Increasing your furniture ecommerce sales relies as much on digital merchandising as your brick-and-mortar store sales rely on physical merchandising. Let’s take a look at ecommerce merchandising, also known as e-merchandising, and how to power your efforts with the right strategies.
5 Top E-merchandising Best Practices
Ecommerce merchandising is how you display your products on your website and how you enable your shoppers to find and purchase those items. Its most important component is ensuring that your customers can easily find relevant products and related items, and ultimately optimize the path for converting browsers into buyers.
Let’s take a look at five ways to power your merchandising efforts by connecting shoppers with the right products and guiding them through the customer journey.
1. Site Taxonomy
One of the first things to do when building or optimizing your online store is to organize your website for improved searchability. This organization is known as your website taxonomy; it is the logical structure your site visitors use to easily navigate the site.
Site taxonomy relies on accurate and intuitive product categorizations and data to maximize your website efficiency.
Rely on the expertise of an ecommerce platform that is furniture-focused and developed with a deep understanding of industry-specific ecommerce customer behavior. This will enable you to take advantage of perfected tools and knowledge in creating product categories, product data, groupings, and navigational structures to maximize effectiveness.
2. Advanced Search and Sort
Online merchandising strategies are often focused on recreating the visual merchandising efforts used in your local stores. Online, customers can also take advantage of advanced search and sort. In fact, optimizing search and sort options often enables online shoppers to find products relevant to their search even faster than walking through your brick-and-mortar stores.
Helping your users search and browse your website is known as searchandising. This process is driven by product data as well as search tools such as synonym definition (i.e., couch and sofa) and tuning results for particular keywords. The advanced search and sort functionalities that are core to searchandising are built with a mix of artificial intelligence (AI) and manual merchandising processes.
Facets and Filters
Facets and filters are part of an effective searchandising strategy, helping shoppers find the products they are interested in.
Facets are navigation features that help customers narrow down their selection, adding relevant types and options. For example, when searching for a sofa or recliner, a shopper would intuitively look at the filters for different sizes, colors, or functions.
Sorting filters are then used to change the order of the display on product listing pages, based on attributes such as price, availability, or new arrivals.
Advanced Search, Filter and Sort Recommendation
To determine which filters will help your customers the most, think about the questions you typically hear from customers when they are shopping. For example, do they ask about dimensions? Color options? Materials? Having filter and sort options that answer your customers' questions will help them find what they are looking for faster.
3. Product Merchandising
In your local stores, furniture is arranged and grouped to entice customers to imagine the products within their homes. Product merchandising on your website should serve the same purpose.
Product pages. Each product page should include all of the information they need to make an informed purchase, such as high-quality photography, videos, options, dimensions, material, and color.
Product descriptions. Images and videos help shoppers visualize how a piece would fit in their home, but that experience can be expanded with product description best practices, such as using a catchy opening line and highlighting the product's unique features.
Product recommendations. Just as a salesperson would use cross-selling and upselling techniques to move relevant products on your show floor, leverage your website to display related product recommendations.
Product Information Recommendation
Ensure that your ecommerce solution includes a native Product Information Management (PIM) system that not only manages product attributes but also organizes and enables the management of collection groupings, alternate configurations, variants, and more.
4. Ecommerce SEO Strategies
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website so that it can be found more easily through online searches and is a critical component of your ecommerce merchandising strategy. Creating substantive website content improves your online visibility if that quality content is paired with ecommerce SEO best practices.
Use relevant keywords in page text such as product descriptions and include those keywords in title tags, HTML header tags, the meta description for the page, and the page URL. In addition, use relevant keywords for image and video file names, add alt text, and remember to optimize these files to reduce load speed.
With the right platform, SEO strategies are part of the product catalog creation process. Leveraging a furniture-focused solution reduces the time and effort involved in SEO since the implementation process is guided by furniture ecommerce experts who understand SEO best practices.
5. Mobile Responsiveness
Cell phones are in almost everyone’s pockets and are commonly used for furniture shopping, which means your website must render accurately across all devices so shoppers can search, view, and purchase products.
Mobile responsiveness is an essential ecommerce merchandising strategy, allowing users to search for and view products without frustration. It also provides a seamless experience as the shopper moves between mobile devices or even uses their cell phone to research products while in one of your local stores.
Mobile Responsiveness Recommendation
Select a furniture ecommerce platform built with omnichannel-first technology. The best solutions are those built for the complex furniture purchase journey and designed specifically to create a consistent experience regardless of the channel used — even for those who combine in-store and online shopping.
Ready To Create, Test, and Optimize Your Ecommerce Merchandising Strategy?
These five best practices can help with your merchandising strategy for your online store. To take advantage of the growing online furniture shopping industry, download our Furniture Ecommerce: A Merchandising Playbook and create, test, and optimize your ecommerce merchandising strategy.