Master The Online Visual Merchandising Skills And Be Successful
9 December 2020 . 6 minute read
By Athulya K
Visual merchandising for brick-and-mortar stores is something that we all are super familiar with. With the e-commercial platform getting uber-competitive day by day, one cannot neglect the importance of visual merchandising in online shopping. Many of the principles of visual merchandising can be applied to the e-commercial platforms to have a significant impact on sales conversion.
Today, a majority of brick-and-mortar stores have their own online stores. Most companies make sure that the two platforms are interconnected.
Visual merchandising for online stores is not a herculean task to achieve. When the right strategy is adopted, it requires very little effort for the maintenance.
Get to know Online Visual Merchandising
Online Visual merchandising refers to a set of strategies devised to enhance the overall customer experience of your store. Ranging from color choice to intriguing site layout, these are designed to entice the fellow customers and encourage them to buy the products.
The E-Commercial platform has become so competitive that more and more online stores are bringing the concepts of visual merchandising into reality. It has become necessary to draw the customers into the store and maximize the sales, which is dependent on augmenting the aesthetic quality of the product. This is where visual merchandising comes into effect.
Visual merchandising is a vital marketing technique that assures brand recognition and brand loyalty. It is not just confined to vision, but also takes in all of the senses into account, be it touch, smell, or even taste.
With the Omnichannel Strategy being the most sought-after marketing strategy, there’s a growing need to differentiate between the channels. Having limitations in utilizing these channels for your sales, your website becomes the ultimate pivot for maximizing the sales conversions. It’s therefore imperative to present your online store in an engaging way.
Significance of Online Visual Merchandising
Just like how visual merchandising is effectual for the typical brick-and-mortar stores, this works perfectly for online stores as well. Online visual merchandising can be employed to increase customer engagement, time-on-site, and sales conversion rates, which makes it an important marketing tactic to sustain in this ultra-competitive marketing environment.
This begins with making use of professional product photos to the adoption of super-effective visual elements to elevate the overall online shopping experience.
Since online shopping lacks the physical presence, it has to compensate for the missing shopper sensory inputs such as sight, smell, taste, and touch. Also, it has to be ensured that the customers are presented with the most relevant products, experiences, and choices before they move on to the next store.
Key Aspects of Online Visual Merchandising
Here are some of the important aspects of online visual merchandising:
- Eye-catching Product Photos
Though conventional, photos are a great way to seize the shopper’s attention and lure them into buying the product.
Earlier, high-grade professional product photos and rightly-placed products achieved the desired results.
But now, customers don’t just rely on professional photos. Instead, they look forward to seeing the customer photos of the product. People wish not to make any mistakes. Hence, they just want to make sure that other customers were happy with the purchase. It’s, therefore, necessary to incorporate the customer photos on your product page so as to win their trust.
Adding customer photos on the product page is proved to have significantly increased the checkout.
- Aesthetic Design
The way you present your online store is a prime factor in capturing customer attention and encouraging them to buy the product.
The visual attractiveness of the online store, rightly placed products, clear-cut product descriptions, and images are indeed important in giving your online store an upper hand over the rest of the stores.
Consider the homepage of your online store as the shop window. This must be adequate to capture the attention of the users. Make sure that you use personalized content wherever possible.
Quality images always guide the shopper in their decision-making process. This ensures that there are minimal product returns. Also, display your product in such a way that it is visible from all the angles.
Short and precise product descriptions are a must since 90% of the customer won’t spare time to read lengthy product descriptions. Also, complex terminology has to be avoided.
When a customer visits the store, usually first impressions are made within the first 2-3 seconds. So, if they’re not happy with how the products are presented on your online store, they are more likely to hit the back button and move on to some other online store. Hence, it’s absolutely necessary to keep your store website as appealing as possible.
- Mobile Responsiveness
Since the majority of online shoppers rely upon either mobile phones or tablets for their shopping, your online store must be mobile responsive.
All of the product images, features and descriptions have to be delivered to the intended audience in an appropriate manner.
These shouldn’t just be confined to mobile alone, rather, creating tactics for multiple devices need to be focussed on.
- Genuine Customer Experiences
When it comes to earning customer’s trust, putting forth genuine real-life experiences of other satisfied customers can actually serve the purpose.
Presenting User-generated content like customer photos, reviews and ratings can be utilized to convince your fellow customers and acquire their trust.
It has to be noted that, just displaying customer photos and reviews won’t get you anywhere. Put in your creativity and innovation and the result is just mind-blowing!!
How to effectively utilize Visual Merchandising for Online Stores?
Let’s have a look at various techniques to make the best use of visual merchandising to bring your online store to the forefront.
- Practise Story-telling
Carry out telling your brand’s story which will prompt your customers into buying the product. Storytelling is an effective way to allow customers to know about a brand’s personality, values, and authenticity.
Branded storytelling is proved to have established an emotional connection between the customer and the brand. It does help the customers trust a brand and develop an everlasting relationship with it.
- Fascinate them with Product Descriptions
Don’t underestimate the importance of product description in marketing. A short and precise description provides the customers with all the information that they need to know about the product before hitting the “Add to Cart” button.
Ensure that you provide the clear-cut description, price, specifications like color, size, etc. so that the user can confirm that this is the product they’ve been looking for!
90% of the customers won’t spare time to read lengthy product descriptions. It is advisable to avoid complex product terminologies.
A vast majority of the customers won’t buy the product that they don’t understand.
- Enable Browsing Enhancements
Enabling browsing enhancements like sorting products based on color or specific features allows the users to choose on what basis they wish to sort the products and view only the relevant products.
- Provide Product Recommendations
Product Recommendation is a prominent tool in Online Merchandising. This is a key area that is growing day by day. Fine tune your product recommendation strategies for different pages so as to create a better user experience.
The products are displayed based on user preferences, user activity, and general trends.
The product recommendations use the products or pages previously viewed by the user. For example, if the user starts searching for ladies sandals, then the subsequent pages would display ladies footwear or accessories as the recommended product. This data is used again whenever the user visits social media like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
You can personalize the products based on the data collected from the users. Now you’re aware of the products they have viewed and added to their cart. You can use this data to provide better personalization to their fellow users.
You have to ensure that the product recommendations that you provide boost your sales conversions and not throw into confusion.
Make use of cutting-edge technologies like data mining and data analytics to get this done without further struggle.
- Offer Customized shopping experience
Personalization has become increasingly popular these days. Giving customers a personal touch can help improve your brand recognition. Personalization provides customers with relevant products and increases the probability of sales conversions.
A vast majority of online shoppers find personalized products interesting and are drawn towards brands that offer them.
Personalization is easier for online stores since there’s only a single place to sell them- online!
But this ain’t the case with retail stores where the number of places and ways in which a customer can shop varies.
- Emphasize User-generated contents
Story-telling can be increasingly practiced using User-Generated Content (UGC). User-generated contents like customer photos, reviews and ratings help to build customer trust. It also increases engagement and time-on-site. It can also be used as a strong social proof for your brand. You’re not marketing at your audience anymore. In fact, you’re marketing with them.
Make use of User-Generated Contents and let it speak for you!
Use these online visual merchandising strategies to take your business to the next level.