Online Visual Merchandising: 5 Strategies to Drive Conversions

2019-07-29

Online Visual Merchandising

Stunning window displays, well-styled mannequins, and neatly-folded clothes. These are some of the crucial visual elements in a brick-and-mortar store. Together, these help businesses set the right atmosphere and create a conducive environment for their ideal shopper.

Now that more consumers have discovered the joys of online shopping, can e-commerce brands recreate a similar experience online?

Yes.

Even though you can’t see potential shoppers face-to-face, you gain a wide range of tools and techniques to engage potential customers and highlight your products. You may not have a physical store, but you can still use visual merchandising to create a compelling online platform that will entice shoppers to make a purchase.

What is Online Visual Merchandising?

Online visual merchandising is one of the hottest recent trends in e-commerce. It’s the practice of using visual elements to engage website visitors and enhance their online experience. In the digital world, visual merchandising encompasses a wide range of elements, from GIFs and user-generated content to customer testimonials. More importantly, it entails knowing where to position these visual elements on your website to drive the best results.

“Shoppers don’t like being confused.”

However, it’s not all about making your website pretty. For instance, you need to make sure your website is easy to navigate. Shoppers don’t like being confused. If they can’t find their way around your site, they’ll bounce and look for another company. Needless to say, you must create a smooth shopping experience to keep prospects from abandoning their carts.

Digital Visual Merchandising

Another practice that’s on the rise is digital visual merchandising. Although people often interchange it with online visual merchandising, these terms pertain to different practices. Unlike OVM, digital visual merchandising is a combination of traditional (in-store) and digital merchandising solutions to enhance in-store shopping experiences. A digital visual merchandiser marries the best of both worlds to come up with a  memorable in-store experience.

5 Effective Online Visual Merchandising Strategies

1. Optimize your website for mobile

Around 40% of consumers will turn to your competitors if they have a terrible mobile experience. Even so, most e-commerce brands struggle with mobile. About 84% of shoppers had trouble completing online transactions from their mobile devices. That’s quite high, but it also means that you have the perfect opportunity to gain the attention and trust of displeased shoppers by setting up a mobile-friendly website that meets their needs.

You can observe what’s working for other retail environments; however, their strategies won’t necessarily be as impactful for your brand. Your niche, as well as your customer base, may have different needs. If you want to optimize your website for your audience, you can use analytics to make well-informed decisions. You may also carry out various testing protocols.

2. Make your website easy to navigate

Around 21% of online shoppers abandon their carts when they can’t find their way around websites. If you want to make your site less confusing, improve your search function as consumers begin their shopping journey here.

For starters, make your search bar more prominent so website visitors won’t have trouble finding it. Not only that, add a search bar on every web page. Implementing an autocomplete feature is also one way to optimize your search function. While it prevents minor issues such as misspellings, it also makes your products more discoverable. By adding an autocomplete function, you can showcase more products, along with their prices, and their respective product images.

Sometimes, consumers don’t know what they want until they do a thorough search. Filtering reviews, prices, and categories will aid in their search. This way, they can discover more products faster and easier. Another thing you can do to make online shopping more convenient for your audience is to allow them to select the way results are displayed. Present different options so your audience can choose the best way to explore your products.

3. Create personalized shopping experiences

Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce companies can offer each customer a tailored shopping experience. You can, for instance, implement a recommendation system that looks into data such as your purchasing history to deliver a personalized experience. It recommends products that you’re most likely to buy. Data is an invaluable asset that is often overlooked. If you want to get ahead, put your data to good use.

Photo by Mein Deal on Unsplash

4. Enhance your product presentations

Every product presentation ideally entices consumers into making a purchase. Instead of hard sell though, show consumers how they can use your products and benefit from them. Along with vivid descriptions of the product, add high-quality photos, preferably ones taken by professionals.

Having comprehensive product details readily available will make consumers feel more secure about their purchase.

Tools like Weld can be used to create powerful interactive and animation product presentations.

5. Add user-generated content

Showcasing user-generated content on your site is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to drive sales. When customers see that others enjoy your products, they will respond positively. Social media will have everything you need. By adding customers’ photos too, you can increase potential sales and improve brand loyalty.