In the 21st century, personalized merchandising plays an extremely important role. As we gather more information about our customers, personalization gets more effective. The 1960s tailor might have known your favorite hem style, but a Facebook marketer knows all about your friends, hobbies and football clubs. The 19th-century jeweler might know about the level of sparkle you want, but a brand you’re subscribed to knows your income level, as well as that of your entire household.
Having this in mind, it would be crazy to miss out on the opportunities. The in-depth data points can bring out incredible information on customers behavior.
By stepping into a new era of merchandising – we’re bringing the instant & ever-so-popular revolution to the ecommerce business.
In this article, we’re looking at how personalization has changed some of the most important types of merchandising with examples.
If you asked a random group of 100 people to describe what merchandising is, they would most likely associate it to this type: retail.
Retail merchandising – The marketing activities that serve to increase the sales of products in a physical or a digital store is retail merchandising.
Personalization in retail is much harder to apply than in some other types of personalized merchandising. Unlike online merchandising, retail does not have detailed information on customers. This makes it hard to reach the same level of personalization.
Retails focus majorly on design, presentation & promotion of their stores. Take a look at some of the retail stores like Mac or Sephora. They appeal to their target audience women like no other.
The organisation, placement of products, ambience of the store, makes it harder for women to walk by without going in.
Retail stores also use customizable merchandise to attract a larger volume of shoppers. Doing so, they form long-lasting connection with customers.
Another trick up retailers sleeve – Location-specific inventory. Retailers create an impression of exclusivity and originality that’s always alluring for shoppers.
All efforts related to presenting, promoting and ultimately selling a product either in a physical or a digital environment is called product merchandising.
“Product merchandising doesn’t only apply to physical products. You can be a merchant of an eBook, for example. In this case, product merchandising would mean all the promotional activities you carry out to get the word about your eBook out there”, says Maya Geller, a writer at Studicus.
In the last couple of decades, we have learned a lot about product merchandising. Personalization is only one of the latest steps to add to that mix. Merchants used the power of first impressions, visual appeal, lighting, and behavioral science for centuries to sell their products.
When we talk about the product shopping experience, there can be a lot of generalities that apply to everyone. But there are also specific tendencies according to age, gender, culture, nationality, race, religion and more. For example, a 55-year old male wouldn’t prefer a flashy pair of socks that’s targeted at a 12-year old girl.
In this context, personalization helps us make sense of these differences among various groups of people. It allows us to apply what we know from merchandising and focus on a particular group to produce better results.
Finally, we arrive at eCommerce, the type of merchandise that has been most significantly impacted by personalization. One could also say that digital merchandising owes its popularity to personalization. This platform allows for a much higher degree of customization than other types that we have mentioned.
Another interesting thing about digital is that the merchandising team doesn’t have to be huge as in retail. It is possible to run an entire online store with just a single person behind the keyboard. This is actually what makes this age of merchandising so special, and what caused the boom in dropshipping businesses all over the world.
Another important aspect of digital is the ability to spread out across all possible marketing channels. This allows you to personalize messages to customers in different ways. This, in turn, increases your chances of converting your prospects and retaining customers for a long time.
For example, a customer can find a blog post of yours by doing a Google search for “summer dress”. After they are directed to a post, they realize they are in an online store that sells summer dresses. So they browse the collections and shop for products they like. After they sign up and start the check out process, they change their mind and abandon their cart.
With the omnichannel merchandising experience, you can now get back to that customer who abandoned their cart and remind them of it or offer an incentive to carry on with the purchase. All in all, the omnichannel strategy makes it possible to send out an email to someone who found you by doing a Google search for “summer dress”. Pretty crazy, right?
Personalization is the name of the game of modern shopping. Unlike the old days, customers now expect that you know about their history of interactions and purchases with you. A customer is no longer a number, but a relationship. Therefore a personalization strategy is a must for any company.
This trend of customizing the merchandising experience to the customer is definitely here to stay. It increases customer engagement and satisfaction, produces better sales results and is ultimately better for the bottom line.