5 Ways a Merchandising Engine Can Increase Profits & Conversions

August 7, 2019

5 Ways a Merchandising Engine Can Increase Profits & Conversions

eCommerce companies are always on the search for ways to increase sales and revenue through their online store. Merchandising Engines are quickly gaining traction in the eCommerce industry as the best website tools to convert website visitors and increase overall order value. Inserting the merchandising engine’s dynamic and automated banners, eCommerce companies improve conversion rates by presenting more relevant content to each visitor and increase order value by promoting higher-margin products as well as complementary and alternative products for customers to add to their orders.

Think about it in the most simple way - the fastest way to increase sales and revenue would be to make customers happy and encourage them to buy from you repeatedly. You may be asking, “Okay so how do I do that?” First, you have to provide useful and alluring goods and services. We’ll leave that part up to you because after all, that’s how you’ve built your business. Second, you have to give them an enjoyable experience on your website. Nothing is more satisfying and enjoyable than finding exactly what you need on a website in seconds flat. This is where a merchandising engine comes into play and where things get interesting.  What is a Merchandising Engine?

A merchandising engine is software installed on your eCommerce website or a functionality included in your eCommerce platform. eCommerce companies can set up merchandising engines by entering content and specifying keyword tags to a product’s metadata so products appear for the varied search queries that match the data. These keyword tags can include size, color, category, style, status (back in stock etc.) and more. When a visitor performs a search query on your site, the merchandising engine presents the highest-valued and most relevant products to provide the greatest likelihood that this visitor will complete a purchase. Not only is this useful for search queries, but this software also enables you to display automated and dynamic banners that can promote multiple items that can be categorized together, such as new items, red clothing near Valentine’s Day, seasonal items and however else you can categorize items using your creativity. The banners can also be personalized for each visitor using their customer data including location, hobbies, interests, gender and more.

Let’s explain it in a different way. We can compare a merchandising engine to how a retailer sets up their brick-and-mortar location. You may be aware that retailers organize their stores and shelves to show the highest valued items in the most visible locations, or to present items side-by-side that are likely to be purchased together, like ketchup and mustard. Well, this software works in a similar way to maximize exposure of your highest-value products that are most likely to sell, while stimulating overall higher-value purchases during a visitor’s experience throughout your website.

5 Ways To Use a Merchandising Engine To Increase Profits & Conversions

Place Program Banners Throughout your Site and on Site Search Results Pages

If a customer performs a search query on your site, you can set up a banner to appear on the results page to show bestselling or “most loved” items along with site search results. While they are reviewing the items they searched for, you can catch their eye with some of your other awesome products. An eCommerce company may use merchandising banners to call attention to products in a number of ways and for a variety of reasons including:- to promote a specific category of products (top sellers, back in stock, etc.)- to cross sell complementary goods (for example, you can present jeans if a customer searches for graphic t-shirts)- to cross sell alternative goods (for example, present insulated thermos’ if a customer searches for water bottles)- to recommend products based on customer behavior or data attributes (for example, present sandals or warm weather clothing if a customer searches from a location that is experiencing a heat wave)- to visually remind customers about products they’ve browsed in the past

Create Category Pages with Product Detail

Try introducing a category with a banner of specifically highlighted products. Depending on the products sold, an online store may want to highlight seasonal goods like how Avon highlights beach products and bug spray during the summer to someone browsing from a warm weather location.

Other companies may want to highlight a temporary collaboration of products. Luxury candy company, Sugarfina, highlights their candy collab with Super Mario Bros. with a banner introducing the products with written details to lure the reader in.

Employ Personalization to Make Suggestions More Relevant

We mentioned before that merchandising engines visually remind customers about products they’ve browsed in the past - which is an example of personalization. How does this work? Personalization occurs when merchandising engines utilize customer browsing habits and personal data to tailor communication and content to their specific needs. Personalizing recommendations makes the suggestions more relevant to the visitor and helps a merchandising engine display the products that are most likely to encourage a completed purchase. When using personalization, an online store may decide to promote products that have already been viewed by the visitor by saying “revisit your favorites” or “these items are still available.” If data shows the visitor is price-sensitive, the merchandising engine may show a banner with newly-added sale items. If a visitor reads reviews before purchasing products, the online store may choose to show a banner of social posts raving about products or testimonials in a visible location on the homepage. The options are endless and are only limited by your team’s creativity.

Use Site Search Data to Improve Merchandising Success

Think you’re “too busy” to look into what your customers are searching for on your site? Companies often overlook the value of this data until they experience how powerful site search data can be when implemented into your website and content strategy. Sure, it’s important to know what customers are successfully buying on your site. However, the key to increasing sales can be hidden in what customers can’t find on your site which then lead you to lose sales and conversions. Look through your customer’s search queries to unlock a wealth of information about your customer’s habits and implement these findings into your strategy. For example, let’s say a  few customers searched for rompers and ended up on your “No Results Found” page. You have them listed under shorts but a few customers expected them to be under the dresses category. Since you have them tagged as “shorts” they are not coming up during a search for rompers. You may be able to save those sales by listing rompers in both categories and even create a rompers category. Reviewing site search data can highlight areas that can easily be improved on your site. Not only will you avoid customers getting frustrated and leaving because they can’t find what they’re looking for, but you’ll improve the performance of your website and increase conversions as customers increasingly find what they need. Add Recommendation Banners to your “No Results Found” Page

If a customer attempts a search and doesn’t find what they need, you don’t want them to see an empty page. Adding a banner of new, back-in-stock, trending or most loved products will increase the likelihood that they stick around to browse and perhaps find something they want to purchase.

These “5 Ways to Use a Merchandising Engine to Increase Profits and Conversions” are some suggestions to get you started. As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, you can set the merchandising engine up to be tailored specifically to help you achieve your objectives and you can get as creative as possible. When implemented correctly, a merchandising engine will add some automated power to your webstore. Are you interested in learning how a merchandising engine can help you increase conversions, sales and revenue and provide a relevant, more enjoyable experience to the visitors on your site? We are excited to help and our team is happy to run through some suggestions based on your personal objectives.