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How to Create an Omnichannel Merchandising Strategy

An Omnichannel Merchandising Strategy is Essential for Higher Conversion Rates

Jessica Farelly
By Jessica Farrelly

Omnichannel merchandising is more than a buzzword. It’s the difference between a brand that thrives and one that is forgotten. 

In today’s digital-focused retail environment, it’s incredibly important to connect with customers. An omnichannel merchandising strategy is essential for higher conversion rates and to create loyal customers.

What is Omnichannel Merchandising?

Omnichannel merchandising is when you create a consistent shopping experience across every customer touchpoint. This includes brick-and-mortar, online, and third-party marketplaces. Omnichannel centers around the customer – not the product. An omnichannel merchandising strategy is critical, even for businesses that operate online only. 

How to Create a Consistent Omnichannel Merchandising Strategy

Here’s some inspiration for creating a seamless shopping experience across all touchpoints.

Product Placement

Boosted products: setting up a campaign with Searchspring. Image: Four baseball caps and fields for inputting campaign criteria.

No omnichannel strategy is complete without a great visual merchandising experience.

Let’s say you’re a women’s apparel retailer that sells a house brand in addition to clothing and accessories from other vendors. Financially, it makes sense to prioritize sales of the store brand, so you highlight it whenever possible.

On your ecommerce website and mobile app, pin and boost the store brand so it appears above other brands on category pages and in search results. When it comes to third-party marketplaces, get the reseller to feature your brand.

Not only does this approach increase margins, it guarantees that the store brand is the most recognizable line that you carry. 

Featured Products

Now let’s imagine you run a housewares store that has its own mobile app. A customer opens the app and sees a collection of Easter-themed decorations, pillows, and tableware featured on the homepage.

Excited to see the seasonal products on the mobile app, the customer comes to the store in-person to browse the new arrivals. As they approach, they see the window displays are decked out with the same Easter products featured on the app. The shopper goes home with what excited them in the first place and additional items they found while browsing the store. 

A few days later, the customer regrets not buying an Easter basket they saw in store. They visit your website to look for it and, just like the app and window displays, the website homepage features the same items. This provides a sense of familiarity and instills confidence in the customer that they will be able to find the Easter basket without issue. They easily find the basket since it’s part of the featured Easter collection. As a result, you have effectively created a loyal customer who has bought from several touchpoints in a short time. 

Consider what would have happened if the same shopper spotted Easter products in store but later found the website still highlighting Christmas decor. With omnichannel retail, every customer touchpoint provides a recognizable experience. 

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Promotions

boosting sale promotions - showing filling in filters to set up the boosting campaign featuring four baseball caps

Always be consistent with sales and promotions in omnichannel merchandising.

If you’re running a Valentine’s Day sale that discounts all pink and red merchandise by 20% on your website, apply the same promotion in brick-and-mortar stores, third-party resellers, social media, and the mobile app.

Use consistent visual branding on each platform to promote the sale. The sale signage in-store should match digital signage on the website and across social media. 

When running a limited time offer or sale, schedule online campaigns accordingly. While an in-store promotion is relatively easy to set up for “one day only”, there is more room for error online. 

Avoid adding banners or adjusting prices on the morning a sale launches. This leaves room for mistakes or technical crashes when your site is probably attracting more traffic than usual. By scheduling landing pages or campaigns to begin and end at specific times, you deliver a consistent merchandising experience – without having to manually change everything back at midnight.

Product Recommendations

Let’s say a customer visits your brick-and-mortar sporting goods store looking for tennis shoes. A sales associate shows the customer products that best meet their needs and offers suggestions.

The customer wasn’t ready to make a decision in the store so they visit your website a few days later. With a user-friendly site navigation, they quickly find the same products the sales associate pointed out. As they browse, the product recommendations become more and more personalized as the personalization machine learns their preferences.

The customer still doesn’t make a purchase. No problem. All you need to do is target the shopper with an ad on social media that features the products they viewed. This will prompt them to return to your site to buy, or they can make the purchase via social media. No matter what, the experience is consistent.

 

Keep Customers Coming Back With Omnichannel Merchandising

Shoppers today have endless options at their fingertips. They are also savvier than ever. Deliver a consistent shopper experience across platforms and you will form a stronger connection with your customer. You will also create brand recognition and a loyal customer base – whether in store, online, or both.