Elevate Product Displays: Merchandising Techniques via the Store Inventory System
Unveil the secrets to revolutionize your online store with effective merchandising techniques and inventory management for maximum sales.
Published December 10, 2023.
Seeing full carts but no sales? You're not alone. Shopping cart abandonment sees 88% of online shoppers bail on a purchase at the last minute. Let's dive deep into the heart of e-commerce, where the secret to keeping those carts rolling to checkout lies in mastering merchandising techniques and inventory management.
Meet the Expert
Courtney Sharp is the co-founder and owner of Sharp Media Agency which specializes in Shopify development, eCommerce, digital marketing, and brand development. She has a master’s degree in applied digital media and a strong background in digital strategy.
Merchandising Techniques and Strategies
Smart merchandising techniques can help you create a more dynamic and engaging customer shopping experience. Try the following strategies:
1. Merchandise Your Catalogs
- Keep it fresh: Regularly update your catalogs with new arrivals and featured products and strategically position slow-moving items to grab attention.
- Visual appeal: Make sure you use high-quality images and engaging descriptions. Varied layouts will keep your customer's browsing experience interesting.
- Categorization: Group similar products and create themed collections and categories to help customers easily navigate your store and find products.
» Can't find your catalog IDs? Here's how
2. Use Scarcity and Urgency Tactics
- Product page alerts: Use alerts like “limited stock,” “selling fast,” or “X sold in the last hour” to create a sense of urgency.
- Cart-level messages: Inform customers that items are reserved for a limited time, as this will encourage them to make quicker decisions.
- Checkout and abandoned cart: Use urgency-driven language to encourage immediate purchases. For example, “last chance to buy” or “selling out soon”.
Did you know?
Shopify's “Store Rocket” and Klaviyo for CMS can be incredibly useful for implementing these strategies effectively. The key is understanding your customer's journey and preferences and tailoring your strategies accordingly.
» Interested in artificial intelligence? Here's how to use AI to build a Shopify store
Integrating Your Store's Inventory
Integrating your inventory system is all about using info to sharpen your merchandising game. It’s a smart way to keep your store lively and your customers happy.
Real-Time Inventory Syncing
This is a must if you deal with a wide range of products. It's less crucial for smaller catalogs, but still a smart move. We're talking more than just keeping tabs on stock. Expect a nice bump in your conversion rates and average order value (AOV).
Multi‑Store Sync Power
Ideal solution for seamless Shopify inventory sync
7-day free trial
Real-Time Inventory Sync
The Multi‑Store Sync Power app by EGNITION is a comprehensive solution designed for merchants managing multiple Shopify stores. It facilitates automatic synchronization and real-time updates of inventory, products, and collections across linked stores. This streamlines the entire process of multi-store inventory management.
Thanks to its rich features, setup might be challenging for less tech-savvy users. However, outstanding customer support ensures smooth setup and integration. Once configured, the intuitive dashboard simplifies multi-store management.
- Synchronize inventory levels across stores / locations.
- Synchronize products’ fields across stores / locations.
- Create products automatically in all connected stores / locations.
- Complete multi-location support for flexible synchronization.
- See if any SKUs/Barcodes are not set up properly and missed sync process.
Pros and cons
Synchronized inventory management across multiple stores
Streamlined POS system across locations
Quality control over SKUs and barcodes
Outstanding 24/7 customer support
Cost-friendly monthly pricing
7-day free trial
Configuration can be confusing for less tech-savvy users
Using Inventory Data Wisely
You can easily showcase products that are ready to fly off the shelves when you know exactly what you have in stock. Keep your product displays fresh by adapting to the latest stock info—your customers will love the dynamic shopping experience.
Pro Tip: Try adding "restock notifications" for products/sizes that are out of stock. It's a simple trick that keeps your customers engaged and coming back.
» Discover the 3 best inventory management systems for your Shopify store
Personalization and Targeted Merchandising With Upsell and Cross-Sell
Personalization is a must for elevating your e-commerce game. It's a great way to create a tailor-made shopping experience for each customer:
- Product page optimization: Suggest complementary items or upgrades on each product page. Use algorithms to recommend products based on your customers' behavior.
- Cart and checkout: This is the best time to include suggestions for add-ons or more premium products, as your customers are already in a buying mindset. You can also maintain transparency with checkout disclaimers.
- CMS systems: Use your content management system (CMS) to link product catalogs for better cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
- Email and SMS marketing: Send personalized recommendations to your customers based on their past purchases or browsing behavior.
Upsell and cross-sell apps are perfect for personalization. While most have AI systems, they also allow you to go manual. Consider this when making your pick:
Work best with large product catalogs. They analyze your website data and customer browsing history/site activity to recommend the products most likely to sell well with certain products.
These work better for smaller catalogs with high-value items. Manually link related product categories (like dresses to accessories) or specific complementary products (like headphones to cases).
» Curious about online merchandising? Check out these 11 tips & tricks for Shopify
A Real Success Story
One of my clients nailed this through Klaviyo. We created automated segments based on customer's brand preferences. Tailored emails and SMS campaigns based on these preferences spiked click-through rates (CTR) and sales by over 20%.
Optimization and Data-Driven Decisions
You can enhance how well your product displays work by making the most of your data and consistently trying different approaches. Here’s how:
Track Essential Data for Optimization
If you want to understand customer behavior and optimize your product displays accordingly, try to keep an eye on:
- Customer drop-off rates
- Sales trends
Use A/B Testing to Adapt and Improve with Data
As mentioned previously, it’s important to continually review your cross-sell and upsell strategy. Most apps offer in-depth reports, so monitoring and analyzing the data within them will give you a glimpse into opportunities for optimizing your sales via these features.
» Still struggling? Make sure you know the difference between visitors and sessions
Case Study: Success Through A/B Testing
Experimenting with product page recommendations: For our fashion retail client carrying multiple brands, we initially used AI to recommend similar styles across all brands on product pages.
Shifting to brand-specific recommendations: We switched tactics, focusing on recommendations within the same brand as the viewed product.
Results: This strategy led to higher CTR and a noticeable uptick in sales, showcasing the effectiveness of targeted, data-driven merchandising.
Challenges in E-Commerce Merchandising
Issues With Stock Levels
Product recommendations don’t often consider stock levels. This means your customers might see products with only 1-2 quantities left. It would be more effective to recommend products with a larger inventory as this helps move stock more efficiently.
Some apps have the ability to set the minimum stock level value for products they recommend, but some don’t. So, contact app sales teams when considering using an app and ask about this feature.
It would be even better if you could specify certain quantities required on the variant level (for example, a complete size range).
Solving Issues with Stock Levels
Depending on the size and revenue of your business and product catalog, it's super helpful to have an internal person or team responsible for monitoring and analyzing the data around inventory and feeding this to the buying team.
What Is the Future of E-Commerce Merchandising?
Embracing these future trends will keep your e-commerce businesses ahead of the curve and help you make the most of every opportunity to engage customers and boost sales. Here's what the experts say you should look out for:
Personalization Is Key
The future is all about ramping up personalization. Think advanced software that tailors product recommendations based on a user's real-time browsing data. While still emerging, this technique promises to revolutionize how customers interact with online stores.
Build a Dedicated Team
Get someone or a team on board who's focused solely on integrating store inventory with merchandising strategies.
A huge chunk of potential sales (20-30%) can slip through the cracks if you're not on top of your product and catalog data. So, investing in this area isn't just smart—it's essential.
» Discover the benefits of using dummy data for your Shopify store