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6 Must-Have eCommerce Merchandising Tools

Published: 31/08/2020

Struggling to choose from the variety of eCommerce merchandising tools available on the market?

We’ve narrowed it down to 6 must-have technologies that will help you scale your eCommerce site to new heights. These tools can help online retailers improve marketing campaigns, customer experience, improve average order value and more.

Merchandising is essential in the eCommerce world. Effective merchandising helps lead potential customers through the buyer’s journey and aims to convert them into loyal customers before they bounce to a new website.

With a solid merchandising strategy, you can influence potential buyers’ purchasing decisions, which helps you increase revenue, reach sales targets, and make lifelong customer relationships. However, even the strongest merchandising strategy needs technology resources to be fulfilled.

In this article, we’ve rounded up 5 amazing eCommerce merchandising tools to help you kickstart your merchandising efforts:

1. Hotjar
2. Yieldify
3. Hawksearch
4. Shutter Stream
5. AstraFit
6. Guided shopping

6 must-have merchandising tools for eCommerce

1. Hotjar – heatmaps and behavioral analytics

Heatmaps are arguably the most powerful way to visualize and understand what your customers are doing on your website. And Hotjar, the industry-leading heatmap and behavior analytics tool, is a great addition to any merchandiser’s tool belt.

Hotjar provides a variety of ways for eCommerce marketers to optimize their website merchandising strategy. Using their heatmaps tool, you can visualize the clicks, taps, and scrolling behavior of your website visitors. This allows you to see the areas most browsers tend to focus on, as well as the ones they overlook.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hotjar

The most common use case is to see how far down your page customers actually scroll. If you have placed important information at the bottom of the product page, such as customer reviews, 360º product close-up video, or – god forbid! – your “Add to cart” button, but your heatmaps show that only 15% of visitors scroll down to see it, it’s a good indication to move that crucial information above the fold.

Hotjar also allows you to make session recordings. You will be able to see in real-time how potential customers are interacting with your eCommerce store. This all but eliminates the guesswork and lets you see exactly what usability issues they may face and what areas of your website are working for you and what areas you need to focus on to improve customer experience.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hotjar

HotJar can be placed across key areas of eCommerce sites to gather data on the key steps within the eCommerce funnel. For example, you can place heatmaps and set up session recordings on a category page to review click through rate of product placement. You can then repeat this process across different product lines.

Alternatively, you could place these on a specific product page to see how product descriptions are performing, are the complementary products you’re cross selling having the right impact? You can review session recordings to see if you’re keeping the customer’s attention

Lastly, Hotjar enables you to gather more feedback and understand what your potential customers want to achieve when visiting your website with their feedback polls feature. You can target questions to customers anywhere on your page to gain valuable information on what is and isn’t working for them on your eCommerce website.

For example, you can ask how the visitor came across your website, what motivated or prevented them from making a purchase, or how to generally improve the website experience. See more Hotjar poll examples here with lots of them focusing on eCommerce.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hotjar

HotJar Alternatives

If HotJar doesn’t seem like your thing there are plenty of alternatives that can help eCommerce sites improve their user experience. If you want to review some alternatives check out the below

  1. Smartlook
  2. Mouseflow
  3. UserZoom
  4. FullStory

2. Yieldify – personalized customer journeys

Personalization is key to any strong eCommerce merchandising strategy. You need to make your customers feel like their shopping experience is tailored to their needs, much like a salesperson would in a retail store.

Yieldify is a fully-managed website personalization solution focused on creating highly-converting eCommerce customer journeys. When it comes to merchandising, Yieldify’s solution is multifold:

  1. First, you get a powerful audience segmentation engine, which allows you to create and target specific customer segments based on demographic, geographic, technographic, and real-time behavioral data.
  2. Once you decide who you’re trying to reach, Yieldify’s CRO experts deploy a variety of well-timed campaigns for every step of your customer journey: From lead generation at the awareness stage to dynamic social proof at the moment of purchase, and beyond.
  3. Using behavioral triggers, Yieldify’s personalization engine allows you to deliver tailored messaging based on real-time customer behavior, such as interaction with specific product categories or pages, shopping cart value, site searches, and more.
  4. Yieldify’s team of designers elevate your merchandising strategy by implementing cohesive brand imagery and style in all the interactive elements used to enhance the customer journey.
Yieldify fully-managed solution

To see more about how Yieldify can help you improve your eCommerce merchandising strategy and turn more website visitors into buyers, check out their case studies here.

3. Hawksearch – next-level product search

Effective search is an essential element of your merchandising strategy. You want a search tool that is simple, functional, and easy-to-use. But that is the bare minimum of what your search needs to achieve – with Hawksearch, it can do so much more.

Hawksearch is a powerful merchandising tool that delivers the right content, at the right time, and allows you to create the best user experience possible. With Hawksearch, your product categories can be applied as search filters, and be displayed based on the search results page.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hawksearch

You can also add a layer of personalization to search results, to highlight products based using location, weather, past purchases, and more. And finally, you can use the power of machine learning to identify relevant recommendations to show potential customers to upsell and cross-sell based on their behaviors.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hawksearch

According to AddThis, 84% of eCommerce sites don’t actively optimize or measure their on-site search. This in itself presents you with a quick opportunity to improve user experience and convert browsers into buyers.

A study by eConsultancy showed that while the average conversion rate across all websites measured at 2.77%, site search users converted at 4.63%. Whilst we can always try and guide users through websites there will be nothing quicker than effective site search.

4. Shutter Stream – 360º product photography

For eCommerce websites, having excellent product photography is a big part of online merchandising. In retail stores, it’s easy enough to display your products – customers can pick up, examine, and try on products in person. Online, you need to make sure that your product images are high-quality and appealing to entice potential customers to buy from your website.

Product pages are one of the most important pages on an eCommerce site, images make up a huge part of that. According to a study by Etsy, about 90% of surveyed shoppers believe the quality of eCommerce images were very important when deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

Shutter Stream creates software and hardware for eCommerce product photography that is designed for users of any skill level. The goal is to help anyone and everyone create high quality still and 360-degree product images in-house instead of needing to hire a professional photographer.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Shutter Stream

Shutter Stream Photography Software integrates image composition, camera control, image editing and image processing tools into a single standalone application that helps to automate and batch process standard imaging tasks.

5. AstraFit – virtual fitting room

If your eCommerce website is selling clothing, then let us introduce you to your newest employee – AstraFit. The smart assistant you never knew you needed, AstraFit helps to create a personalized shopping experience by advising potential customers on product sizes and helping them to pick the best fitting clothing.

AstraFit is a must-have merchandising tool in that it gives you a virtual fitting room right on your site by allowing them to see how garments fit their unique figures, by providing them with an easy to understand description of how the garment will fit and feel, and giving them a personalized fit score for each garment they look at.

6. Guided Shopping

Research has found that 83% of shoppers need support during their online journey. Providing a guided shopping experience can come in many forms, from simple chatbots and quizzes, to virtual shopping assistants, or via a tool such as Shopware.

This is a simple but very effective tool to have within online merchandising strategies. Guided shopping helps you keep customers’ attention, promote specific product lines, push relevant products, and can also help cross selling by showing what other customers also purchased.

A great example of this can be seen below from Sephora which provide users with a quiz to help guide their experience and quicken product discovery.

Once users are finished with the quiz they are provided with specific products that can fulfil their needs. This leads to effective product placement in quiz search results, will be a more engaging format than simply searching for products, and provide a unique shopping experience. You can see an example results page below.

Conclusion

No matter what your eCommerce niche is, online merchandising is something that you need to implement into your business. A strong merchandising strategy can help you increase your revenue – for example, one study found that personalized product recommendations resulted in a conversion rate that was 5.5 times higher.

Being able to implement a merchandising strategy is not without its obstacles, so finding a good merchandising tool that simplifies processes along the way is priceless.

Yieldify eCommerce case studies

Next ? 11 Resources to Learn Merchandising From