Pres:Digital Marketing - Online Merchandising

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Digital Marketing - Online Merchandising

Digital Marketing - Online Merchandising

Title Digital Marketing - Online Merchandising
Target group
Topics Online Merchandising
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Public summary

According to Wikipedia, merchandising is broadly defined as all activities that contribute to the sale of a product to a consumer. At a retailer, the merchandiser is usually responsible for managing the assortment on a day-to-day basis, making sure of its availability (inventory) and that it is displayed in such a way that it stimulates interest to buy the product. In some cases, the merchandiser is also more strategically responsible for the assortment strategy of the company.

Slides

Notes

This is the overall framework of the Digital Marketing couse. We will start with explaining the elements of an online marketing plan. Than we will zoom in on the different marketing aspects based on the customer journey. We start with those online media most suitable to reach consumers and slowly move down the funnel. In the end we discuss customer loyalty which has as goal to re-start the entire process from the beginning.


  • What is online merchandising?
  • Which site elements can the online merchandiser use?
  • Which sales techniques can the online merchandiser use?
  • Which price en sales promotions can the online merchandiser use?
  • What are the operational processes of online merchandising?
  • How to set-up an assortment strategy?
  • How to select the right online merchandising tools?
  • What are the latest trends and developments in online merchandising?
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Merchandising is broadly defined as all activities which contributes to the sale of a product to a consumer.

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Notes

Merchandising is not as formally defined. Merchandisers may also be the ones determining the assortment strategy (what are we selling?) and the prices of the products.


  • The online merchandiser takes care of the optimal shopping experience for the company's customers.
  • However, the merchandisers responsibility is usually limited to product information, product category structure and product display.
  • The online merchandiser therefor works close together with online branding, SEA/SEO and usuability experts.
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Notes

Merchandising is not as formally defined. Merchandisers may also be the ones determining the assortment strategy (what are we selling?) and the prices of the products.


Notes

Teacher notes: briefly explain the different set of tools as an overview of the next slides

  • Site elements: features on the website that help the visitor find, filter and select the right product
  • Sales techniques: how can the visitor be enticed to buy more or more expensive products by offering alternative products?
  • Discounts and sales promotions: How the price element can be used to sell to the customer


Notes

Explain the different items on the home page the large visual often in the form of a carrousel The underlying visuals to entire customer to go to specific product categories or marketing campaigns.


Notes

product category pages are often nearly as strong to promote products as the home page is.


Notes

Sometimes a webshop offers multiple categories to search a product. Farfetch for example offers four different main navigation structures: On gender (women, men, kids) On design (designer) On product kind (clothing, shoes, accessoires, jewellery, vintage, beauty) On others (new, vintage, sale, boutiques)


Notes

Sometimes a webshop offers multiple categories to search a product. Farfetch for example offers four different main navigation structures: On gender (women, men, kids) On design (designer) On product kind (clothing, shoes, accessoires, jewellery, vintage, beauty) On others (new, vintage, sale, boutiques)


Notes

Asos may be exaggerating the navigation structure (product, brand, promotion, and more).


Notes

the internal search engine (also called search bar) of the webshop is often te most used way to find products. The search results can be used to steer customers in a specific direction (e.g. a specific brand or product)


[Merchandising/Online Merchandising Basic/Which site elements can the online merchandiser use|]

Notes

Product facets are the product attributes used to filter a list of products down towards a more narrow selection.  The online merchant can use the facets to help the customer find some products easier.


Notes

Product facets are the product attributes used to filter a list of products down towards a more narrow selection. 


Notes

Teacher notes: product facets may also be used vertically for example at Ikea.com


Notes

Facets have as disadvantage that they are often based on technical attributes of the product. It is difficult to make a choice for a TV if you do not know the difference between LED, LCD, OLED or Plasma. Buyer guides offer additional information to help the user make the right choice. Buyer guides may be text, pdf’s or videos.


Notes

Product information is essential to sell the product. Matratzen concord offers nearly everything you can think off:

  • Product name and description
  • Unique selling points
  • Availability in store
  • Different photo’s
  • Results of products tests
  • Product reviews
  • How to maintain the products
  • How the product can be delivered


Notes

The size guide helps select the right product.


  1. Visit Amazon.com (or a comparable website with a large offering) on two different computers.
  2. On each computer choose different product categories. Close the browser and then revisit the website.
  3. Has anything changed? Why?
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Notes

Down-selling is the opposite of up-selling. In this case the company chooses to offer a cheaper product next to the select product. This can be done for several reasons:

  • Increase the changes of a sale by making the customer aware of cheaper alternatives.
  • The cheaper product is inferior to the more expensive product convincing the customer to buy the more expensive one.
  • The company actually makes a higher margin on the cheaper product (or has too much inventory).


Visit a web shop and try to identify the different selling techniques used. Make a screenshot of each sales technique used.

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What are the disadvantages of working with discounts?

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Notes

Discounts are an easy to use tool but also a dangerous one:

  • It directly reduces the margin of the product.
  • Competitors can react by dropping their prices as well, nullifying the effect.
  • Customer are increasingly less impressed with discounts of 10 or 20% and may only buy at higher discounts.
  • Discounts rarely fit well with premium brands.


* Buy X products for the price of Y products:

    • For example buy 3 products for the price of 2.

* Buy Product X get Product Y free:

    • Where Product Y may also be a giftcard or voucher.

* Free shipping at an order over X:

    • Buy over 20 and get free shipping.

* Buy X and get a free gift

    • Buy this Laptop, Get a free laptop case
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Notes

Shipping costs are one of the most important reasons consumers do not buy online. Many retailers therefor offer free shipping if the total order value exceeds for example 20 euro's.


Find an example of each price promotion.

Make a screenshot.

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  • Make sure that products are displayed online and are in the relevant categories
  • Optimize the internal search engine
  • Provide additional information and SEO-friendly content
  • Ensure the availability of correct product information
  • Send commercial newsletters
  • Give a response to product reviews, at least to negative reviews and reviews with questions from customers.
  • Create product bundles and sets.
  • Communicate the brand strategy via product displays and positioning.
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Notes

To measure the effect of all these actions many merchants use the PDCA cycle which consists of four steps[1]:

  • Plan: Set goals and determine the actions necessary to realize these targets.
  • Do: Execute the actions planned.
  • Check: Measure the actual results and compare these with the targets set.
  • Act: If the executed actions prove an improvement as expected, the results become the baseline for the next improvement cycle.


  • In essence a product assortment is a collection of products.
  • There are 4 main characteristics of a product assortment:
    • Breadth: the total number of product lines offered
    • Length: the number of products in a particular product line.
    • Depth: the different versions of the same product in each product line.
    • Consistency: The degree to which the product lines relate to each other.
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Based on the four assortment characteristics, how would you describe the assortment strategy of:

  • Amazon
  • Best Buy
  • Zara
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  • What is the target group?
  • Focus on sales or margin?
  • What are my basis items?
  • What are the up-sell opportunities?
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Experience management tools

  • To manage the site elements
  • To do cross- and up-selling based on customer behavior
  • To personalize discounts and price promotions

Product information management systems

  • To manage product information
  • To maintain ‘hard coded’ cross- and up-selling relations

Enterprise resource planning systems

  • To manage inventory and base prices
  • To maintain ‘hard coded’ discounts and price promotions
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Data captures of visitors searching through the site allows to:

  • Identify improvements: If people search on 'store finder' while on the website it is called 'boutique finder', the engine can be adapted to show boutiques when the user types in store.
  • Discover new needs: If several customers are looking for a product you do not offer, maybe you should add it to your assortment?
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Automation of online merchandising:

  • Configuration of site elements
  • Automatic cross- & up-selling
  • Personalization of discounts/promotions

Based on data:

  • Available customer data
  • Click behavior
  • Transactions
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Notes

Not only the offering is personalized, prices themselves are also personalized based on demand, supply but also customer characteristics. This topic is further discussed in Dynamic pricing.


  • Basics: Online merchandising, merchandiser.
  • Site elements: product display, navigation, search, facets, sorting, buyer & size guides.
  • Sales techniques: cross-, up & down-selling, accessorizing & bundling.
  • Pricing: discounts, 4 price promotions rules.
  • Assortment management: breadth, length, depth, consistency.
  • Trends: richer experience, product advisors, searchandizing data, personalization.
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