merchandising

This online retailer uses AI for product categorisation – here’s how

Whilst the use of machine learning in marketing seems to be skyrocketing, there’s a dearth of coverage in the media that tries to get to the bottom of this technology in terms a layman can understand.

I am irrefutably a layman, and have written a little on the topic of AI for Econsultancy, often specifically about ecommerce. You can read some of my previous articles here:

Why data mining is the future of online retailing

Imagine for a minute that the year is 1849.

A new resource has been discovered in the rolling hills of California, and some say it can make you rich.

Do you pack your bags and head west? Or do you pass on the opportunity and focus on your livelihood at home?

How Nike’s merchandising strategy can help retailers of all types

Most people enter the retailing business because of their love and knowledge of a particular product, or their notice of a gap in the value chain for that project.

A love of sports and fitness led to the creation of one of the largest companies in the world: Nike. But the climb to the top wasn’t easy, for Nike’s unique sneaker offerings was once a niche market.

Luckily, its merchandising abilities allowed it to become what it is today.

Finding your best customers with the RFM matrix

Ecommerce is simple. That’s the premise of this post, which follows on from ‘finding your best products’. The heart of ecommerce is finding your best products and your best customers, in the pursuit of most profit.

The old mail-order mantra of ‘recency, frequency and monetary value’ (RFM) is still useful here. Categorising your customers based on an RFM matrix is the start of identifying your hero customers, and those that need a little more attention.

These posts have been taken from a talk given by Mike Baxter, Econsultancy long-time friend and consultant (author of the Checkout Optimisation guide, amongst other things), at a recent breakfast briefing with Ometria.

Let’s see what Mike had to say…

The ecommerce treasure hunt: how to breathe serendipity into your site

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.

Nine ways to use site search data for merchandising

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 and merchandising: seven key takeaways from Digital Cream

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.

Site search: install, optimise and maintain

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.