Offline sales can be increased only by properly placing the goods on the shelves. For the Internet, this statement is also true, however, at the expense of a few other principles. We understand how and what measures and techniques of merchandising work online.
Why online shopping merchandising
Consider the task of classic merchandising, which can be successfully solved in the online store.
- To stimulate sales of certain categories and titles.
- Promote more expensive products.
- Sell out stale goods.
- Attract attention to new products.
- Stimulate the purchase of more goods.
- Increase the average bill.
- Create a pool of loyal buyers.
- Maintain the competitiveness of the store.
- Manage customer behavior.
Now let's see what and how you can “decompose on the shelves” of an online store to solve these problems.
We make the main page
Homepage is the central showcase of your store. Although a visitor can come to the site through any other page, they often come to the main page to get a general impression of the site’s assortment and see if they can be trusted.
The main page should be designed in the same way as the main storefront - take into account the characteristics of consumer behavior and use all possible tools to keep a visitor on the site and convince to go to the catalog.
What to show on the main page
There is no recipe that works 100% for any online store. In different niches and on different sites, the main pages are designed based on the characteristics of the product range, the target audience and the business model, as well as the functionality of the resource. However, there are several universal elements and techniques.
To maintain competitiveness the online store on the main page of the site should display a brief information about the delivery and payment, guarantees, benefits and social proofs. All this does not apply to the management of attention and behavior, but it builds trust and urges to make a choice in favor of this store. Ideally, these elements should be visible on any page of the site and attract attention. Therefore, they are usually placed in a cap or not very wide strip, "sticking" to the upper or lower edge when scrolling.
We will not dwell here on the other mandatory elements that affect the conversion, but are not related to merchandising. If interested, read about it in the article "How to open an online store: step by step instructions" in the section "How to make an online store website".
To attract attention for individual products - new, popular, stale, relevant in this month or season - on the main page you can create several blocks of goods. Each block should have a heading so that the buyer understands why he should stop at this place at all.
Particularly attractive are personalized items. For example, OZON regularly offers me what I was looking for, or what potentially I might be interested in.
Svyaznoy works well with personalization. Having visited the site, I saw an eye icon with a counter and one. At the click, a block with a keyboard for the tablet came up.
To select from a large directory Some categories of goods, put them in a separate menu or blocks on the main. Add to that and what is in demand - thinking about sales, do not forget that people want to buy. So you pay attention to the necessary categories and do not scare away those who came for popular goods. Particularly relevant items of the catalog can be highlighted in color, as is done in WildBerries:
From the main page must be available full directory. It is desirable to implement it in such a way that even the smallest category can be reached in one click. Fortunately, now it can be done without huge footwear with links.
Manage customer attention and behavior You can also use visual techniques - colors, fonts and size of elements. It is worth getting acquainted with the technology of Eye Tracking and F-trajectory of Jacob Nielsen and arrange the necessary blocks in those parts of the page that are most often watched by visitors.
Selecting items in the block to which you want to attract attention in the first place is convenient with the help of marketing tags - small dies or labels with inscriptions or icons.
To encourage buying more goodsTry to add relevant promotions and special offers in separate blocks or in the slider under the header. We will not stop here in detail. Marketing and promotions is a topic for a separate article, and it’s already on our blog :-)
Also this task is well handled by collections of products that buy together for the same purpose. These include bows from new collections in online boutiques or kits in the maternity hospital in children's stores.
Main Page Structure
There is no single universal structure. You need to focus on the number of product categories, the variety of the range, the features of the goods and the number of blocks that you want to fit on the main one. Therefore, we will give some universal recommendations that need to be considered in order not to reduce the effect of merchandising measures to a minimum.
- Do not overdo it with creativity. Modern Internet users already have an online shopping experience. So, entering the online store, we expect to see a basket in the upper right corner, where we will look for contact details and a callback button. By placing on the first screen the text about the company, the latest articles from the blog and corporate news, you risk losing most of the buyers.
- The most important, attractive and "selling" - on the first screen. When a visitor gets to the main page, it is important to immediately catch his attention. Therefore, on the first screen place the most profitable stocks, relevant products and the main advantages.
- Duplicate important information. What the visitor should exactly pay attention to can be placed in several places on the page. So, on OZON, gift certificates are mentioned in the benefits block at the top of the page, and below there is a deployed block with more detailed information.
- Guarantees and benefits are always in sight. These blocks remind the visitor that buying from you is profitable, convenient and safe. It will be good if they are visible wherever the buyer is and whatever pages are viewed.
- All that is not directly related to sales - at the bottom of the page. Company news, latest articles from blogs, a selection of bows, a form for subscribing to a newsletter - all this is advisable to place on the main page, but not on the first and even on the second screen. Pull these blocks down and use as the last hook that will keep the visitor on the site, if for some reason he was not interested in stocks and actual goods.
We think over the catalog of goods
If we compared the main page with the central showcase, then the catalog is the layout of the sales area. In the development of a store plan, the guidelines are guided by information on the directions of movement of customer flows. There are universal studies on this topic that show how this happens in most cases. Large retailers conduct their own measurements and experiments in order to locate popular and expensive products along the way of these flows.
In online, this experience can be transferred through the technology of Eye Tracking, which we discussed above.
Another important principle that is guided offline is accessibility. If buyers can find and get to the necessary goods without unnecessary gestures, the turnover increases by 30-70%. This information online should be used to the fullest, including - when developing the directory structure.
Therefore, the first thing we take care of the simplicity and clarity of the catalog for buyers. In drawing up the structure, it is necessary to take into account their logic - no one will look for rubber boots in the “Hobby and Handicraft” section, but in the categories “Footwear” and “Cottage and Garden” - completely.
To facilitate the movement of customers through the "sales area" and the search for the desired items, you can also:
- to divide products into subcategories according to several criteria - purpose, material, scope of use. So the same product can be displayed in several sections, so that the buyer accurately finds it;
- make a multi-level structure with simple and clear category headings for a large and diverse range;
- use visualization - mark all or only important and popular categories with icons or photos to make it easier for buyers to navigate due to the speed of perception of visual information.
Read more about the important elements of the catalog and the development of its structure in the article "Creating an online store: what to look for, so that after 3 months and $ 5,000 not start again," the section "44 recommendations on the functionality of an online store."
We make out sections and "lay out" the goods on the pages
Here you need to be guided by the same tasks of merchandising as in the design of the main page, with the only difference that in categories usually 80-90% of the space is occupied by blocks with goods.
In stores with a small assortment on the pages of the main sections, you can also place a large commodity block by adding it to the filter category for navigation. But large online hypermarkets more often draw up large sections as a block of categories so that buyers do not get lost in the pile of motley goods.
To attract the attention of buyers to the top and new names or to those that need to be sold faster, under such a unit you can place the appropriate groups of cards. Or, as in OZON, display subcategories immediately with collections of goods.
In addition, for new products, popular and premium products, you can create additional categories and place them on the first screen, in the most viewed areas.
If you believe Jacob Nielsen, it is there that buyers look most often, so the categories "Bestsellers", "News" and "Soon for sale" did not come here by chance.
Another way stimulate the sale of necessary goods - place them at the top of the page. Please note that in the top stores on the first screen you will see promotional and new products.
Task increase average check in online merchandising is usually already decided in the cards, however, on the categories page it will not be superfluous to remind the buyer of related products. Especially if without them the purchase can not be used in full.
To control behavior and attention Buyers, many stores are actively using the preset filter settings. Everything is simple - when you go to the category page, the default settings are set so that you are the first to see the products that the seller wants to show. Also, as in offline stores, expensive products are set at eye level; they are displayed online on the first screen.
We are developing a product card
Thanks to the product cards online, we have much more opportunities for a competent presentation of the product than offline. In physical stores, however, there is another advantage - the opportunity to examine the product closer, touch and try on.
In front of the computer screen, people are more likely to perceive information than walking along the shelves. However, here you should not abuse the attention of visitors - each pixel in the product card must be used rationally, and each word and image must be in its place and have a specific goal.
The structure and content of these pages depends on the cost, features and characteristics of the goods. So, in the card of an expensive TV there should be as many technical characteristics as possible, on the page with the dress there are a lot of photos from different angles, and good annotation is especially important for the book.
To solve merchandising tasks with the help of a product card, you need to thoroughly study the needs of customers and understand what they pay attention to when choosing. Then it will be possible to arrange the information and display it on the page, placing the important blocks on the first screen and in the most viewed zones. We will not dwell on the components of the card to increase sales here. Read about it in our article "What is a product card and how to issue it: 29 elements of success." Pay particular attention to paragraphs 1 and 27-29, which deal with techniques and tools for solving merchandising tasks.
Working through navigation and usability
Remember, we said that free access and ease of finding the right products increase turnover? These goals are served by clear navigation and good usability of the online store. Ideally, these points should be taken into account even at the stage of structure and design development. But on the already running site you can eliminate the worst mistakes if you know where to look for them.
To ensure that navigation and usability do not reduce all your merchandising efforts to a minimum, it is enough to follow standard tips and recommendations for commercial sites. To check your online store for errors or take into account the nuances when developing a new resource, use our usability checklist.
A couple of ideas for last
Do not refuse popups. This tool is quite aggressive and can be annoying to users; therefore, it should be used carefully, but you should not refuse completely. In this way, you can inform the buyer about the best deals and important promotions. The pop-up window, even for a few seconds, completely attracts attention to itself, so the advertising message placed on it cannot be ignored.
Add interactive. Give visitors the opportunity to compare similar products on the technical characteristics or vote for your favorite and form buying ratings. Another option is calculator widgets that can be used not only to calculate the cost of complex products, but also to form sets or sets, which means to increase the average bill. For example, you can place a widget in a smartphone card, in which the customer adds headphones, a case, a protective film and other accessories.
Do not forget about the psychology of price perception. The cost of goods recorded as 2000 rubles. visually perceived less than 2000.00 rubles., and 30 thousand rubles. - less than 30 000 rubles.
Add a wishlist to the siteto increase the percentage of returning visitors. If I have already sketched out all sorts of things on the wish list, I’ll be more likely to go back shopping at the same store.
The fantasy of a marketer who wants to attract the attention of the buyer is truly indomitable. If you have met on the Internet interesting, unusual, and creative examples of online merchandising - share them in the comments. I'm sure readers will be interested.