Visual merchandising is the activity of promoting the sale of goods, specifically the way they are presented in retail outlets. In other words how we present items in retail stores to promote them to customers; combining products, environments, and spaces to create stimulating and engaging displays to encourage the sale of products or services often does it.

This is a concept that retailers of all walks of business are familiar with and something that many of them will use visual merchandising to create compelling promotions. But how can this be transferred to a web site ? How can online retailers adopt this? It certainly makes sense for retailers to look to improve visual stimuli online given the ever increasing online shopping community.

Online merchandising platforms can provide an etxtremely effective and flexible way of delivery retail visual merchandising on any eCommerce site. Systems can be configured to work automatically or can be done in conjunction with manual merchandising efforts by the retailer.

In some respects Visual merchandising is as simple as driving how visual elements are displayed on a give page or site. It can also be as complicated as you make it, with functionality available to determine sequences of products on category pages to create a more sophisticated service.

There are a number of ways of effectively using visual merchandising on eCommerce sites:

  • Weighting – by weighting site metrics data, visual merchandising can determine how products are displayed on web pages by margin, stock availability, popularity and even how new the product is to the site.
  • Visual Elements – customers can be driven to product pages and site sections by tools such as banner ads based on a page or category selected.
  • User selection – metrics drive data allows an entire page to be generated by a user selecting a category.
  • Customised merchandising – using seasonal themes and promotions, retailers can display a different home page, banner ad or landing page based on a date or time trigger.

In essence the key to creating relevant and effective visual merchandising solutions for eCommerce sites is to apply the same principles you would for a physical retail store using technology that allows you to dictate how you want your merchandise to be consumed by customers.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com