Search for Sites: Online Merchandising Practices

When thinking about online merchandising we need to ensure we focus on a few key elements that makeup online merchandising practices.  

  • Think Customer First
  • Understand your Customers Needs
  • Connect shoppers with what they want
  • Promote products that matter
  • Always upsell and cross sell
  • Think to yourself, "Have I done enough?"

So, what now? We identified our mindset, how do we put this mindset into action?

  • Review your data
  • Come up with a merchandising strategy
  • Implement

The Customer Must Come First

There is an old saying ‘act like an owner, think like a customer’. This adage is very true in today’s ecommerce landscape and the balance between the two can be difficult at times. We don’t want to spend too much time diving into analytics to identify personas and then piece together a user journey through your site. This is a tried and true method to extracting data, but there are other options…

  • Exit Surveys – a great way to hear the voice of the customer
  • User Recordings – Get your popcorn, sit back and strap it in. Get ready to take notes on individual user recordings. Great for identifying friction points within your sales funnel.
  • Quizzes – Onsite quizzes to help narrow down a product line for users is a great way to learn more about the end user. Camelbak has a very interactive hydration calculator and quiz. Try it out here
  • Personalize the experience – Not all personalization campaigns cost big dollars, you can achieve a solid personalized experience through capturing user information through interactions on the website and utilizing that data the best you can.

Understanding Your Customers’ Needs

The MOST important aspect of merchandising is with a focus on-site search. To really understand your users’ needs you must dive into your site search reporting. Focus on the 10 main search queries most often used on websites, learn these terms, identify the search type for ALL search terms and determine if data needs to be adjusted to better serve search terms.

  1. Exact Searches
  2. Product Type
  3. Symptom
  4. Non-Product Searches
  5. Feature
  6. Thematic
  7. Relational
  8. Compatibility
  9. Subjective
  10. Slang Abbreviation and Symbols
  11. Implicit Searches
  12. Natural Language

To gain a better understanding of each search type check out Baymard Institutes article on search queries.

Connect Shoppers with What They Need & Promote Products That Matter

Utilizing your site searches box of tools is the best approach for positioning products to be in the best light to convert. Below are tips and best practices you should be implementing and thinking about on a daily basis.

  • Keyword Redirects
  • Boost and Bury Rules
  • Synonyms
  • Visitor Targeting
  • Account for spelling mistakes

Look for Areas to Upsell & Cross Sell

If you are not upselling or cross selling, you need to start thinking about this right now! If done properly, you can expect to see a 10-30% increase in revenue. Some key areas to look for upsell and cross sell opportunities include the following:

  • Product detail page add to cart click
  • Quick buy buttons
  • Within the shopping bag/cart
  • Within checkout
  • On checkout submit

Not sure where to start with your merchandising strategy? Hawksearch offers a full suite of services to help you better merchandise your website. Contact us today to learn more about the powerful capabilities of Hawksearch.