7 Merchandising Insights That Make eCommerce Visitors Buy More

Have you ever wondered why some stores simply draw you in, forcing you to buy something you never even wanted in the first place? Then there are those stores that try and give away their stuff for nearly free and no one offers them a second look. The secret ingredient is some great merchandising at work.

Physical retail has always set store by its visual merchandising, often investing thousands of dollars in just one statement shop window (Hello, Harrods!) This focus on merchandising is not limited to just the brick-and-mortar domain. Online stores have shown leaps in their conversion rates by simply rejigging the way they offer their wares to their visitors.

L’Oreal’s sub-brand Urban Decay, actually achieved a 16% lift in their conversion rates by radically transforming how they merchandised their online store. If Urban Decay can do it, what’s stopping you?

1. Fresh Merchandise on a Regular Basis
The human brain is wired for variety. Showcasing the same old products over and over again makes your site more boring than yesterday’s news.
Inject new life into your eCommerce store with new products and fresh deals that tickle your audience’s curiosity. Give them a reason to keep coming back to your site even if simply to check out the fab new stuff you have available.

2. High Quality Product Information
Once a user clicks on an item, your product page should offer them every possible bit of information that they might need to complete the purchase. Do not leave the shopper with questions in their head that may lead them to postpone or even cancel their purchase.

Offer a detailed product description with information on what materials the item is made of, what sizes is it available in, what warranties cover it, how will it be shipped, how much will shipping cost, how can returns be made – the works. Offer size charts if you sell apparel with conversions in local sizes for users in different countries.

3. Images that Tempt a Purchase
Supplement this textual content with some great visuals of the product in question. Offer multiple images from different angles so users can get a real feel of the product.

Allow them to zoom into the image and rotate it 360 degrees to get a good look at it. Instead of showing only the product, include pictures of the product being actually used. This makes the descriptions more credible and understandable. A video of the product in use would be the icing on the cake.

4. Personalized Content
Returning shoppers offer retailers the chance to better their last attempt at seducing the user’s purse strings by giving them the benefit of historical data. Don’t simply collect big data on your site and forget about it. Actively mine the data that your site logs in every minute and derive insights out of it that can be applied to user sessions in the future.

A tool like Unbxd helps you pull out personalized, actionable insights from your site data and serves up products that the shopper is likely to purchase on the basis of their past behavior. Instead of displaying your regular homepage that any first time user can see, showcase items that are similar to the products that they checked out on their last visit.

5. Customer Education
Often, eCommerce site visitors are pretty clueless about the item they’re hunting for. Imagine your mom trying to register for a Xiaomi phone on Flipkart and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.

The idea is to tell the user exactly what the product is and how they can use it. The presence of a handy guide helps convince undecided or uninformed shoppers as they develop a sense of trust in your brand and would rather buy from someone they trust as opposed to someone who simply tries to sell, sell, and sell. This is where content marketing becomes your friend and helps convert users by becoming a merchandising tool in the hands of a smart marketer. Take a look at this tile laying article from Lowes for inspiration. Check out how they cleverly blend their content and product placements to educate and simultaneously sell to the user.

6. Cross-Sells and Complementary Items
Want to increase the ticket size of each purchase? Tempt your customer with another purchase that perfectly complements the one they already have in their cart. By proactively offering to help the customer with products that they can put to immediate use, you are activating the urgency trigger in their minds. Offering users a small discount on the bundled purchase not just sweetens the deal, it also makes them come back again for similar offers.

Whether it’s a “Complete the Look” route or saying “Other buyers also bought” the whole logic behind cross selling items is to push the envelope and attempt at making two (or more!) sales in place of just one.

7. User Reviews and Social Proof
Research has conclusively proved over and over again that prospects believe other customers far more than the marketing spiel offered by brands. User reviews are a huge component in the decision-making process regarding an eCommerce purchase. By ensuring that your users have enough positive word of mouth from real buyers you tip the scales in your favor and push the user closer to the finish line.

However, this is not to say that you must hide or delete unfavorable reviews. It is only natural to get a mix of good and not-so-good reviews for any product. By offering a balanced and unbiased set of reviews, you instill confidence in a new user’s mind and indicate to them that the reviews your site sports are real and not doctored.


Another great way to showcase the popularity of an item is by indicating the number of social shares and likes it has received right on the product page. This social proof again acts as a catalyst hastening the purchase and deepening customer trust levels.

Wrapping Up
Online merchandising is responsible for what your users see on your site when they first land on it. Now we all know that first impressions can last a lifetime and you definitely do not want to send your visitors away with a lifetime’s worth of terrible merchandising memories.