visual merchandising for ecommerce

How to Achieve Visual Merchandising Success

Visual merchandising software is a game-changer, because it does away with multiple tabs, Excel spreadsheets, and complicated streams of information and puts all of the information that you need to know in one convenient location.

However, it can be a massive undertaking for any online business to implement. In order to do it well, you need to stay on top of inventory, customer feedback, and various social media channels. All of that up adds up to one thing: time. Many small businesses and ecommerce startups don’t have the resources to properly maintain their online merchandising. That’s all about to change, as long as you get the right assistance with the implementation.

Visual Merchandising execution in ecommerce

For those of you who’ve just launched your ecommerce website or are in the process of making changes, you’ve probably figured out that online visual merchandising is a long-term game. It’s not enough to simply create a site and throw a few items up for sale. Successful online merchandising requires constant management, inventory upkeep, creative know-how, and an eye for design. Let’s delve a little deeper and take a look at how you can take your eCommerce site to the next level and increase conversion rates in 2015.

Successful online merchandising starts with getting your customers’ attention. It can be tricky choosing which items to put front and center. If your business is known for a particular product, try placing something else on the homepage. Shoppers respond to items that they want, not things that they already need. New items and fresh creations make great headliners. You should also showcase some of your most luxurious products upfront. Products with bright contrasting colors will catch their eye. Remember to rotate your promotional products at least every month or so. Frequent shoppers will want to see something new when they click on your site.

When it comes to listing products, keep underperforming items at the top. You can put surplus items next to more popular products. Items that are nearly sold out should be placed at the bottom. No one wants to get an “Out of Stock” message on the first item they see. Try mixing up colors on your product page. Put vibrant, contrasting items next to more neutral pieces. You should also group certain products together if they fall under the same category. This makes your ecommerce site easier to navigate and more user-friendly.

This article has been contributed by Smart Merchandiser , who is helping businesses take control of their ecommerce websites. They create an easy-to-use interface that replicates the look and functionality of your ecommerce site, one that also tracks inventory, abandonment rates, conversation rates, views, and customer satisfaction. Increase your ecommerce team’s productivity with merchandising software. Work smarter, not harder.

shopper marketing, the future of retail

The future of the retail model

In a recent article published by Transworld Business, Jeff Harbaugh a consultant who has been analyzing “omnichannel” strategy gives his opinion on the evolution of marketing and the future of the retail model. Harbaugh states, brands today almost need to run two companies in order to sell to both millennials (born 1982-2000) and baby boomers (born 1946-1964). Though obviously there is some overlap, today you probably can’t sell the same product lines to both groups. The two generations shop, get their information, are influenced and have different expectations with brands. This difference affects all parts of the supply chain and today retailers are struggling to cope.

Business_transworld_image_merchandising_retail

Read below on what Jeff Harbaugh thinks is going to happen within retail:

• Retail space is going to contract.

• Malls (with the exception of the high end ones I’m told) will be in trouble. Fewer people are visiting them. They will spend less. This is a slippery slope. Lower traffic means fewer sales which mean some stores close, which means lower traffic which means more stores close.

• Advances in robotics and technologies like 3D printing means that more product can be customized in a short time scale.

• Online/mobile generated sales will continue to grow (duh) energized by our logistics capabilities that get product to (and from) consumers quicker.

• Inventory requirements for retailers will decline as will the square feet needed for physical stores.

• Real product differentiation will continue to be hard to achieve. Making a product at least occasionally hard to find will matter.

facebook_Ikea_mobile

Facebook Mobile Ads Driving In-store Customer Traffic

Are Facebook mobile ads really driving in-store customer traffic?

According to an article posted by The Guardian research conducted by Vizeum and iProspect showed an 11% increase in store visits to ikea for those exposed to geo-targeted Facebook ads

Today consumers are more constantly connected through phones, tablets, eyewear and other devices than ever before. Retail analysts strongly predict, through these devices, customers are exposed to mobile ads, online coupons, blogs, geolocation  apps and online reviews which has influenced customer buying behavior. Retailers are quickly embracing omni-channel strategies in order to leverage online engagement to drive more sales in store.

Image

From the article:

An experimental campaign put together by Vizeum on behalf of Ikea has given a glimpse of the potential for accurate marketing-spend attribution through the use of social network and mobile phone data.

The test campaign, conducted over two weeks, matched Facebook usage and EE data to measure the uplift in visits to the Ikea store in Cardiff from those who had seen targeted Ikea adverts on Facebook. The results showed an 11% average increase in store visits among more than 172,000 people who were served adverts, compared with an otherwise identical same-size group that had not seen the adverts.

The research measured store traffic uplift from those who had seen Ikea ads over a two-week period. The test delivered 1.4m impressions and saw the biggest impact among 22 to 25-year-olds: there was a 31% increase in store visits among this group. The 26 to 35-year-olds were up 11% compared to the non-exposed group. These visitors gave Ikea a return on investment of 6:1 against their media spend with Facebook, which was geotargeted around Cardiff and ran for two weeks during December 2013 and January 2014.

Phillip Dyte, paid social media manager at iProspect, the agency charged with executing the campaign, explained why this methodology was unique: “Together with Facebook, Vizeum and Isobar, we worked closely to serve News Feed ads to Ikea’s Cardiff audience, ensuring we reached a statistically robust number of unique local impressions. EE then analysed device activity within a geofenced area around the Ikea store – removing staff, people who lived in the area and passers-by. The resulting figures are really clean of misleading variables.”

When asked if the results were a product of the busy marketing environment during December and January, Dyte emphasised the unique methodology which makes this a fair test.

“When people raised the point that it’s Christmas and there’s so much marketing activity going on, our argument was that it’s Christmas for the non-exposed group as well. Everyone will be exposed to the same environment, so you’re not measuring artificial uplift that is caused by the seasonality, because the non-exposed group also has the seasonability. Anything that applies as a variable applies to both groups. The only difference is that some people saw adverts and others didn’t. It’s such a strong methodology – that’s why it’s so bullet-proof.

“This was experimental technology testing an experimental hypothesis. There was no guarantee of success. In the past you would have had to make assumptions and you’ve had to incentivise it using couponing or something, but none of that is really a fair test. But this is a fair test.”

These sorts of partnerships between banks, mobile networks and social networks to combine datasets such as these are becoming more common. Partnerships between mobile data providers – such as Weve, backed by EE, and supermarkets and banks such as Tesco andMastercard – are becoming more common. “Those partnerships are mutually beneficial, but they’re driven by tech which, over the last year or so, has advanced to the level which now allows us to do this,” said Dyte. “People are saying ‘Wow, this is possible now.’ “

Chris Gobby, head of EE mData, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of this innovative advertising effectiveness study with Ikea, Facebook, Vizeum and iProspect. EE mData has unique ability to deliver exciting new insights in the mobile space – combining anonymised and aggregated mobile web and location data to provide landmark results in advertising measurement.”

Richard Morris, managing director of Vizeum, said social media now plays a vital role in the advertising strategy for brands: “This study clearly demonstrates the impact that ads on Facebook have on brick-and-mortar foot traffic for retailers. These innovative strategies that combine mobile, local and social media for our clients are the future of digital marketing. The methodology is brilliantly executed, and the results show clearly, empirically, that Facebook adverts have driven real-world footfall.”

ecommerce

How Seeing More Increases eCommerce Engagement

At the mall shoppers have the opportunity to take only a few steps into a store to gain a visual representation of what items are available prior to committing to viewing the stores range in greater detail. That all important first scan of the store can be critical.

On the other hand, eCommerce traditionally does not provide shoppers with a comparative experience online.

Online Retail Display

Online stores have only limited screen space in the first view to wow customers and keep them on their site and looking for more. Ten to twelve flat images in a standard grid as a first impression for customers makes grabbing their attention difficult.

The customers who do commit to exploring more typically have to scroll through pages and pages of products to find images worthy of continuing their shopping experience on that site. This situation can lead to buyer’s fatigue, where shoppers have browsed so many pages of items that they simply lose interest and leave the site.

An online presence should excite visitors enough so that they not only return but they tell others about the experience they had.

So how can online retailers overcome this?

It’s simple. By helping your site visitors find items of interest to them quicker and allow them to feel in control by providing an interactive experience.

Research shows that images are the most important factor in the online shopping experience, more important even than price. When we shop we scan many items and allow one to catch our eye, tracking subtle factors such as colour, shape and position.

What does this mean to you, the online retailer, seeking new points of difference as online shopping matures? It means that existing online image galleries are counter-intuitive to the way people shop in real life. A static, flat 2D grid does not meet the needs of customers to visually scan and interact with products.

Author Bio
Shaylee Rogers is the Marketing Coordinator for thereitis & Show. See. Sold. Interactive Display for Shopify. Learn more about Interactive Display at http://www.showseesold.com

ecommerce store display

How Seeing More Increases eCommerce Engagement

At the mall shoppers have the opportunity to take only a few steps into a store to gain a visual representation of what items are available prior to committing to viewing the stores range in greater detail. That all important first scan of the store can be critical.

On the other hand, eCommerce traditionally does not provide shoppers with a comparative experience online.

ecommerce store display

Online Retail Display

Online stores have only limited screen space in the first view to wow customers and keep them on their site and looking for more. Ten to twelve flat images in a standard grid as a first impression for customers makes grabbing their attention difficult.

The customers who do commit to exploring more typically have to scroll through pages and pages of products to find images worthy of continuing their shopping experience on that site. This situation can lead to buyer’s fatigue, where shoppers have browsed so many pages of items that they simply lose interest and leave the site.

An online presence should excite visitors enough so that they not only return but they tell others about the experience they had.

So how can online retailers overcome this?

It’s simple. By helping your site visitors find items of interest to them quicker and allow them to feel in control by providing an interactive experience.

Research shows that images are the most important factor in the online shopping experience, more important even than price. When we shop we scan many items and allow one to catch our eye, tracking subtle factors such as colour, shape and position.

What does this mean to you, the online retailer, seeking new points of difference as online shopping matures? It means that existing online image galleries are counter-intuitive to the way people shop in real life. A static, flat 2D grid does not meet the needs of customers to visually scan and interact with products.

Interactive Display – Show more. See more. Sell more.

With interactive display by Show. See. Sold. shoppers can view an entire collection in an engaging and immersive way that triggers the eye/brain connection promoting discovery and a genuine connection to the products displayed.. It is based on how we as humans find things in everyday life, which had yet to be translated to online retail product display.

Shoppers can swipe, zoom, spin and filter a product range then click through and buy. Seamless integration means images and copy are always up to date and site owners can easily control what is displayed. Show. See. Sold is all about user experience and engagement across all devices from desktop to mobile.

The end result of this process is a material uplift in time on site, conversion and basket size, all achieved with a little help from neuroscience which goes to show there is more to increasing your online sales than meets the eye.

Supermarkets, Shopper Marketing, Ecommerce

Supermarkets changing strategies to compete with ecommerce

Large supermarkets are changing strategies as customers begin to shop online instead of going to hypermarkets.

Supermarkets, Shopper Marketing, Ecommerce

The days of massive stores are over, according to Tesco Extra’s chief executive Phil Clarke. The market share of the U.K.’s biggest retailer is now at its lowest level since 2005. Tesco had been beating rivals by opening huge stores across the country, but that strategy may now be hurting it, according to The Guardian.

Industry insiders have said that it was a mistake for any supermarket, incluing Tesco, to open stores larger than 60,000-70,000 square feet since it’s a challenge to fill them with enticing products when many things sell better online.

Online sales have more than doubled in the last five years, according to consultancy Verdict Research, a fact that supermarkets have not ignored. Tesco and rivals Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose all offer groceries and non-food online with “click and collect” services. They have been able to attract new shoppers to buy a massive range of fashion, homewares and electricals online, some of which does not appear in their stores.

Most major supermarkets are adding small local stores to take advantage of the trend toward more frequent small shopping trips but many are still unwilling to give up on their addiction to new physical space. Supermarkets were working on the development of 40 percent more new space in the first half of 2011 than they were in 2008, according to property company CBRE.

[via RetailCustomerExperience.com]