Merchandising is one of the most important aspects of your furniture business. Showcasing your product offering, guiding shoppers as they browse your products, and inspiring them to make purchases are all part of a winning merchandising strategy. Traditionally, merchandising includes considerations for branding, the exterior and interior appearance of your store, and product placement and display.
Online shoppers may never walk into your store and be steered along an optimal and helpful path by a salesperson. Therefore, it's important that your furniture ecommerce platform enables you to deploy a visual merchandising strategy online to help guide your shoppers just like you would do if they walked into your store.
What Is Visual Merchandising for Ecommerce?
Online visual merchandising includes everything from the layout on your home page to collection and product pages. It encourages shoppers to discover your brand, explore product options, see other related products and ultimately complete purchases.
This must-have strategy for your furniture ecommerce website is similar to traditional merchandising, but it can be even more powerful due to the availability of product data and the ease of searching and browsing online.
Let’s explore six ways to merchandise your website for online shoppers.
Merchandising Tactics for Ecommerce
Design Your Homepage With a Purpose
Much like your storefront with a compelling window display, your homepage should catch viewers’ attention, create interest in further site exploration, and display products you sell. However, merchandising your website homepage gives you an additional valuable opportunity — the ability to tell a cohesive brand story showcasing products and promotions and overall brand messaging.
The homepage should be flexible, allowing you to update your content to the newest merchandise, offers, trends, and more, ultimately inspiring your website visitors to browse and shop. For example, content banners give you the ability to use purposeful messaging and visuals while product carousels let you merchandise featured products.
Optimize Site Navigation
When a customer walks into your brick–and–mortar store they may work with a salesperson, browse on their own using visual cues and signage, or both. This experience online is comparable to site navigation.
Online shopping in some ways can be easier than working your way through a physical store — if the site navigation is logical and intuitive. These three elements should be included to enhance your visual merchandising strategy:
- Top menu options similar to categories or departments in your store offering clear direction for the user.
- Advanced search and sort configured specifically for furniture shopping.
- Prominent call-to-action buttons to add products to the shopping cart or for checkout.
Utilize High-Quality Imagery
Although a picture is worth a thousand words, images on your website are worth far more. Multiple professional, high-resolution images should be used for the best result, including close-ups of product features. However, very large images can slow your website performance so ensure images are optimized.
Big-ticket items like furniture require additional consideration and give you additional opportunities. 360-degree imagery and videos give shoppers a comprehensive view of the furniture allowing them to “experience” the products.
Leverage Social Proof and User-Generated Content
Social proof and user-generated content (UGC) go hand-in-hand. People inherently want validation of their purchases through evidence that others are doing the same.
Reviews provide social proof validating a big-ticket furniture purchase and overcoming any hesitancy about making an online purchase. In fact, according to some studies an online review is 50% more likely to motivate a consumer than a promotional price.
The best furniture ecommerce platform will offer the opportunity for customers to leave product reviews for both online and in-store sales.
Offer Product Recommendations
Offering relevant product suggestions based on products customers are already browsing is the online version of an in-store salesperson cross-selling to help customers complete a room package or add on accessories. For example, you can offer mattress pads, sheets, and foundations with mattresses or rugs, lighting, and accessories to complete a living room.
Once a shopper has merchandise in their shopping cart, you want to ensure they have an easy checkout process.
Website users need to be able to find the checkout quickly from any product page or other landing pages. The checkout process should be simple and combined with smooth payment processing. If your business offers financing or monthly payment programs, offering these options online will further drive revenue and conversions.
Visual merchandising is a critical component of your brand and strategy for your business. Translating your in-store experience to your online store with a digital merchandising strategy that showcases your products will increase user engagement, improve conversion rates, and boost average order value while continuing to support your brand identity.
To take your merchandising strategy to the next level, check out our Merchandising Playbook.