Merchandising in e-commerce: Best Practices and Industry Insights 2023 - IntexSoft
September 20, 2023 • by Victoria

Merchandising in e-commerce: Best Practices and Industry Insights 2023

E-commerce development

In this article, we’ll cover various strategies, from refining product descriptions to implementing personalized recommendations. The goal is to provide a clear, actionable roadmap for enhancing your store’s performance.

Reading time: 15 min.

In this guide, we’re delving into the intricacies of ecommerce merchandising. It’s a critical aspect of running an ecommerce website, involving techniques to present products for optimal sales. Simply put, to entice customers to buy, creating a seamless and delightful online shopping experience.


We’ll cover various strategies, from refining product descriptions to implementing personalized recommendations. The goal is to provide a clear, actionable roadmap for enhancing your store’s performance.


Whether you’re a seasoned online retailer or just starting, these strategies can significantly impact your e-commerce venture. Let’s dive in and explore the tactics that can lead to success in the competitive world of online retail.


What is Ecommerce Merchandising?


Ecommerce merchandising is a multifaceted strategy encompassing various elements that collectively aim to optimize the presentation and promotion of products within online stores. These elements are crucial in influencing a visitor’s decision-making process, from the moment they land on the website to completing a purchase.


Product Presentation


At the core of online merchandising is visual merchandising techniques, it’s about how products are presented. This involves creating compelling product listings with high-resolution images, detailed and accurate descriptions, pricing information, and other relevant product attributes like size, color, or technical specifications.


Navigation and Organization


Effective online merchandising ensures that products are organized logically and intuitively. This means employing precise categorization, sub-categorization, and filtering options that allow customers to locate what they’re looking for easily. A user-friendly search functionality is also crucial, enabling customers to find products efficiently.


Promotions and Offers


Merchandising strategies often include the use of promotions and special offers. This can involve discounts on specific products, bundle deals, clearance sales, or limited-time offers. These incentives create a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to purchase.




Personalization is about tailoring the experience to each customer’s individual preferences and behaviors. It involves using data and algorithms to provide product recommendations, content, and highly relevant offers to a particular shopper. This can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and increase the likelihood of conversions.


Upselling and Cross-selling Techniques


These techniques involve suggesting related or complementary products to a customer. Cross-selling encourages customers to add items to their cart that complement their initial selection. Upselling, on the other hand, involves offering a higher-priced or premium alternative to the product a customer is considering. Both strategies aim to increase the overall value of a transaction.


User Reviews and Ratings


Customer-generated content, such as reviews and ratings, is critical in ecommerce merchandising. These provide valuable insights and social proof for potential buyers. Positive reviews build trust and credibility, while negative reviews can offer opportunities for improvement.


Analyzing Performance Metrics


Merchandisers rely on a range of key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies. These may include conversion rate (the percentage of site visitors who make a purchase), average order value (the average amount spent per transaction), bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave the site without taking any action), and others.


E-commerce merchandising is a multifaceted strategy encompassing various elements that collectively aim to optimize the presentation and promotion of products within online stores.


Ecommerce merchandising is a holistic approach that integrates various strategies to create an engaging and compelling online buying experience.


By paying careful attention to these elements, merchandisers can significantly impact a store’s performance, ultimately driving sales and customer satisfaction.



Ecommerce Merchandising Key Benefits


Ecommerce merchandising holds significant importance in the success and profitability of an online business. 


Here are several key reasons why it’s crucial:


  • Enhances User Experience


Effective online merchandising creates an intuitive and enjoyable experience. Precise product categorization, easy navigation, and appealing visuals help customers easily find and select products.


  • Increases Conversion Rates


Well-merchandised product pages, with detailed descriptions and high-quality images, instill buyer confidence. This, in turn, leads to higher conversion rates, turning visitors into paying customers.


  • Boosts Average Order Value


Techniques like cross-selling and upselling, facilitated by strategic merchandising, encourage customers to add more items to their cart or opt for higher-priced alternatives, thereby increasing the average value of each order.


  • Fosters Trust and Credibility


Clear, accurate product information and user-generated content like reviews and ratings build trust and credibility with potential online shoppers. This transparency helps establish a positive reputation for the brand.


  • Facilitates Personalization


Merchandising enables the customization of product recommendations and content based on individual customer behavior and preferences. This personal touch enhances the customer experience, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.


  • Reduces Cart Abandonment


A well-organized and intuitive experience minimizes friction in the purchasing process. This reduces the likelihood of customers abandoning their carts due to confusion or frustration.


  • Drives Competitive Advantage


In a crowded online marketplace, effective merchandising sets a business apart. It allows for unique and compelling product presentations that capture the attention of potential customers, potentially leading to a competitive edge.


  • Optimizes Inventory Management


By monitoring product performance metrics, merchandisers can make informed decisions about inventory levels. This helps in maintaining appropriate stock levels reducing overstocking or understocking issues.


  • Facilitates Data-Driven Decision Making


Through analytics and A/B testing, merchandisers can gather valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. This data empowers them to make informed adjustments and improve their digital merchandising strategies.


  • Adapts to Market Trends


E-commerce is a dynamic space with evolving consumer preferences and industry trends. Effective merchandising allows businesses to stay agile and responsive to these shifts, ensuring they remain relevant and competitive.


  • Maximizes Return on Investment (ROI)


Thoughtful merchandising ensures that efforts for brand identity creation, such as paid advertising and marketing campaigns, are directed toward well-optimized product pages. This maximizes the ROI on marketing spend.


Ecommerce merchandising is the cornerstone of a successful online retail venture. It influences every aspect of the customer’s shopping journey, from the first click to the final purchase, and is pivotal in driving sales, customer satisfaction, and long-term business growth.


Successful E-Merchandising Strategy Must-Haves 


These ecommerce merchandising strategy elements collectively form a solid foundation for a successful e-commerce project. They ensure that your ecommerce site is user-friendly, efficient, and capable of providing a personalized shopping experience that resonates with your customers. By implementing and refining these components, you’re more likely to drive sales and improve customer satisfaction.


Description Importance Implementation
Optimized Search and Browse Optimized search and browse functionality is the backbone of any successful ecommerce site. It’s the equivalent of a helpful store assistant, guiding customers to find exactly what they’re looking for efficiently. This feature is critical for customer satisfaction. Visitors who need help locating products will likely leave the site. Moreover, a smooth search and browse experience increases the chances of conversion, turning visitors into online shoppers. Ensure your website has a powerful search engine with autocomplete suggestions. Implement filters and sorting options for easy product navigation. Optimize product listings with clear titles and detailed descriptions.
Navigation Built for Ecommerce E-commerce navigation involves how products are organized and presented to visitors. It’s like the layout of a physical store, guiding customers to various sections. Straightforward and intuitive navigation allows customers to explore your product offerings easily. It helps cross-selling by showcasing related products and ensures customers can find what they’re looking for without frustration. Create well-structured categories and subcategories. Use drop-down menus for easy access. Consider adding visual elements like icons or images to make navigation more intuitive.
Basic Segmentation Segmentation is the process of categorizing products based on common attributes like type, size, color, or price range. It allows customers to refine their search based on specific criteria. Segmentation simplifies the browsing process for customers. 

It allows them to quickly narrow down their choices, making finding products that match their preferences easier.

Create distinct categories and subcategories based on product attributes. Implement filters that allow users to refine their search based on these attributes.
Detailed Personalization Personalization involves tailoring the buying experience to individual customers based on their preferences, behavior, and past interactions with the online store. Personalization builds a deeper connection with customers. It increases the chances of conversion by presenting products and offers that are highly relevant to each individual. Utilize data analytics and customer profiling to offer personalized product recommendations, content, and special promotions. Use cookies and user accounts to remember preferences.


What Is Merchandising In Ecommerce: Ecommerce Merchandising Trends


Personalization and AI-driven Recommendations


Personalization is achieved through the use of sophisticated algorithms and machine learning models. These analyze various data points, such as browsing history, purchase behavior, and demographic information, to provide tailored product suggestions. This includes dynamic content on web pages, personalized email campaigns, and product recommendations based on individual preferences.


Visual Search and Augmented Reality (AR)


Visual search technology relies on image recognition algorithms. When a user uploads an image or takes a photo, the system scans and matches it with relevant products in the catalog. AR technology takes this further by overlaying virtual images onto the real world, allowing customers to virtually try on clothing or visualize how furniture would look in their own space.


Sustainable and Ethical Merchandising


Sustainable merchandising involves a comprehensive approach to environmental and social responsibility. This includes using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste in the supply chain, implementing fair labor practices, and transparently communicating these efforts to customers. Brands may also collaborate with certification programs or adopt sustainable packaging solutions.


Live Commerce and Social Shopping


Live commerce integrates live video streaming with e-commerce, creating an interactive experience. This trend leverages real-time customer engagement, allowing them to ask questions, receive product demonstrations, and purchase directly from the video. Social shopping extends this concept by allowing users to browse and shop directly within social media platforms.


Voice Commerce


Voice commerce relies on voice-activated devices and virtual assistants. These platforms use natural language processing to understand and fulfill customer requests. It requires optimizing product information for voice search, ensuring accurate product recognition, and providing a seamless voice-driven purchasing process.


Dynamic Pricing Strategies


Dynamic pricing involves algorithms that adjust product prices based on various factors in real time. These include demand fluctuations, competitor pricing, inventory levels, and customer behavior. Retailers can set rules to raise automatically or lower prices to maximize profitability while remaining competitive.


Subscription-based E-commerce


Subscription-based models involve offering products or services regularly. This not only provides customers with convenience and regularity but also gives businesses a predictable revenue stream. Companies can customize subscription plans based on product type, frequency, and delivery options.


Social Proof


Social proof involves leveraging content generated by customers to build trust and credibility. This can include customer reviews, ratings, photos, and videos. Brands often encourage and showcase user-generated content on product pages, social media channels, and marketing materials to validate the quality and popularity of their products.


Inclusive and Diverse Merchandising


Inclusive merchandising ensures that products, models, and marketing materials represent diverse backgrounds, body types, and identities. This resonates with a broader audience, fosters a sense of belonging, and demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and representation.


Post-Purchase Engagement and Customer Retention


Post-purchase engagement involves maintaining ongoing communication with customers after a sale. This can include order confirmation emails, shipping updates, and post-purchase surveys. Additionally, loyalty programs, special offers, and exclusive content can be used to retain customers and encourage repeat purchases.


Contactless Commerce and Curbside Pickup


Contactless commerce became crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. It involves providing customers with safe and convenient options to collect their online orders without entering traditional brick and mortar stores. Curbside pickup allows customers to remain in their vehicles while store staff bring their purchases.


Chatbots and Conversational Commerce


Chatbots use artificial intelligence to respond instantly to customer inquiries and guide them through purchasing. Conversational commerce extends this concept to include seamless, real-time customer interactions through messaging platforms, providing personalized assistance and driving conversions.



5 Strategies to Improve E-commerce Merchandising


Improving ecommerce merchandising involves implementing effective strategies to enhance the presentation of products, engage customers, and drive sales. 


Here are some key strategies to achieve this:


Optimize Product Listings


  • High-Quality Imagery. Use high-resolution images from multiple angles to give customers a clear view of the product. Allow zooming for finer details.


  • Detailed Descriptions. Provide comprehensive information about the product, including its features, specifications, materials, dimensions, and care instructions.


  • Accurate Pricing. Display the price and, if applicable, any discounts, promotions, or bundle offers. Ensure there are no hidden costs.


  • Essential Attributes. Highlight key attributes such as size, color, available quantities, and variations. This helps customers make informed decisions.


  • SEO Optimization. Use relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions to improve search engine visibility.


Implement Effective Navigation


  • Logical Categories. Organize products into categories that make sense to your target audience. Avoid overwhelming them with too many options.


  • Intuitive Menus. Use clear and concise menu labels. Implement drop-down menus for subcategories and ensure they are easy to navigate on desktop and mobile devices.


  • Robust Search Functionality. Provide an efficient search bar with auto-suggestions and filters. Enable customers to search by product name, category, brand, and other relevant attributes.


Use User-generated Content


  • Encourage Reviews and Ratings. Prompt customers to leave reviews after purchasing. Offer incentives, like discounts on future purchases, to motivate participation.


  • Moderate and Showcase Content. Review and curate content to ensure relevance and authenticity. Display this content prominently on product pages to provide social proof.


Personalize the Experience


  • Customer Profiling. Gather data on customer preferences, browsing history, purchase behavior, and demographic information.


  • Recommendation Engines. Implement algorithms that analyze customer data to provide tailored product recommendations. These can be based on browsing history, purchase patterns, and related items.


  • Personalized Content. Deliver customized marketing messages, product suggestions, and offers based on individual customer segments.


Responsive Mobile Design


  • Mobile Optimization. Ensure that your ecommerce sites is fully optimized for mobile phones. This includes responsive design, fast-loading pages, and user-friendly navigation tailored to smaller screens.


  • Touch-friendly Elements. Ensure buttons, links, and interactive elements are appropriately sized for touch input. Avoid elements that are too small or closely spaced.



Ecommerce Merchandising Best Practices: FAQ


What is the difference between ecommerce and merchandising?


E-commerce refers to the broader concept of conducting commercial transactions, including buying and selling goods or services, over the Internet.


It encompasses the entire online buying experience, from browsing products to purchasing.


Merchandising is a specific aspect of e-commerce that focuses on how products are presented and promoted within an online store. It involves strategies to optimize product listings, and drive sales.


What is the merchandising strategy of ecommerce?


The ecommerce merchandising strategy of e-commerce involves various tactics aimed at presenting products enticingly and effectively to encourage conversions. This includes optimizing product listings, utilizing effective navigation, personalizing the shopping experience, and ensuring mobile responsiveness, among other techniques.


What is merchandising and example?


Merchandising is planning and executing strategies to present and promote products effectively in a retail environment, whether physical or digital. It involves product placement, pricing, promotion, and creating an overall shopping experience.


In an ecommerce store, effective merchandising could involve:


  • Featuring a new product prominently on the homepage.


  • Offering related items as cross-sells.


  • Providing detailed product descriptions with compelling images and customer reviews.


What is the role of an ecommerce merchandiser?


Ecommerce merchants are responsible for curating and optimizing the online shopping experience to maximize sales and customer satisfaction. This role involves selecting and arranging products, implementing pricing strategies, planning promotions, analyzing customer behavior, and continuously refining the online store’s layout and presentation.


Ecommerce Merchandise: Conclusion


By carefully curating the digital shopping experience, businesses can captivate customers, boost sales, and foster lasting customer loyalty.


From optimizing product listings to implementing personalized experiences, each facet of merchandising plays a vital role. 


Effective navigation and strategic segmentation guide customers seamlessly through their journey.


Staying attuned to emerging trends and continuously refining merchandising strategies ensures businesses remain competitive in an ever-evolving digital marketplace. 


The role of an ecommerce merchandiser, as the architect of this digital shopping realm, is pivotal.


Ultimately, the amalgamation of these strategies transforms an online store from a mere platform into an immersive, customer-centric destination. By embracing these practical strategies, businesses pave the way for ecommerce success, forging a path toward sustained growth and prosperity. 


IntexSoft specialists are always ready to help you implement your projects, create an e-commerce platform from scratch, or implement e-commerce merchandising strategies in an existing online store. Contact us for a consultation.

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