The keys to effective online merchandising are simple: the site and sales process should be interesting, dynamic, appealing and, most important, relevant to each shopper. So what kind of types within online merchandising can be used to achieve this?
Cross-selling is to get the customer to spend more money by adding more products from other categories than the current product being viewed or purchased. Cross-selling generally occurs when a brand or company has more than one type of product to offer the customer that might be interesting to them. Example: a retail brand has a few high-end temporary design collections every year, specifically for women. Chances are high that the women who are interested in one high-end design collection are interested in the other design collections as well. Referring to the other collections on the landing page of one high-end collection (by using a “You may also like” type of communication) will increase your sales in the other collections. Especially when that landing page is getting a lot of traffic.
Examples of communication that are used for cross-selling:
- “Recommended products”
- “Frequently bought together”
- “Complete the look”
- “Customers who bought X also bought”
Merchandisers are using up-selling to reach a higher average order value by using products or accessories from the same category. This can mean that a more expensive version of a product is presented as "recommended" on a product detail page.
Examples of communication that are used for up-selling:
- "Alternative products"
- "Customers who viewed X also viewed"
- "You may also like"
Down-selling is the opposite of up-selling. In this case, the company chooses to offer a cheaper product next to the selected 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).
Where accessorization can often look the same as up-selling mentioned above, accessorization is focused more on providing all the items a customer needs for specific uses. Think about shoe polish for your shoes or batteries for your remote control.