How to Boost Online Conversions with Visual Merchandising

Being an online merchandiser today means you have to know how to incorporate art, data and science to be able to stay competitive in the turbulent online global market. Since there's no physical presence during online purchasing, you must find ways to compensate for the lack of personal experience such as taste, smell and touch. 

There are advanced techniques of sight and sound available for the online merchandiser to use to attract visitors into an exclusive, custom-made shopping experience that drives purchasing behavior. In the ultra-competitive game of online shopping, you need to be able to elevate sales by creating desire and modifying shopping behavior and here are several ways you can do it.

Be Clear and Precise

As much as 18% of non-buyers claim they couldn’t find the item they were looking for. This means you need to re-evaluate the internal search options on your site as 11% to 15% of potential buyers begin their shopping by typing into the search bar.

One of the best ways to boost your internal site search is by using an autocomplete option that finds the products you want. You also need to make the search option is more prominent so the shoppers aren't forced to guess what the bar is for. A confused shopper will do no shopping for sure and will leave your site without boosting your sales.

Product Pages are the Focus of Online Visual Merchandising

Your product pages are mini sales pages because that's where your customers make up their minds about purchasing and add it to their cart. Your job is to ensure they know they are on the right page. This means your product name has to be clear and shown in an alluring headline. Also, the visual imagery of your main products needs to be positioned front and centered above the fold so there’s no need to scroll to see it. This allows those shoppers who don’t usually read headlines but look for images first, know they’re at the right place. 

In addition to this, make sure your shoppers get all the info they need to confirm their buying decision, meaning the description, price, and specs such as color, size and measurements. For most shoppers, seeing is believing so make sure they see the instant product color changes and show it from all angles.

According to the teachings of a bachelor's degree in visual design, it's all about re-inventing reality and bringing together both small and great sides of it. It takes a lot of creativity on the part of the visual designer to face the challenges of institutional communications, services and products. By combining the knowledge of graphics, visual arts, social sciences such as theories of communication and mass media, any job in the sphere of online merchandising can be successfully accomplished. 

Be Mobile Responsive and Optimized

Although over 50% of your traffic may be coming from mobile devices, still the majority of your sales probably comes from desktop. Recent research data shows that over 3% of shoppers checked out while shopping from their desktops and only over 1% of shoppers using their smartphones completed the checkout process. 

Also, research indicates that around 40% of shoppers are still uncomfortable shopping online using desktop computers and a whopping 80% are uncomfortable shopping using smartphones.

The solution needs to be as unique as your business and to find it, you need to conduct testing. The truth is there’s no clear and uniform formula for success, but tested and proven methods that have outperformed the competition do exist. Find the ones that work for your business, implement them and use the data you obtain to improve your performance. 

Woo Your High Purchase Intent Shoppers

Once you recognize people visiting your site as the ones with buyer’s intent, you should woo them by optimizing their shopping processes by keeping it as short and easy as possible. One such group are the buyers that use your internal site search mechanisms. These are the buyers that shop at 3 times greater rate than those that go browsing to find what they want.

Internal site searcher typically type the product in by name and add parameters like size, color, flavor and other search inquiries. With such a clear idea of what they want, these shoppers are determined to buy and are much likely to make the purchase in the end

You can help them by either going through the process yourself or by creating a focus group. The focus group are people who aren’t familiar with your site and who are enticed to go through the entire process. Ask them to note down their actions and reactions. This is a very cost-effective way to troubleshoot and eliminate snags that ruin the shopping experience. 

Then, optimize your autocomplete of the search feature, check your merchandising and make sure your products are displayed easily and naturally. Also, ensure the checkout process all the way through to receiving the items is painless and seamless. 

Get Personal with Product Recommendations

To make sure you meet your shoppers’ needs, test and rework your internal automatic product recommendations. You need to run continuous updates and make sure all goes smoothly. For instance, if you sell women’s winter footwear, retune items by season, gender and item type. 

One aspect where many site owners slip regarding recommendations is the price. Make sure your recommendation engine sends back relevant price increases. These are the things that dramatically enhance your shopper’s experience and will lead to better satisfaction, which will ultimately lead to higher sales.

It's clear that the job of an online visual merchandiser is versatile and more than simply color coordinating and putting up a nice image. And it’s also more than just doing data analysis – it’s a combination of all things discussed above. 

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