    • Customers can’t physically touch or try the products in eCommerce merchandising, so businesses need more trust building and decision-making elements.
    • eCommerce merchandising makes it easier to track visitors who haven’t yet purchased. You don’t have analytics and web cookies to do this for traditional retail.
    • You need high-quality photography to showcase products for eCommerce merchandising. Physical stores must rely on shelves, product displays, and hangers for traditional retail. 

    Summary: Merchandising: eCommerce vs. Traditional Retail

    • eCommerce is online marketing and traditional retail is offline
    • eCommerce requires websites and apps and traditional retails rely on physical stores
    • eCommerce requires more convincing than traditional retails
    • eCommerce provides more in-depth customer tracking and analytics than traditional retail
    • eCommerce requires high-quality photography and traditional retail uses product displays, shelves, etc.

    16 eCommerce Merchandising Strategies and Pro Tips

    1.Use Personal Recommendations

    Successful eCommerce websites leverage customer data to offer personalized product recommendations. Personalization is essential to persuade prospects to purchase. 

    Personal recommendations make up only 7% of website traffic but 26% of revenue. The same report by Invesp confirms that shoppers who click on personal recommendations are twice as likely to return to your site.

    This eCommerce merchandising strategy works because buyers want products tailored to them. Brands can establish a customer-centric approach and experience for eCommerce merchandising. 

    Tips for Personal Recommendations:

    • Gather as much data about shopper interests and demographics.
    • Use personalized recommendations at the right times (you’re not going to promote sundresses in winter).
    •  Integrate AI tools for extensive and accurate audience data.
    • Display personal recommended products based on user browsing history.

    2.Consider Mobile Users

    Your eCommerce website must be mobile-friendly because mobile shopping is booming! More than one billion people worldwide access the internet via smartphone. In the US, one out of four people is an online shopper, with half having shopped via mobile devices.

    Ensure all aspects of your website’s functionality, and speed are mobile-optimized. Mobile shoppers must efficiently progress through your sales funnel.

    Tips for mobile-friendly eCommerce websites:

    • Make navigation as simple and quick as possible.
    • Think about how you interact with online shops from your smartphone and how to make usability seamless.
    • Correctly position CTA’s to maintain the format on mobile devices.
    • Link your logo to your homepage because mobile users prefer to click on a logo from the search results and arrive on your website. 
    eCommerce merchandising stats
    Source: Kinsta

    3.Optimize Your SEO

    You must develop a sound SEO strategy for your eCommerce merchandising. Brands must practice on-page SEO to ensure they use elements and content that drive organic web traffic. Successful SEO campaigns take a lot of time, and you must track and measure your campaign before understanding what works.

    While this may be tedious, it can boost your eCommerce merchandising strategy. You must do thorough research and keep your SEO framework updated and relevant. Working with an eCommerce merchandising agency like Kimonix can make this much easier. Your agency will handle all these technical aspects and help you achieve your ideal ROI. 

    Tips for eCommerce website SEO:

    • Spy on your competitors to determine their SEO rankings and targeted keywords.
    • Use advanced SEO tools like Frase.io, Yoast, and SEMrush to guide your strategy to success and track your performance.
    • Detail and document your keyword research. Constantly update this because keyword trends change all the time.
    • Ensure you use keywords for each web page and make it easy for visitors to scan your content.

    4.Focus on Visuals

    Adding high-quality images of your products makes your brand look professional. These images help convince shoppers because they can see the item they like. Almost 80% of online shoppers base their buying decisions on product photography. 

    Digital shopping is much less personal than in-person buying. But using visuals allows brands to create deeper connections between products and buyers. Your target customer base can visualize how they would use and benefit from your product rather than only relying on text.

    Tips for eCommerce merchandising visuals:

    • Invest in high-quality photography with fantastic lighting. You can create your own photo set as a cost-effective option.
    • Include images of your product from all different angles. Make it simple for users to zoom in and scroll through your photos.

    5.Perfect Homepage Merchandising

    Your homepage matters because it gives users a first impression of your brand. eCommerce homepages must include conversion-driven elements and catch visitors’ attention from the start. The only way to accomplish this is by understanding who your audience is and what would hook them in.

    Before nailing down your homepage design and content, use A/B testing tools. Your homepage isn’t an aspect you want to optimize half-heartedly. Conduct split testing and use many approaches to determine the best homepage format for your audience while capturing your brand voice and identity.

    Tips for homepage eCommerce merchandising:

    • Use social proof on your homepage. Video testimonials are one of the best forms of social proof.
    • Include clear and direct CTA’s in sections visitors interact with the most.
    • Get software like heatmapping tools to determine which parts of your homepage work the best and which parts need TLC.
    • Ensure your entire design, from the colors you use to the structure of your homepage, is aligned with your brand personality and values. 

    6.Group Related Products

    Grouping related products are similar to personal recommendations. This eCommerce merchandising strategy has more chance of increasing buyer shopping cart values. Rather than suggesting single products based on buyer interactions, you can categorize products that add value to each other.

    Shoppers Have more reason to buy other related products because of added value. But even if buyers don’t purchase related products, this strategy still works. You have a higher chance of return shoppers because you’ve proved you know what your target buyers need. 

    Tips for grouping related products:

    • Leverage in-depth customer data on buying behaviors and product interactions to create this category.
    • Monitor buyer interactions on each related product to determine if you’ve grouped the best products. 
    • Update the related products you suggest based on buyer trends. Don’t be afraid to remove products that don’t significantly impact your performance. 

    7.Leverage Customer Data

    Customer data is essential for eCommerce merchandising because it opens opportunities for personalized tactics. Understand your audience, what engages them, and how to persuade them to interact with your website and products. 

    You can find in-depth analytics about your buyers through your web analytics and Google Analytics. Brands can also rely on the best heat mapping tools to determine which aspects of their websites customers interact with most.

    If you notice a few aspects of your website don’t engage visitors, use A/B testing to find a better approach. Your efforts to gather, analyze, and action customer data must be consistent throughout your eCommerce merchandising strategy.

    Tips to leverage customer data:

    • Keep your insights and data updated based on customer and market trends.
    • Exhaust as many customer data resources as possible. These resources include your eCommerce platform’s analytics (Shopify, Amazon, etc.), Google Analytics, and other third-party tools.
    • Use surveys, polls, and questionnaires to directly get customer data from your buyers.

    8.Cross-sell and Upsell to Buyers

    Cross-selling and upselling help businesses maximize how much customers spend per visit. Brands use cross-selling to recommend complementary products to items shoppers intend to purchase. Like if your buyer adds a bicycle to their shopping cart, you may cross-sell complementary products like a helmet, headlight, or water bottle.

    Upselling is when businesses suggest higher-end alternatives to products buyers intend to purchase. Brands may also promote add-ons or upgrades to the initial product. Upselling exposes buyers to more costly product options. You can use the best Shopify upsell apps for maximum profit.

    Cross-selling and upselling are similar because they both focus on providing additional value to customers and increasing your bottom line. 

    Cross sell and upsell
    Source: TechTarget

    Tips for cross-selling and upselling:

    • Limit the products you recommend to avoid confusing customers.
    • Bundle related products to practice cross-selling and upselling at the same time!
    • Understand your buyers and use customer data to determine what products buyers would prefer you to cross-sell or upsell.
    • Don’t upsell or cross sell products that cost more than 25% of the initial product’s value. Suggesting items that are much more expensive won’t convince buyers.

    9.Redirect Customer Searches to Targeted Landing Pages

    Landing pages are your best friends for eCommerce merchandising. Targeted, customer-centric landing pages allow you to use an entire web page to drive conversions. Ensure you link your landing pages to your search engine results. Customers must arrive on your landing page when they click your Google listing.

    Your landing pages hold a lot of weight because of this, so you must perfect the design and content. Businesses must optimize landing page speed as marketers see a 4.42% drop in conversions for every second of page load time.

    Tips for landing pages:

    • Use A/B testing to determine which content, design, and format convince buyers best.
    • Include rich media to visually attract customers.
    • Add social proof elements to your landing pages for added credibility and authority.

    10.Drive Customer Retention and Brand Loyalty

    The secret to successful eCommerce merchandising is returning and retained buyers. When customers have purchased once from your brand, you must engage them to buy again. You’ll make much more revenue in the long run through return buyers vs. once-off customers.

    Retaining customers provides a significant ROI benefit too. A study by Bain & Company confirms that a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% profit increase. Do your best to solve customer queries quickly and professionally. Give your buyers a voice, respond to negative comments and ensure your customer service efforts are top-notch.

    Tips for brand loyalty:

    • Be authentic and transparent and offer premium support. Customers should receive high-quality products true to what you promised.
    • Use personalized content to target ideal buyers and prove your business understands what they need.
    • Include emotional elements in your content, landing pages, and marketing efforts to connect with your target audience. 
    Brand loyalty for eCommerce merchandising
    Source: The GMA

    11.Include Decision-making Elements

    Personalized, powerful decision-making elements must be strategically placed all over your website. Remember, eCommerce merchandising is about angling your products and website to deliver a seamless buying journey without interruptions. 

    Ensure you structure and design your website to convert prospects. But don’t be invasive. Customers shouldn’t feel forced to buy your products. Your design and approach must organically convince them to purchase. 

    Examples of decision-making elements for eCommerce websites include social proof like testimonials and reviews, expert stamps of approval, industry badges and awards, infographics, and informational videos.

    Place these elements in every section of your homepage. As customers scroll through your homepage, there should be at least one element in front of them. 

    Tips for decision-making elements:

    • Use specific testimonials from noteworthy clients.
    • Add social proof to the bottom of your product pages.
    • Leverage personalized content throughout your entire website to persuade buyers.

    12.Boost Most Sold Products

    It’s a no-brainer that businesses must boost the most sold products. These are the products your buyers value the most, making them imperative to flaunt. By the same means, don’t be afraid to remove products that don’t gain traction. 

    Many business owners feel the more they offer, the better for customers. But promoting products that don’t drive interest takes time and effort away from those that do.

    You can figure out which products are sold the most from your eCommerce platform analytics. Monitor these trends to understand which products gain and lose popularity, so you always promote trending items.

    Tips to boost most sold products:

    • Promote these products at the checkout stage for upselling or cross selling.
    • Use website popups to showcase your most sold items or create a dedicated category.
    • Add tags to most sold products so when buyers click the product listing and land on the product page, they know how much others love your product. 

    13.Rotate Products for Return Shoppers and Visitors

    We spoke about how valuable return shoppers and visitors are for eCommerce merchandising. But to keep these buyers engaged, rotate your products so they don’t see the same stuff all the time. 

    When buyers return to your website and search through product categories, the first results that appear must be new items. You can rotate your products using a third-party plugin depending on which eCommerce platform you use.

    Tips to rotate products for return shoppers and visitors:

    • Rotate products that are relevant to the season, buying trends, etc.
    • Use customer data to influence which products appear first. Your best-selling or new items may appear first. 

    14.Demote Out-of-Stock Products

    There’s nothing more discouraging than wanting to buy a product, but there’s no stock! When buyers interact with your products, ensure sold-out items don’t appear first. Demote your out-of-stock products to the bottom of your product pages. When you receive more stock, you can change this.

    You don’t want anything getting in the way of your buyer completing a purchase. If customers interact with the first products they see, but they’re sold out, it may prevent them from exploring other products.

    Tips to demote out-of-stock products:

    • Use your eCommerce platform analytics to stay ahead of sold-out products.
    • Allow buyers to get notified when the product they want is back in stock.
    eCommerce merchandising return rates
    Source: WebRetailer

    15.Practice Seasonal and Geographic Merchandising

    eCommerce products sell when they’re relevant and personalized to the buyer. If your target customers live in a country that snows most of the year, promoting a bikini or sun tan lotion won’t work. 

    Consider how seasonal and geographical elements influence your buyers’ purchasing habits. Promoting products they won’t use is a quick way to ensure your eCommerce merchandising strategy goes up in flames!

    Tips for effective seasonal and geographic merchandising:

    • Promote seasonal products when buyers are most likely looking for those products. For instance, many buyers shop for Halloween goodies during August and September.
    • Use emotional elements relevant to seasonal and geographical trends. For instance, people are often more sentimental around Valentine’s day. Leverage this emotion and theme throughout your website, on your homepage, or in your ad content. 
    • Drive impulse purchases through upselling, cross selling, decision-making elements, and count-down timers that create a sense of urgency and trigger some FOMO!

    16.Include Social Proof and User Reviews

    Social proof and user reviews help businesses build credibility. When we say social proof we refer to testimonials, case studies, celebrity/expert endorsements, and badges of approval. User reviews are user-generated content like images, videos, and text reviews that describe your brand experience and product quality.

    So, why are user reviews and social proof essential for eCommerce merchandising?

    Online shoppers trust organic content and proof of your business’s credibility over marketing and advertising content. HubSpot confirms that 88% of customers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations. When buyers see what experience others have had with your brand, they believe it more than your claims. 

    Tips for social proof and user reviews:

    • Respond to negative reviews to show your brand cares and give your buyers a voice.
    • Encourage buyers to leave organic reviews by offering incentives like points or discounts.
    • Use reviews, testimonials or case studies from noteworthy clients.

    Summary: 15 eCommerce Merchandising Strategies and Tips

    1. Use personal recommendations
    2. Consider mobile users
    3. Optimize your SEO
    4. Focus on visuals
    5. Perfect homepage merchandising
    6. Group related products
    7. Leverage customer data
    8. Cross sell and upsell to buyers
    9. Redirect customer searches to targeted landing pages
    10. Drive brand loyalty
    11. Exhaust decision-making elements
    12. Boost most sold products
    13. Rotate products for return shoppers and visitors
    14. Demote out-of-stock products
    15. Practice seasonal and geographical merchandising
    16. Include social proof and user reviews

    3 eCommerce Merchandising Examples

    1.Amazon – Best Sellers

    Amazon is no doubt an eCommerce marketing king. They make it easy for buyers to find the best-selling products through a separate page on their platform. Amazon uses an entire web page dedicated to best-selling products. Buyers can filter these items based on category, allowing them to find what they need among the plethora of products.

    Amazon_ecommerce merchandising exampe
    Source: Amazon

    Key Takeaways from Amazon’s Best Sellers:

    • Make navigation easy for buyers so they seamlessly find and purchase your top-selling products, as well as filter the best seller products by category. 
    • Include high-quality images of your best-selling items to further entice web visitors.
    • Ensure your best sellers page ranks for the keyword “[your business] best sellers”. For example, “Amazon best sellers”.

    2.Halfords – Product Bundles

    Want to see upselling and cross-selling done right? Halfords is a fantastic example! This eCommerce store creates product bundles to group together items to help buyers leverage the full value of their offerings. Halfords also uses a filter on the left-hand side, so buyers can quickly find the product bundle they need.

    eCommerce Merchandising example - Halfords' ProductBundles
    Source: Halfords

    Key Takeaways from Halfords’ Product Bundles:

    • Create a dedicated page to promote your product bundles.
    • If you don’t have an extensive range of items, use filters instead of loads of categories.
    • List what each bundle includes on every listing so buyers know if your bundle includes all the items they need.

    3.Man Crates – Homepage Merchandising

    Man Crates takes homepage merchandising to the next level through a highly targeted homepage design. While this design may be a little too busy for some business owners, you can’t ignore how well they’ve used decision-making elements. On every section of Man Crates’ homepage, visitors will find components that provoke emotion and personalization.

    Man Crates
    Source: Man Crates

    Key Takeaways from Man Crates’ Homepage Merchandising:

    • Promote seasonal products or new products through a homepage slider.
    • Group your products into categories on your homepage so visitors can find what they need without hassle.
    • Promote categories personalized to your buyers and reflective of your brand voice and identity. 

    Conclusion

    eCommerce merchandising is essential for successful online sales! This practice allows you to optimize conversion strategies and guide buyers toward checkout without interruptions. The best strategies for eCommerce merchandising include driving brand loyalty, optimizing your SEO, and considering mobile shoppers. Use these strategies and the best eCommerce merchandising examples to maximize your revenue in 2022.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is eCommerce merchandising?

    eCommerce merchandising is a practice online businesses use to highlight their products and structure their websites for a seamless shopping experience without interruptions. Read this article for the best eCommerce merchandising strategies!

    What are the best eCommerce merchandising strategies?

    The best strategies for successful eCommerce merchandising include driving brand loyalty, optimizing your SEO, focusing on product visuals and considering mobile shoppers. Read this full article for more of the best eCommerce merchandising strategies and the top examples to learn from.

    What are the best examples of eCommerce merchandising?

    The top examples of eCommerce merchandising include Amazon's Best Sellers page, Halfords product bundles and Man Crates' homepage merchandising. This article has all the details on what to learn from these examples and the best eCommerce merchandising strategies for high ROI!

    References

    Bain & Company: Prescription for cutting costs

    Growth Marketing Pro: The Ultimate List of Landing Page Statistics for 2022

    Innovative Imaging Professionals: Potent Product Photography Tricks – 2022

    Invesp: The Importance of Cross Selling and E-commerce Product Recommendations – Statistics and Trends [Infographic]

    OptinMonster: Conversion Rate Optimization Blog

    Pew Research Center: Online Shopping and E-Commerce

    Salesforce: eCommerce Resource Centre

    Statista: Retail e-commerce sales worldwide from 2014 to 2026