Merchandising has forever been the heart and soul of retail. And even though a large portion of retail has now moved to the digital realm, merchandising still remains a vital part of the ecommerce puzzle.
Search plays a pivotal role in designing merchandising strategies in the online retail ecosystem. The reason is simple—over 43% of users go straight to the search bar on ecommerce sites. Integrating site search with merchandising makes sense, and it works.
Search merchandising, or searchandising, combines digital merchandising strategies with the search interface to ensure the right products get noticed by the right users.
Searchandising - Why modern retail needs digital merchandising
One of the critical challenges facing modern online retailers is standing out in a crowded marketplace. Millions of products are available for purchase online, and competing for attention can be challenging. This is where searchandising comes in.
By understanding how customers search for and discover products online, retailers can ensure their products are front and center when potential buyers are looking. Additionally, by using data-driven techniques to track customer behavior, retailers can fine-tune their merchandising strategies on an ongoing basis to maximize results.
Searchandising can help guide customers to the most relevant and interesting products based on their individual needs and interests. This customized approach can result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, higher conversion rates, and average order values.
Searchandising strategies that will pave the way for your success
Searchandising strategies can be tailored to different stages of the customer journey, from early awareness to purchase. For example, retailers can use searchandising to showcase new products or highlight special deals during the early awareness stage. Closer to purchase, retailers can use searchandising to suggest complementary products or provide targeted discounts.
No matter what stage of the customer journey they're targeting, retailers must ensure their searchandising efforts align with their overall business strategy. Let's take a look at some of the winning searchandising strategies that you can implement on your ecommerce store -
1. Boost high-margin products
High-margin products are low-hanging fruit when it comes to searchandising, and boosting them in your search results is an effective way to improve business outcomes. One way to accomplish this is to simply feature these items more prominently on the search results page. This could mean featuring them at the top of the page or giving them a larger image or more prominent text.
Another way to boost high-margin products is to include them in special promotions or sales. For example, you could create a section on your search results page that highlights items that are currently on sale. Yet another option is to create special landing pages for high-margin products or even create separate sections of your website devoted to them. Amazon has a unique feature for 'sponsored items' when a user lands on search results or category pages.
2. Dynamic re-ranking of search results
Dynamic re-ranking is a searchandising technique that allows you to update the order of your search results in real time based on a range of pre-defined criteria, including user behavior, recent searches, clicks, add-to-carts, and conversions. Considering this data, you can surface items more relevant to the user than initially returned.
Another approach is to use contextual information to influence results. This could include things like the user's location, weather, or even the time of day. For example, suppose someone is searching for "coats" on a cold winter day in New York City. In that case, you may want to rank items differently than if they were searching for "coats" on a warm summer day in Los Angeles.
You can also use external data sources to influence your results. This could include social media data, third-party reviews, or demographic information. By integrating this data into your ranking algorithm, you can ensure that your users are displayed search results that integrate relevance with business goals.
3. Highlight and boost new arrivals, bestsellers, and on-sale products
One of the goals of search merchandising is to optimize growth-focused business goals while offering the best shopping experience to users.
New arrivals are always a great way to get customers excited about shopping on your site. Be sure to promote new products prominently on your home page and other key areas of your site so they're easy to find. Boost new arrivals in search in a way that adds value to the user's browsing experience and leads to unintended yet gratifying product discovery. You can also create particular landing pages or sections for new arrivals to make them even more visible.
Bestsellers are another excellent option for searchandising because they're already popular with customers and, well, are bestsellers. Promote them on your home page, at the top of SERPs, and on other key areas of your site, and consider creating special landing pages or sections just for them. You can also highlight customer reviews and ratings on bestseller pages to entice shoppers further.
Finally, don't forget about promoting items that are on sale. This is a great way to move older inventory or clear out seasonal items.
4. Marry searchandising with deep personalization
When combined, these two strategies can have a powerful impact on ecommerce success. Here are some ways to integrate searchandising with personalization -
- Understand your customer's needs and preferences. What are they looking for? What motivates them? What bothers them? Use this knowledge to guide your searchandising decisions.
- Make sure your search results are relevant and accurate. This sounds obvious, but it's essential! Relevance is critical to conversion rates, so make sure your search results match what customers are actually searching for.
- Use data to inform your decisions. Test different approaches and track the resulting data carefully. Which tactics result in more sales? Higher conversion rates? Greater customer satisfaction? Use this data to fine-tune your process and continue improving results over time.
- Focus on the customer experience. Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they're looking for on your site. Design a searchandising strategy that puts the customer first, and you'll be well on your way to success.
Searchandising - A powerful technique to drive ecommerce sales
Searchandising uses ranking to optimize search results for higher profitability or to meet your business goals. When done correctly, searchandising can be a powerful tool for driving sales and increasing profits. By understanding customer behavior and using ranking algorithms to your advantage, you can create strategies that deliver results.
AI-driven search and discovery solutions like Zevi leverage advanced search technologies like neural search, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML) to offer powerful searchandising tools. These include advanced ranking algorithms such as cohort-based ranking and inventory-based ranking, among others, to maximize business performance.
To explore the power of AI-powered searchandising tools, book a free demo today.