Properly merchandising your online store is just as important as merchandising a brick-and-mortar store. Having a well-merchandised store can lead to increased conversion rates and higher average ticket sizes.
Online merchandising is, at its most basic, a way of displaying your products that entices your customers to make a purchase. There are a myriad of different ways and methods to properly merchandise your store. We will take a look at some of the most important.
- Make sure people can easily find what they are looking for. This includes proper categorization of your inventory. A store with poor categorization can be a nightmare for your potential customers to navigate through. Make sure your navigation is clear and easy to follow. The fewer steps a customer needs to take to get to the product the better. Make sure your store has a search function.
- Provide unique product descriptions. Writing your own product descriptions is more important than having your own product photography. Using the same generic product description is going to hurt your SEO as Google will see it as duplicate content, and you will be lucky to make it on page one of the search results. Writing your own compelling product descriptions will give you the opportunity to include any important keywords that the manufacturer may have missed. It also allows you to optimize the content to your customers and fit within your store’s culture.
- Use high quality photos and product descriptions not provided by the manufacturer. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many stores just use the product descriptions and photos provided by the manufacturer. Using the same photos and descriptions as your competitors will not set you apart from the crowd. If possible, hire a professional photographer to take product photos for you.If professional photography is out of the budget, take your own photographs. You should only take your own photographs if you can match or exceed the quality of the photos that the manufacturer supplies. Poor photography shows a lack of attention to detail and makes your business look like an amateur operation. Make use of alternate images by showing different angles of the products or a close-up of important details.
- Make sure any promotions you are running are prominently featured. Use attractive banners with compelling graphics on the home page to draw attention to your promotions. If you run promotions that are category specific ,don’t forget to add banners to the category page as well. Feature your best selling products or newest items on your home page. And don’t miss the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell by adding related / alternative products and accessories on your product pages.
- Make it easy for your customers to make a purchase from you. You have done a good job of merchandising your store, you have killer photos and product descriptions, cross-sell and up-sell is properly set-up, and promotions are prominently featured. All this hard work could be wasted if it is difficult for your customers to make a purchase. Make sure your buy button is prominently featured and easy for customers to see.The checkout process should be as streamlined as possible. Do you force customers to sign up for an account before they can buy from you, or can they check out as a guest? Remove any obstacles that may prevent a guest from completing the checkout steps. Do you offer PayPal as a checkout option? Many consumers are reluctant to give credit card information to merchants they are unfamiliar with, but they will use PayPal since that information isn’t passed on to the merchant and it gives the customer a degree of better security.
Merchandising your entire store can be a difficult and time-consuming task, but it’s certainly worth the boost in conversions and customer engagement. VenturaU offers professional, personalized assistance in merchandising your online store. Contact us today to see how we can help you.