Conversion optimisation is great, but to some extent it works on the premise that customers know what they’re looking for. Ok, checkouts, calls to action, merchandising should always be finessed, but optimisation is a means of squeezing more from specific intent.
But what if moving the customer towards the magpie psyche is the future of selling online?
A new ecommerce model is emerging and it works on the premise that customers can be encouraged to ‘bag at will’. All retailers need to do is surface rarer, quality products that are socially proven and most importantly look great.
The terms that customers type into your site search box represent a wealth of valuable data that can be used to learn about your users’ behaviour. They are essentially telling the retailer what they want in their own words.
This data can be used in a number of ways: to improve the site search functionality, to optimise results pages for common searches, and to improve merchandising.
Here, I look at 10 ways to improve merchandising with smart use of site search data, with thanks to some examples from SLI Systems.
Site search is critical to the success of your online business. And now that more people use mobile phones and tablets to surf the web and shop, you need to be sure you’re always delivering as short a path as possible to the “add to cart” button, without distracting them by too much extra information.
When it comes to search, install and forget no longer works. Delivering a great search experience requires constant attention – but the good news is your search data is a big help in this regard.
By examining site search data you can learn about your customers’ favourite products as well as the terms they use in your search box, their responses to promotional offers, and seasonal trends.
Internal site search is a core component of most e-commerce sites, but it's rarely optimised to its full extent.
Tools such as Fredhopper, Endeca and Adobe Omniture Merchandising can help enormously in this matter but there are certain generic tasks that anyone can perform to help optimise their internal search, no matter what tools you're using.
I'll concentrate on the retail sector, but these tips could be translated to other sectors too. Here are five tips to try:
I've recently looked at site search box design, and best practices for results pages. Today, we look at how to use site search data.
The terms that customers type into your site search box represent a wealth of valuable data that can be used to learn about your users’ behaviour.
This data can be used to improve the site search functionality, to optimise results pages for common searches, improve merchandising and more.
I've been asking several e-commerce experts about how site search data can be used most effectively...
In today's multi-channel, multi-platform world, it's increasingly difficult for television networks to lure viewers to their shows. To succeed and build an audience, on-network promotions just won't cut it.
So a growing number of networks are turning to a strategy that has done quite well for a very different type of media company, Rovio, the maker of the hit gaming franchise Angry Birds.
Whether selling products in a department store or digital downloads online, the principles of merchandising are the same: Companies must make it easy for customers to discover, consider, and ultimately purchase their products and services.
When it comes to online merchandising, however, marketers have traditionally lagged behind their brick-and-mortar counterparts, the latter having the advantage of real-time interaction with a customer in order to best guide their purchasing decisions.
The challenge for online marketers is to figure out how to seamlessly deliver the same personal experiences to online customers.
With the retail sector still in the grip of one of the longest recessions anyone can remember, it’s no surprise that many retailers are as depressed as their margins.
Few have any real experience of being in a prolonged downturn and even fewer understand the implications of the changes being brought about by the shift to online.
For small independents who often lack the resources or access to specialist advice they need to navigate their way through these challenges, the shift in the retail landscape has been particularly difficult to handle.
The solution lies in delivering a best practice approach to merchandising...
Last week at the Emirates Stadium in London, Econsultancy's Digital Cream event invited client-side Marketers to learn from their peers across a breadth of topics, from Customer Experience, Conversion Rate Optimisation to Social Media Monitoring.
I was pleased to moderate the Site Search & Merchandising roundtable, sponsored by SLI Systems. The roundtable was in the form of three in-depth peer-led discussions regarding the issues most faced by marketers regarding site search.
Attending the roundtables were a mix of companies, most importantly, not just those with a traditional e-commerce arm.
This meant that the conversation had to be abstracted to cover several different types of content; not just product, but Guides & Help, Technical Specifications and Entertainment & Video.
However, what these companies had in common was the concept of using content to aid conversion. Several attendees from content-driven & entertainment sites had complex attribution models to link conversion back to the content viewed.
Merchandising a website takes many forms and is often considered separate to conversion management, but they are in fact deeply integrated.
If you're selling a physical product which requires delivery then merchandising activities could evolve around the category, product, range, accessories and indeed delivery itself.
If you're merchandising a less-tangible product like a service or piece of software, you could merchandise a need, benefits, the service, related products as well as payment options.
Having been asked a few months back to create a presentation on basic merchandising tips I felt compelled to share them with fellow marketers.