Skip to main content

Modernizing Your Ecommerce Merchandising Strategy

4 Ways to Convert More Browsers Into Buyers in 2023


On February 22nd at 12 pm EST/9 am PST, Searchspring and Codal hosted a 1-hour webinar where we discussed 4 ways to convert more browsers into buyers in 2023 through a modernized merchandising strategy. 

When was the last time you optimized your merchandising strategy? Online merchandising best practices have come a long way. From personalizing product recommendations to optimizing website navigation, a sound strategy helps create a more enjoyable and effortless shopper experience for customers.

In this webinar, we explore how online merchandising has evolved over the years and the impacts it has had on customer journeys. We also discuss some of the best practices that brands can use to ensure they are delivering an exceptional customer experience and driving more sales in 2023.

To ensure your strategy is up-to-date, we discussed the following:

  • Benefits of personalizing the shopper experience
  • Importance of providing a consistent and relevant user experience
  • Advantages of grouping related products
  • Value of using data to adapt to customers

Ready to give your merchandising strategy a tune-up? View our webinar! 



Hi, everyone.


Welcome to the webinar today.


Today, we’re talking about modernizing your e-commerce merchandising strategy.


four ways to convert more browsers into buyers in 2023, and I’ll tell you, we’ll talk about more than just four ways, so you get your money’s worth today. That is, for sure.


My name is Jason Ferrara. I am the CMO at Searchspring.


And I’m also your webinar, host slash moderator. So I will be introducing our guests in just a minute.


But before I do that, I just wanted to give you a little bit of background on Searchspring.


You know, we’re really focused on driving the ultimate shopper experience, and that’s why merchandising is our topic today.


You know, as online shoppers, we all know all of us, every single one of us that’s on this call, what it’s like, to try to find something in a on an e-commerce site, not find it. Like, we hate that experience. We tend to leave. We go somewhere else, right?


With searchspring.


We help e-commerce merchants get the control back of their site.


So that they can get the right product to the right person at the right time, through site search, and product merchandising and personalization.


And insights that come with all the data that you collect around those three things, and that’s really how we focus on driving the ultimate shopper experience.


So it’s not just me, who will be talking today.


We’ve got a great panel of experts.


I will ask this panel to introduce themselves.


It’s way more compelling when they do Keval, Gabe, and Rahyma.


So, if the three of you want to turn your cameras on and turn your unmute, we will be ready to go, See, there’s me, there’s Rahyma, there’s Keval, Alright!


And there is Gabe, So we’ll start Rahyma, you were first to turn it all on, so go ahead and introduce yourself, and then we’ll go to Keval.


Hi everybody, my name is my e-mail, Wining, say, I am a designer.


I do own a women’s clothing line, and I’m excited to, you know to discuss with you today.


And yeah, great. We’re excited to have you. So, thanks very much, Keval. How about you?


So, like, Hey, everyone.


I’m Keval Baxi, the CEO of Codal, where e-commerce consulting agency based out of Chicago and we primarily kind of focus on building and scaling merchants across different locales and industries and excited to be here and have a great conversation today.


Great. Thanks, Keval. And, you mentioned building, and scaling. And all those things are important, We will. Definitely touch on those. I know, Rahyma, that’s something near and dear to your heart, all right, Gate, you’re next.


How’s it goin’? Gave? one another customer success manager is here to get to work and interact with customers on day-to-day basis. How can an organizer Margaret merchandising strategy, helping them build, and just, you know, get to enjoy to work with different customers on a day-to-day basis, and had to be happy to be here.


Thanks, Gape.


And, yes, Gabe and our colleagues, so I see him, I see him often.


And I know his passion for, for merchandising, which is why he’s here today.


So a couple of other items before we get kicked off here Behind the scenes, we’ve got two producers working on our behalf. Got Charles Summers, and we’ve got Anthony Krajec.


You probably won’t see their faces, but you may hear me ask them questions during the webinar, So I’m not going crazy. There are actually two other people back behind there. So thank you Charles and Anthony for being there and helping us out today.


And before we move forward there is a questions queue in goto Webinar. So if you can navigate to that, if you have a question at any time during the webinar, type it in there. I will see it, Charles and Anthony will see it.


I can ask it in line, and we can hold onto it until the end, But please ask questions. It makes the webinar more enjoyable for us, all on the on the panel that keeps us on our toes.


Don’t know what you’re gonna know. It’s very exciting.


All right.


So, let’s get going. Our, let’s go to look at our agenda today, so pretty simple agenda we’re going to talk about. In general, we’re gonna go over the importance of merchandising, right? Seems simple, probably fundamental, but let’s talk about the importance of merchandising. Let’s talk about the strategies for merchandising. And then how merchandising is evolving, right? We want to talk a little bit about today, but we also want to talk about tomorrow.


Because if you can get on board with what’s going to happen tomorrow, if you can start doing that sooner, you know, you’re ahead of the game. So that’s what we’re going to do.


But we will start with a couple of poll questions, because there’s no better way for us as, as panelists, to really understand everybody who’s in the listening audience. What do you, What are you interested in? What do you care about? So let’s start with poll number one.


How often do you revisit and make changes to your merchandising strategy?


So I think that poll will come up for you to respond to here, and there we go.


And if you can just start voting there, that would be great.


OK, see them, see the responses coming in. It’s always fun to be on this side and watch those responses come in.


Just a couple of seconds more.


Right, Anthony, I think we’re where we’re going to be.


So, let’s set that. There we go.


So, how often do we revisit and make changes so daily, 13% weekly, 30% monthly, 25, quarterly, 23, And annually, 10%? So I’m going to just in my head, because I’m going to do some marketing math here, we’re going to group those three in the middle together and say that they’re about the same.


But, but let me ask you this Keble, any anything in this poll specifically that you, you see, that’s interesting, unusual, something you’d like to comment on?


Absolutely. Pretty much kinda right online to what we anticipated, I’d say.


Most brands and merchants we work with are on that kind of circuit a weekly and monthly that are pretty impressive to see.


There are brands and merchants on this that are kind of touching daily on that. I definitely want to see what we can share to reduce that annual down. The quicker we can make changes, the better outputs are going to see on the conversion end.




Rahyma on your your site, how often are you are you interested in in making changes to your merchandising strategies?


Well, interesting. Will be weekly for my new weekly now, so, I’m in between the weekly and a monthly.


Just because, you know, I feel like people want to see different stuff all the time, and they want to feel like, OK, it’s new, even though it’s not new, but, Yeah, I’m in-between the weekly and monthly, but I would like to, ideally, do.


Yeah, that’s, I think that’s an important point that you mentioned, too, is that the choppers want to feel like they’re seeing something new, right. So there’s an opportunity to do that. Gabe, is that pretty standard for what your customers? I’m, I’m guessing that that’s, that that’s a pretty standard, hey, I want to do it in this frequency, but I do it more along this frequency.


Yeah, for sure, I mean, typically what we tend to see with customers, I wanna say, it’s definitely falls in that weekly and monthly lines. Everyone’s Hawaiian, yeah, we’ll get those quarterly customers, but as we’re gonna kinda mentioned, their customers want to make sure I’m sorry, merchant, you want to make sure that customers are always seeing those new products, different strategies, so pretty much very in line with what we see with customers.


Great. And I’ve just have, like, 3 or 4 follow-up questions in my head that I’m going to park for a little bit later, so we’ll get, we’ll get to those. So thanks, everybody, for participating in that poll. We’ve got one more before we start the the realtor panel conversation here, So poll number two, What are the biggest gaps in your merchandising strategy, currently?


Generating traffic, properly displaying a variety of products, tasting customers, promoting specific products, increasing conversion rate? So, let’s get to that poll here.


Same, same situation. Just pop in your answer in a few seconds.


A little bit of dead air. We need to, we need the Jeopardy music going.




Doing well. I’ll just give it a couple more seconds, Anthony, and then we can turn it off here.


By the way, this is a great, an active audience. We have really great high response rates, so very exciting. I think, Anthony, we are where we’re going to be right now.


So let’s see what we’ve got here, OK, generate web traffic, 17%.


Biggest gaps, properly display products, 10% biggest gaps, entice customers, 5% promote specific products at 10 and increase conversion rate, 59% rates the biggest gap. By far increasing conversion rate.


And that is obviously incredibly important for everybody on this call, including our panelists. So Gabe, why don’t we start with you. Anything here that you you see who’s in your conversation with merchants or anything you see here that jumps out at you?


Yeah. I mean, first point.


We know very kind of where it was expected here with increased conversion, kind of being the biggest gap. That stuff for the question that always comes up the most merchants. Start the journey with us or just, you know, throughout the journey and all that stuff being sort of a goal throughout the year. So definitely what we’re seeing here with the results.


And Rahyma, any surprises?


I mean, I, my guess is, you’re firmly in the, how do I increase conversion rate camp, but I don’t know if any of these others are on your radar to, honestly, I’m not surprised because I was gonna go for increased conversion rate as well.


Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s that’s sort of what you’re thinking about every day, right?


Your merchandising strategy is connected to this increase conversion rate, because all you’re in agreement, I would imagine pretty much right in line. I do think the entice customers side, The given average shoppers are, repeat shoppers and buyers.


I think we can use a boost on that end, but definitely, kind of right in line with sticking, We’ll see here.


Very good, thanks for calling our taste customers, too, because, as I’m reading that, I’m thinking while unpack and taste customers is a lot. And it’s it, really. If I’m enticing customers and increasing conversion rate, you know, I could do a lot of things with that. So, appreciate you calling that out. I think it’s, it’s an important part of what we’re going to, what we’re going to talk about.




Alright, Anthony, let’s move on to the next, the next one, I’ve got a bunch of, a bunch of topics coming up here.


So let’s see. We’ve got our four e-commerce Merchandising strategies for success.


So let me run through these, and then we’ll talk about each of them individually. So, first, is offer personalized product recommendations.


Second, is create product categories.


Third is providing a consistent and relevant user experience.


And, fourth, would be, use data to understand your customers.


So, what I’d like to start by doing is just, let’s talk about offering personalized product recommendations.


I think this is something that it’s easy for me to type and read in a line, and maybe a whole lot different to get into motion, So, Keval, why don’t we start with you, like, help us understand what what personalized product recommendations are? Let’s just go very basic here, What is that definition? What are we trying to accomplish?




So I think the the primary element is really figuring out who that customer is or who the buyer or viewer is of the products and personalize into the furthest extent. We can get a couple of different areas of how we’ve kind of personalizes we’ll look at prior history if they’ve already existing buyer and show them ancillary products or upgrades or accessories.


We’ve also seen a big uptake in quizzes and personalized experiences.


So get someone in the funnel of, if you’re an automotive, what’s your ear make model? If you’re in healthcare, give me some stats about what you’re looking for, and it really allows the merchant to then curate specifically and personalize target their buyer profile.


So it’s really just using either data kind of knowledge of how the user enter the site experience, and then the user, and showing them specific product or categories that they like.


Got it. And, and that quiz information, that you used, an automotive example, but really, that is any, the buzz word, I would think, is most people might hear as, that’s what we would call first party data, correct?


Absolutely. You’re getting direct input from the user. They’re invested in the brand. But say you have a pretty prolonged quiz.


We have some, like vitamin brands that will ask you 12 healthcare questions and as the further you go in that, we’ve seen data to show, the customer really ends up purchasing or intending to purchase the product they see afterwards.


Very good, yeah. For those of you in the listening Audience, first party data is one of those phrases that I like to say you use to try to make yourself such, Mark. So if you need, if you need a killer phrase, right?


Go tell somebody, you need more, first party data, but I think that, that the goal there is involving your shoppers more deeply in the experience game.


When you’re talking to, to merchants.


How are they thinking about getting their shoppers more involved in that experience, and how does personalization play into that?


Yeah, we know, … point there, you know, utilizing those quizzes, utilizing that customer data that we’re getting, are letting, you know, to your point, the first party data with an acute interacting with the site, or just really, their behavior across the site. Nowadays, are so many tracking. Forms that allow you to track the product views, what customers click on, what they’re purchasing. And as all those tracking components are acting, or building the individual customer persona, right. So we’re able to kinda get an idea of, hey, this customers interested on this. We can ever be able to recommend certain products based on what they’re lucky. Yeah, so as a customer keeps on returning. Or maybe if they leave and come back, you know, we at least have an idea of who they are or what they were interested on, to always have relevant recommendations. Right, Because for new customers to save, the person that they’re always MBC, is OK, how can I find the parks I’m interested in?


So by utilizing those quizzes searching on the site, you know, there’s tracking components or Rock, or running all day and making sure that we’re carrying all we can to ensure that we can get those relevant products for our customers.


I’ve got, I’ve got a park follow up questions for a conversation about data. How quickly did I say yesterday, when we were talking, that we’d get to the subject of data?


I don’t know if I define, if I put it into the first 18 minutes, but that week, we should get there quickly.


So, let’s put it there, And then, Rahyma, I’d like to talk about, I’d like to talk about personalized recommendations, You know, how do you, as a merchant, think about recommendations and their value to what you’re trying to offer?


Yeah, absolutely.


I think it’s, I think it’s important, especially if you want to increase your minimum, I’m sorry, average order value, know, when other products have been recommended.


You know, you end up, you know, making a larger amount of sale than if it was just one single product. And, again, a customer could be on your website. Not even knowing that, there was something else that could actually compliment that thing that our interests city.


If there wasn’t anything like that, you know, they knew they would have missed out, probably gone somewhere else searching for it. Meanwhile, it was right there. Right. So, it’s really good to have that, and it’s been working for us, so, yeah. It’s a good thing to have.


So, yeah, we’re also talking about personalization as facilitating a discovery process. Right, So we talk a lot about search facilitating the discovery process. But, but personalization. A couple, you’re nodding your head, you get a thought around that?


So, yeah, I agree.


Just really personalizing to what rather it’s to increase AOV or certain KPIs as giving them the specific kind of product or Google products that they can go into.


A lot of customers may enter through, like a shopping feed, or a channel where they don’t necessarily see your homepage, or see your product listing pages, that they need, kinda guidance on page to navigate it, too.


Alright, we had a question come in that I think, we’ve had a couple of questions come in, so thanks everybody in the audience, for beginning to put questions in there. The question we had here that I would like to come back to is this concept of quizzes and asking questions, and at what point does it become too much?


Right, people, people see that come up, and they say, yeah, I’m not doing that, and they leave.


Right, What’s, what’s the, what’s the threat thereof disengaging the shopper with those types of things?


Rahyma, you started to smile when I said that, So I’m wondering if you have specific. Yeah, I mean, I do sometimes get like text messages e-mails saying Oh, I’m getting too much Recommendations I’m getting too much of that can you just stop looking? You just you know, and then at that point, I go back and I said, OK.


How many apps? Am I using our how?


You know, what is the frequency of, you know, how they come?


Come, you know, come up To the customers then I go back and take a look at it because I want to listen to you know what the customers have to say, and then I note that What I have done in the past is I Kind of pause a little bit, give them a break, and then I come back again. I do that a lot.


So I guess I’ll pause a little bit, and then I come back again, because sometimes it could be too much, too. Yeah.


Yeah, Gabe, is there, is there a rule that you, that you work on with, with merchants, or is it, is it, like, raheem’s experience, which is, take your cue from the shop, or how does that, how does it work in practice?


Yeah, I feel like for him a kind of settle permanently there. Because you know sometimes we don’t want to talk too much of the customers. So kind of taking it on and off every once in a while, I was kinda break balanced as sir, like, kinda going back to the question, Right. You know, how can we make sure that customers can still interact with these quizzes on-site, without bouncing? A great way that we tend to see. And I think, I’ve always wanted to mention with the automotive customers, right, They’ll give you a couple of questions on the site, You know, you’re making model to kind of just start with the basics, and then from there, you know, customers can then say, hey, actual want to search for specific Tiresias specific engine by automotive knowledge is very limited. As you can see right there. And again, you can kinda Curie down the more you go. But starting with those easy questions to be able to kind of engage the customer retention cannot throw them in 20, no, question quiz. Is a great way to start, and then they can decide whether, hey, I want to keep on going down this, or, I want to just actually go ahead and shopper products. So, during this point, you know, the same way that you can try to turn them on and off, kind of limiting and how much you’re going to their customers are great way to. not force it to Ghana entirely, but still get a taste of what they can find with that.


Yeah, My, My day job is as the as a as a real market or look for for a technology company, and I the way I think about this, But what it made me think of is is relevancy right. So if I’m asking things that might be irrelevant to the shopper, maybe more date shop, or maybe more inclined to participate in a quiz. If I’m asking things that seem like completely out of left field, don’t seem relevant to, that chopper.


I bet you get people who are disengaged or, and that’s something we’re always trying to think about in terms of marketing and engaging people from buying perspective is, is how relevant it, my out of the things that I’m asking people. So we can move on. I’m getting a bunch of questions here that I think are really good and I want it.


take personalization. Kind of one step back.


Gabe, I’m gonna, I’m gonna ask this of you first is just talk a little bit about personalization in general.


So from a technology perspective, what are we personalizing and how does that happen?


Right? So, it seems kind of like a big topic. So how do we can make it more accessible for people on call?


Yeah, no worries. So, you know, the great thing of like personalization, kinda going back to the tracking components. Right. Because that’s, the, these tracking components are active across the site. These are taking data from the customer, from the get go, right. So, even if the customer, again, is either a new customer are occurring, customer, whether it kinda build that persona, and if they’re new, a lot of the personalization technology that exists nowadays is allowing itself to automatically adjust based on how much, you know, how deep the customer isn’t, the journey of buying something on the side, Right? For example, you know, you’ll see recommendation profile, does this plan homepage, are days where, you know, the first thing you see, I have a new customer, I’ll see those trending items, but then actually go down the category pages, right, and start interacting with some pants and shirts. And as soon as I go back to that homepage, that recommendation carrier. So, let’s start with those trending products, will now adapt to what I’ve been seeing. Right, So, again, the, kinda going back to your question there, Jason, It’s two parts, right? It’s kinda track. You can put it that aren’t working by themselves, already.


Which work is kind of gathering that customer data, Are then looking at how the customers interacting with the site today. I’d say, hey, how can we surface the most relevant recommendations to their session, right? Then there’s other profiles that can actually go deeper than that and say, hey, you know, gabe’s purchase, 10 orders from us and those orders. He’s been purchasing some genes from shoes jackets, Let’s make sure to show complementary items to that and kind of build off of that experience. So, depending on where those recommendations are found through across the site, they tend to act differently. But the ultimate goal really is, Hey, if a customer is new or recurring, let’s go ahead and show them either what’s best for whatever point in their journey.


And, and behind the scenes, there is where the, the behavior of that shopper gets tracked and stored to it to enable that personalization. Is that correct?


Yes. Correct. So, you know, you’ll have a couple of them either looking at the individual customer order history, what they view, what they click on, what they add to cart. Because again, sometimes, you know, customers can come into sites, right, Look at a couple of products, add to the cart, and then just bounce. But now that we have that data, we know, hey, you know, when gabe came into the site, he added a couple of items to his cart. We now know that he’s interested on this, right, So besides the potential, obviously, recommendation carousels, you also have the personalized search aspect that some sites have active that allow you know now that I know that came out of these items as our previously.


He’s searching for jackets. Let’s actually surface some of the potential recommendations that are similar to what a vision for higher up, on the page, they can say, Hey, I was actually looking at this before.


There we go, let me go to purchase it, Right. So, there’s definitely different kind of areas that go to it, but ultimate goal is just making sure that we’re putting the right, right products in front of the customers.


Got it, And Keval, and I want to talk a little bit about data.


I mean, I wanna get your, your take on personalization, too, but, but I’m starting to think that, as we’re collecting all this data, I’ve got to keep it somewhere.


I’ve got to make sure it’s usable in a format that is accessible to me, and understand, and actually serve the right kind of, of recommendation.


So, can you talk to us, talk to us a little bit, about any, any addition to the personalization definition? And then a little bit about how you organize that data.


Yeah, absolutely. I think personalization was pretty much right on, as it was explained.


On the data side, I think looking at kind of three primary sources of data, right? So we have off page data. So that’s analytics, data studios, GCM tracking, whatever the merchant is using for that. And then you have your on page analytics, So, things like Search Spring, right? If your search plugin, it gives you a bunch of reports, and it has analysis around what’s being utilized and not. So tying those two aspects together will really inform the merchant on what to do, what not to do Right, if your homepage is focused on a red T-shirt, but you virtually have no inbound traffic or searches for any of that. Maybe it’s time to, to reconsider that.


And then the third set data is post purchase data.


So as things get added to cart, we want to look at things like, how long did it take That they cycle through multiple products. Was there an upsell, Was their personalized opsahl, was there a quiz? Really looking at all those aspects to understand what adjustments we can make.


What we typically do for merchants is compile that data into an automated source and have a report sent out every week. If you’re maybe a little bit lower volume merchant, maybe you got a two week increments. And really just understand what indicators and what elements we should migrate or just from.


And it’s kind of a recursive process data will consistently be collected. We wanna look at what’s happened, What changes we made. What can we adjust? Rather, it’s search strategy or categorization, or whatever it may be.


Yeah. one of the things, he might want to ask you a specific question about use of data.


Because one of the one of my general concerns when we talk about about data is, I think, collectively, we do a really good job of making people feel inadequate in their understanding of data and how to collect data, and all that sort of thing.


And then, but, but we really need to empower people to understand that, because that’s where all that information. So, Raheem, I’m interested in your perspective on how do you use data?


Um, and what role does that play into your, kinda your, day-to-day running your business, and then where do you feel you’ve got a gap that you’d love to, you know, fill, for example. So, how do you get the first question is, how do you use data in your day to day running?


Yeah, so, or my day-to-day, I know every, every day, I check into Main Analytics to see what are people looking at, What are they interested in, what are they putting in their wish list and what I’m doing know, and that makes me think like, OK, why? Why are the abandoning this stuff here?


Is it the shipping, is it Why didn’t or buying?




Another thing that I look at, is OK, the Loftiest. Put so much, even though they’re not checking out, could it be something? And should I be looking at, you know, replenishing is this going to be my best seller? If I end up switching things around maybe pricing Or you know, whatever? Or do I have to use? No because I do use such Spring do.


I have to put this in front You know for them to see you: Do I have to do more, create more content with these.


You know, So I do use it every day and it’s really important in my my online store.


What are the gaps?


I Think, I, think, for me.


I’m still in that area where I do see all these, um, opportunities, uh, combustion convert this way.


Back to You can see, you know, you will have the traffic I see the wishlist, I see the searching, I see abandoning of cats so I’m like OK, That’s why really that’s the that’s why. That’s why we really need to focus on.


It gave I think you get in those conversations a lot like right like hey, I’m looking at a bunch of data and I know that it’s important I should do something about it helped me like connect those to you know, the the I see it and I my Knowledge that I should do something with.


It helped me connect it, So it gave I think you work with with merchants and connecting those things. Tell us a little bit about them.


Yeah, so, you know, kind of to Ramus coin regards to saying, yeah, maybe you’re seeing a lot of customers need this product, but not convert it right, Or They’re adding items to the wishlist. And just kind of going from there, Right.


So once you kinda get a high level picture of, At least we know that we’re getting customers into the site, we’re able to see how long they’re at the site. We know, OK, you know, are they, are they staying deepen the pages, right, or they couldn’t answer the pagination and doing all the products once we know that we’re saying, OK, The problem seems to lie somewhere from looking at the product listing page to then potentially checking out, right? So, we can say, Hey, what areas of opportunity to do we have existing pages to enhance that experience. Right.


Some customers go ahead and add data, is to introduce gnocchi after paid tools that exist out H Now, let’s say they’d be your items may seem a little pricier, some customers, adding badges to your items to make them kind of like pop out and being able to make them stand out and kind of gone from there, right? But add insight.


No changes like those. And now the whole topic of the webinar, right, redefining your merchandise strategy, saying, Hey, you know, customers are viewing your pages, but maybe they’re seeing the same products. Like, should we change? Kind of like the object to say, hey, should we boost bestsellers instead of new products here for a bit, and just changing these different things?


And just being able to play around with, like, the potential features that you can add is a great way to, again, get the data and say, hey, let’s take some steps here at, let’s see what works and keep on re-evaluating, right? Because that’s the beauty of data. So you can always see kind of what’s going on, How much the change that you get are affecting the pages. You can always keep on saying, hey, this didn’t work. Let’s go ahead and apply something else. Or, hey, this didn’t work. How can we make it bigger and bigger, areas of opportunity to keep on growing from there? So, it’s, it’s tough because it’s, you know, data can be, although it’s great. You get so much of it, it’s like, what do you do with it? So, it is a lot like trial and error, but I guess that’s kinda the front of it, to see kind of what works and how we can keep on making it grow.


Yeah, it’s, it’s, I think the most important advice I can give to people is to learn, To love the data part of the process, because the story that it tells is So Compelling, Keble you, you smiled there. So, you gotta, you gotta thought, or comment. Yeah. It’s really True, right. The, keep looking at the data, it’s giving you different patterns, kind of like Gabe was alluding towards.


What we do, what Brands is kinda set a list of experiments, right.


So every two weeks, let’s experiments, a couple of high value objects, were not making the customer experience two different, and then a couple of low level items, such as simple as changing the color of that displayed, or changing the font, or changing the, the, the, the Add to Cart to add to basket or add to bag. And just looking at different elements of data, and then consistently monitoring that. So, the ranking high to low, and, and continuing to experiment.


But then also just keep looking at the data and see if there’s anything that we can learn from, or adjust.


Yeah, Yeah, That experimentation is incredibly important, like getting comfortable with experimenting, right? Because some things, you may think work.


and some things aren’t what’s the, what’s the impact on the user experience from experimentation, like I think Kelly, you said, you know, of change a few things over a period of time Guessing that’s the ease of that for for user usability. This Kimball up there. Yeah, so we don’t want to make dramatic changes. The brand identity, the brand experience, the shopper experience still needs to be there. We see a large amount of return customers, right? So you don’t want to have dramatic changes every week or every two weeks, and those customers start to get confused.


What we do depending on the traffic, if there’s a large merchant, will do kind of beta version. So we’ll only drive coupled single percentage digits of traffic to those experimented changes. And then as those KPIs look better in the data, looks better, we’ll expand that. So, not all the customers are seeing yet at once.


Uh, then, for kind of mid-sized to smaller brands, where maybe they don’t have that many customers to experiment with, We’re making changes in an orderly kind of fashion, where it’s like experience changes, no dramatic changes, test that, see if it works, and then make bigger changes on larger trafficked areas of the sites.


And this goes back to our first poll.


How often do you revisit and make changes?


We were at this weekly, monthly, quarterly, and I think we talked about monthly and quarterly, Is that capital, is that, when that kinda timeframe is that we’re talking about where to revisit those things and extend experiment?


Yeah, I think our suggestion is every, we work in an agile fashion for most of our clients and it’s every 2 to 4 weeks with some blackout periods, right? You don’t want to make a change day before a holiday or day before a major campaign. That a client’s launching.


So, kind of a systematic calendar of knowing your, your industry, right?


If you’re having fashion in Q four, is your biggest time, maybe, experiment earlier, and, and have more stable adjustments towards the end of the year. If you’re not null, kinda come up with a cadence that works well with the business marketing and operations and PR and, and kinda base it off of that. But think 2 to 4 weeks is pretty much what we see as the most optimal approach.


Got it. And Gabe, Let’s go back to that poll if if I’m in the 10% of revisiting my merchandising strategy annually.


Like what what would you recommend someone to go from?


We’re not. I’m not going to tell somebody go from annually to daily, Right?


That’s, that’s gonna probably the break there, break their brain, how do we go from annual to some more frequency. Like, what’s like, what’s the, what’s the key there.


Yeah. You know, so kind of the point, you know, it’ll depend, obviously, on a couple of different times to consider, which is one you are, is because for Seasonal, right? Because, for example, Fashion customers, right there, maybe the ones that saying, Hey, you know, we know kind of like, water merchandise merchandising strategies will just keep it for the rest of the year, like it is tough to change. Because, again, those small changes, you could you could have a big impact, right. But when you’re trying to get a customer who maybe doesn’t rely on seasonality as much, you can tell them, Hey, you know, although, you know what, your annual cadence is, kind of, what works for you. What if we could start with maybe a six month cadence, quarterly cadence, where we can kind of go and say, hey, let’s look at the data from the last year. Let’s try and see what your high points of your work and say, hey, OK, if you’re a high points of the year, we’re towards the middle part of the year. Let’s go ahead and just maybe start with the first quarter. Kind of go from there and make those changes. And kind of see where you can kind of putting these adjustments without really interrupting your kind of annually merchandising strategy and go on from there. Because someone, once you’re grinding and grading your ways, and, you know, like, you know what you’re doing, you’re clearly seeing, are reaping the results of it, it’s tough to make those changes, right?


So, suggested to start, maybe in that six month, even quarterly Cadence, is a great way to start making changes without really committed to anything, and just kinda getting a little bits of knowledge, and saying, hey, you know, as long as you’re white, you know, we made for big changes in the last one of the year. Let’s go ahead and pick the best changes from each one, and kind of start with a new strategy from there, right? Because you can then use that as a whole. Then, let’s say, even if you want to keep the adult strategy, let’s apply those little bits of nuggets of intelligence that we found to those quarterly judges and appliances strategy.


Thank you. OK, so I want to move on to some of the evolutions of merchandising.


But before we do, let’s talk quickly, I love, when really specific questions come in.


I’ve had a couple come in, so one is specific tool to use to ask like quizzes.


Right, so, not not thinking through, like the automotive example of give me multiple filters, but I’m thinking more like quizzes, I’m interested in this, or I like this color, this style, this kind of thing. What are some, some products and specific things we can give to the audience that they could use?


Rahyma or Keval or Gabe jump in with it with a thought here?


So, in most of our personalized experiences we build, we’re building a combo of custom, based on, like, a faceted search providers, like, for example, we would integrate search Spring into that.


There are quiz builders on all the major e-commerce platforms. Big Commerce, Shopify, Magento, they have a ton of quiz builders.


What we’ve kind of found is, while they are good starter points, and they work well, they don’t necessarily integrate with outside data, and search data, they all have kind of their own experience for. one that comes to mind is Quizzify It’s a web builder, pretty easy, you set your questions, drag and drop, you can set conditional logic, and if X then take the user to Y, then eventually show the user.


That product were, once you start to see it working, and experimental conversion rates are going up, I would recommend kinda kustom engineering out a specific experience. So it’s branded really well. It fits, and then it you can use the benefits of search. So it’s all one holistic experience for the user.


And we’ve kind of done that for most of our brands. I know, earlier, there was a Mention of one. Is it too much, right? You know, you want to ask 30 questions or 20 questions? It depends on the client. profile.


Some things, like a nutrition, or in healthcare we’ve seen the more questions the more comfortable users feel, something that’s more generic, they just want to answer quick what we try to provide as exit paths, which a lot of these quizzes apps really do is what the user exit, anytime they want, right? They answered six questions. Give them some products. They’re not kind of confined or save for later and kind of began again soon.


Yeah, very good, Thank you. I want to so let’s jump forward to two evolutions and merchandising and raheem. I want to start with you here.


So so obviously, there are like people access your site using multiple different devices.


How do you, how do you ensure that like that experience, similar across devices?


What’s your, what’s your key? And you kinda thought process around that?


Yeah well Going back to, you know, personalizing and also checking DNN lead ticks for your website, you get to see where where they’re coming from, the more straight and Which for us it will be mobile. Right, So what we do is we just want to make sure that they have a very good. Experience, especially with a mobile, because that’s where they’re kind of coming from, and of course the coming from the Desktop as well.


So We want to make sure that, when they’re looking coming from both ways to kind of see the same thing With our brand identity, that we’re not losing any theme.


It’s still like connecting With the, regardless of where they’re coming from the brand identity is still the same, they’re sick getting the same no experience. So, so far, that’s what we’re doing.


And Is the is the evolution.


Keble is the evolution here that Mobile matters more than desktop.


What’s the what’s, what, what’s, how should I be thinking about different, you know, different ways people access my, my store.


Absolutely, I think it depends, brand, specifically, right. We see a lot of B2B brands, desktop. Still the pramana, utilization entry point, purchase process, re-orders, or for mobile.


Consumer brands. Given the social media aspects of things and mobile might be better. I think the way that we look at it as a holistic experience, every tests that we run, or every design that you do, it should just work across. All the common touch points, right? So that’s tablet, mobile, landscape, desktop.


one other area to call out here is dark mode and light mode. We’ve seen a lot of sites that don’t operate well on dark mode.


You’re building it during the night mode. and you see it operating great. The e-mail works great.


And then you get to a user that’s using it during the switchover, The phones do that. It doesn’t work.


So I think kinda, looking at all of the Elastic testing tools that are available on the market, and making sure it works just across the spectrum, and then putting in more emphasis on your target audience for traffic.


I’m, I’m smiling because hopefully, behind the scenes, Charles is also laughing at your comment about light dark mode, because we went through a period Last year, Where were we as search spring, where we’re working on that? Struggling with that a little bit? We do something like this is awesome.


It would go out and someone would bring their phone to us and say, well, this is what it looks like in a dark mode, Like, whoops, Didn’t quite get that, right. So that’s a real active that’s a real active issue, that that is something you need to consider as you begin to execute your marketing plan.


We got a great question that I want to, to talk about.


The question is, I’d love to hear your thoughts on filters and navigation and the role they could play in improving conversion. So improving conversion was one of those in our polls.


You know, it’s the big, it’s the big desire for everybody on this call.


So, Gabe, why don’t we start with you in terms of how do we use filters, navigation other pieces of the site to really improve conversion, get people focused to, to convert.


Yeah, so, you know, kind of us, who’ve been speaking rate is always gonna be dependent on links to different industries, and merchant, trying to employ these changes, what we tend to see, right? Is it, for example, that, certain merchant, it is linking out to a page, and promoting a certain page that may contain, you know, a thousand products? Let’s go to space, kind of going back to that, or fashion brands, and it’s just such customers.


Well, you wanna make sure that when customers for Sketch that page, rather have, you know, subcategory navigation at the top of the page.


So they can quickly say, hey, you know, if I’m taking customers to my genius page, I want them to quickly be able to say, hey, actually, idea is our genes. But actually, I’m interested in you know, slim genes or skinny jeans. And just being able to quickly navigate to those pages, having those there are essential. And from, then on, right, once you get to whatever subcategory page, you want to get to you, then, go to the filter layer, Which is why we say, Hey, you know, for example, I know my size is 30, 2, 32. Let me go ahead and filter by that. I want to buy a dark Kimberly, go ahead, and talk about a dark wash. So having these different options, and just really to an extent, you know, making them as granular as you can, is always going to help the customer. Right. Because some customers, or we’ll go down to the individual products and say, Hey, let me go into the reviews to see.


Know, how dark as its tone, Right. Or just to get the exact length of the gene, or those little kind of characteristics that you may not think that’s important to have a filter by, The customers are interested on reviewing that data, that customer they’re commenting on. And like, any feedback that you get is great to say, Hey, should we build a graph? this, and then added, because nowadays, the way that most filters work right, is that they’re smart meeting that will only display whatever relevant.


So having those filters ready for whenever customers get to those pages that could have that extra need, a level of debt, is going to be a great experience. And then on top of that, right, analyzing, the flu tend to do with customers righteous analyzing your overall total usage. and say, Hey, you know what? You know. Maybe your site’s filter, which is the fourth filter display on a page, is actually most of these Coke, or why don’t we go ahead and just move it up the page, or customers. Who are using, can just use a quicker, make that experience better? Or maybe, you know, what, you know, some of the values and the filters aren’t being used. this. Actually maybe go at potentially remove some of them. Add some again, ultimately, right. Just going back to the whole data conversation, using that data, use, that customer feedback. All these points help us engage and enhance the customer experience by adding those filter options and making sure that everything they can to just quickly move around the page to either convert surface at the best experience.


Keval, thoughts on? Thoughts on using the filtering and navigation there?


For purposes of conversion.


Along the line of games are the process of elimination and utilization, There’s also smart filters that I want to call out that should be utilized.


So I think you can kinda dynamically create filters based on a little bit of personalization from the user.


So, but, for example, I mentioned that automotive example earlier, your make model.


You can then have subsequent subset of filters for Ford F 150. And now, you have specific colors that are available in a specific kind of engine types that are available, and it carries across for all the brands that we’ve seen where you have your generic filters, which absolutely need. And should Connect Taxonomy exercise those to kind of figure out what you want to use for the long term, and then which ones you’re experimenting.


And then, creating smart filters based on commonly selected filters, so looking at data, looking at personalization, and then saying, Let’s have some dynamic filters that we can leverage.


Thank you. Sorry. To make a note with a little bit of dead air. Sorry about that. Yeah. Thank you.


I think it’s important to, to be able to use that, use that data in order to, to accomplish the filtering goals. Rahyma thoughts on thoughts on filtering and working with your product to boost conversion.


Yes, I was just gonna, you know, support what they just said. It’s important to, kind of give the customers much options. You know, as much information, that they need to know where to put out that.


They’re looking looking at, because, you know, that also helps save time, because if they don’t have that much information, that much option to filter out, all sought, they stop e-mailing you. They said, you know, taxi, you want all that. It just, and then, this, The, the sales, it gets slower.


Before you actually make that sale, but if they have all those options, there are few tasks there, no information. I mean, they don’t need to come back to you. And it’s almost like seamless.




Yeah. Yeah, I would imagine, the time it’s taking someone to buy is a piece of data that is really important as we look at customer experience, Right?


So, if it’s, if it takes your expectation is that if somebody’s going to buy and they’re on their their first visit and it takes them three, then then you really have have an operation to take a look at. I would suppose that’s, that’s an important step for, for you as you look at your site.


Let’s, let’s talk quickly about AI.


Let’s talk about AI, specifically.


This is in our Evolution section.


It’s a big, tall concept, giant word, monolithic thing.


How do we, how do we approach it?


Rahyma, let’s, let’s start with you, like, if you and I sit down and have a conversation about AI, like, what do we talk about? Status smiling because it is something that I just started getting into, and it’s so overwhelming. I’m like, Oh, my goodness! it has this been all my life. So, yeah, I’m pretty new into eight, I’m still learning. And already I just can I can see the key to it. Like it’s so important like or if you’re a business owner.


Yeah, you need to get into it. So I really wanted to get into it. I’m excited to hear what he has to say about it. Yeah. I would, I would do we do have a poll here to understand from audience where they are with AI to so we’ll get there, But yeah, let’s let’s hear from our from our panel for so Gabe.


Like you’re, you’re talking to a lot of merchants all the time.


Are they in the same place that Rahyma is, or they are some further along?


What’s your thought here with usage of AI and understanding of AI?


Yeah, I feel like, you know, with the recent explosion that everybody’s heard of the chat CPT, and, you know, being able to leverage all these tools. Most customer most merchants are deftly starting to kind of dip your toe into the water. Because, the fourth thing is, you know, the scary thing, but really, you know, it’s a way to really enhance the experience for customers. And make your life easier, right.


In terms of automating a lot of processes that could have to take a lot, one more time, right? And then that kinda, is eventually what I think is gonna start falling down onto the whole personalization, right? And how AI is going to start affecting that.


Ultimately, you know, keep on getting that customer data and keep on enhancing it, but it’s definitely for sure, still a point that a lot of people are starting to get into here, and also excited to keep on learning more about it.


So, Keble thoughts about AI here, when I was at my first job, in my career, I worked for a statistical software firm, and we were building out what we termed it at that time. You know, artificial intelligence algorithms and they would build and watch.


And I feel like we’re still kinda, they’re building those things out. Where are we with AI today and its practical use.


Bye. Bye merchants to do real business and increase conversion.


Yeah, I think there’s really 2, 2 types of categories for AI.


We have AI inform the merchant, and it’s really just an exercise of analyzing data or analyzing shopper experience faster than what we can do at a human interval, right? Rather, it’s every minute hour, depending on that cadence.


And then, the second type is AI that can run experiments for you. So, we’ve been working with different elements in different areas of sites where we’ll have AI bots and tools kind of adjust automatically. If you’re a highly competitive marketplace or things like that. We’ve had categorization and filter changes by AI using kind of different search elements.


So, and then, on the inform side, we automatically create reports based on, Look, people are looking for these types of SKUs. and you don’t have it, or they’re consistently coming in and searching for competitor SKU. Maybe we should do something to capture that sale or traffic also Kinda goes in with personalization and recommendation.


We’ve seen kind of product quizzes that were maybe 20, 30 steps, compressed onto 10. We use kind of automatic understanding based on algorithms, AI, integrated data, and then figuring out what the user is going to answer before they answer, and then almost kind of do a verify with them, versus saying, Let’s start from scratch every time.


So, I think it’s, it’s, it’s definitely early but also ready to go in a lot of cases.


I would say there’s probably not a tool out there that fully replaces the human element that that requires to go in.


But I think there are tools that can reduce the amount of labor hours or effort hours that you put into to doing the merge planning and the categorizations filters, kinda all that journey.


Yeah, Rahyma, you’re nodding go ahead,. I am nodding absolutely. Absolutely saves time. You know, so far, you know.


It’s, um, yeah, I cannot wait to learn more about it.


Like I said, it’s something I just started looking into in own a scene that I have been missing, because I didn’t catch on to it on time.


But I see a whole lot of potential and I’m excited to see where I’m going to take my business to know what’s available right now.


Well, I think you’ve got a great attitude on that, because number one, it’s a journey. I think that’s what we just heard here.


Number two, there are a lot of possibilities of things to do right now, that you can work on. And the the willingness to embrace that newness of what that might be is it can be real positive for your business.


And if we talk about The big The poll question here was, conversion, We talk about conversion, then this is AI. Technologies, is really something that sounds like it can impact version in a very positive way. Really exciting, exciting opportunity there.


All right. We have one more poll question. And I know we’re coming coming up toward the end here, but we got one more poll question for people.


So if we want to launch that poll question, which of the evolutions in merchandising are the greatest impact on e-commerce merchandising?


And we’re going to have this poll, set off and go.


Increased use of AI, ability to identify and react to a user’s user’s browser, advanced indexing, the importance of personalization.


So we’ll get some, we’ll get some answers here, and this will help inform future future webinars that we do. Because I think what we’ve got based on the comments and questions that I see is a really exciting set up.


Help me understand filtering and facets and AI and merchandising, and, you know, there’s a whole nother section, merchandising conversation that we could have.


And like with most of these conversations, we can continue to continue to talk, continue to talk. All right, Anthony, I think we are. Where are we gonna get to on the poll?


So, we look at that, increased AI.


Yet, 36% identify and react to a user’s browser. That’s 8% advanced indexing is to, an importance of personalization, is 54. So I’m gonna, you know, again, use Marketing Math, and combine that personalization AI together. Because I think those, those are going hand in hand.


Keble thoughts there about the importance of personalization and the increased use of AI, and how those connect to each other?


Yeah, I think both of them are kind of right in line with what I was thinking. I believe we can use a lot of AI tools, and some kind of a pop out of box, kind of solutions to improve personalization. Alright. There’s plenty of kinda, or order routing elements or recommendation engines that have leveraged, really good AI algorithms, are wanting. And then we can integrate that with all sorts of personalization. Because you’re rather be on page, e-mail marketing, off page, and integrate all of that kind of holistic experience.


Yeah, and a great, I mean a great topic, just the connection of those two things. Rahyma, if your if your experiences like others on the call of the I know there’s promise there, I know that there are these things out there.


They should be doing more of a dip my toe in there, and I think that, know, Gabe. I’m 100% certain that you have those conversations. How do we know when it’s time to jump in with AI or how do we dip our toe into make changes?


Uh, we’ve, we’ve come to the end of our time and I feel like in some ways we’re just getting started. Thank you so much. Rahyma and Gabe and Keval for your time.


Thanks, everybody, who has been listening, I hope it was informative and fun and interesting and I hope that you are teed up for next month’s webinar, which is really about optimizing site or shopper experience.


And I’m sure we’ll talk similar themes will be around data and AI, and really how to be, how to be presenting the most optimized experience for your shoppers. So, join us next month for that!


You’ll find the registration on the searchspring website. Thanks again, everybody, for listening, and Rahyma and Keval and Gabe, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.


Look forward to talking at some point again in the future.


Thank you, Jeff.


Take care.


Bye, everybody.