It doesn’t matter whether you want to sell goods online or offline, getting customer attention is equally important in both cases. One of the sure shot ways to gain customer attention is to ensure that you are doing the merchandise planning right. What is merchandising planning and how it matters in online retail management? Read on to know.
Understanding Merchandise Planning
In simple words, merchandising planning means planning a bunch of activities that ensure that the right products are displayed at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity and at the right prices. With regard to online retail stores, it includes placing the right products on the right platform like TrueGether, at the right time, in the right quantity and at the right prices.
Benefits of Merchandise Planning
The key benefits of perfect merchandise planning for offline and online retail outlets are:
When a customer finds what he or she needs in a short amount of time, he or she buys it instantly and hence boosts the sales. Customers also do more impulse shopping when the products are displayed right.
If a customer finds everything he or she needs every time he or she visits your online shop, it will increase your brand value in his or her perception, and he or she will be a loyal customer.
Better Space Management
Merchandising allows you to decide what products need to be displayed in what sections of the website and put the most attractive options in the front and center while showing the less important items in the corners.
Improved Inventory Flow
The inventory flows seamlessly from stores to the customers if merchandising is done right as products will be sold sooner rather than later and it will make the inventory management easier.
Revives Dead Stock
Merchandising, if done right can help an online retailer get rid of the dead stock as the items that are not getting sold can be given more attention and offered in combination with high demand products.
How to Do Merchandise Planning in Online Retail Management?
Start with the Homepage
If you want to do merchandise planning online, you should begin by focusing on the homepage. Start by displaying an offer right up front on the home page. It will help catch the attention of every customer and motivate them to explore more. Secondly, when the user scrolls down on the Homepage, he or she should be able to see some personalized products that are recommended based on the user’s search history. It will make a user feel more pampered. The third trick is to add a banner that catches the attention such as free shipping or 20 percent off for first time users. It will give an incentive for the customers to stick to the website for a little while longer.
Merchandise on the Category Page
Make sure that every category page you design displays related products as it will allow the customers to choose items only after comparing them with other available options. It is also recommended that every category page displays the product name, image, price, means of adding it to the cart and the option of reading more about it. The next step is to make sure you provide several filters or layers to let customers sort products on the basis of price, brand, discount, size, color, shipping, availability, etc.
Merchandising on Product Detail Page
This is the page where you need to convince the shopper to buy the product. So, make sure that the content is right, there are ample images (from different angles), and all information, especially regarding additional charges and shipping is mentioned correctly. Using product videos is also recommended to make the product more visually appealing and letting a customer know how to use it once it is delivered.
Some Add on Tips
Once you are done with the steps above, it is recommended that you follow as many of the below-mentioned suggestions as possible to let online merchandising leave a mark.
- Make sure that the entire website is mobile friendly and your products are merchandised right even if a person is using a mobile to shop.
- See to it that the website has a chat feature to help the customer pick the right products.
- Ensure that your search tab is working right and offering relevant suggestions.
- The journey from adding the product to the cart to buying it should be as short as possible.
- Keep an eye on competitors to see what merchandising strategies are appealing to prospective customers.
- Ask for customer feedback on your merchandising strategies by requesting them to fill a survey and keep improvising according to their suggestions.
In essence, it can be said that though merchandise planning in online retail management seems to be quite easy, it’s not. You need to keep up with the latest trends and meet customer expectations constantly to keep them happy. Once you succeed in that, the benefits you receive will be worth it. There are many examples of fruitful merchandise planning which is incorporated in selling marketplaces like TrueGether