E-Merchandising Solutions: At Your Service E-Merchandising Solutions: At Your Service

E-Merchandising Solutions: At Your Service

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on 10 April 2018

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For a while now, maybe years, you’ve been hearing talk about e-merchandising. You’re interested, and so you should be!  As a result, you’d also like to put similar actions in place to improve your site’s performance, and I can only agree. But as you probably imagine, you need equipment to do so!

Many e-merchandising solutions have been developed over these past years and you’ll have to decide which to choose from among all these tools. How can you be certain you’ve made the right choice?

A Matter of Context

Know that regardless of the structure of your e-commerce/e-marketing hub, there is inevitably a tool adapted to your situation. Small or large structure, a complete team or a single person in charge of e-merchandising, etc. But be sure to take this into account – it’s criteria that will make all the difference when you make your selection.

Then ask yourself about your e-commerce platform. Here again, you’re bound to find a solution that fits. But know that some tools are not compatible with all e-commerce platforms. If the tool you choose is compatible with your platform, it’s really better!

Another essential point in your decision are constraints linked to your structure.
Whether technical, economic, or even political, you must choose a tool that is suitable to your context. The operating systems are numerous and here again can adapt to your situation:

  • SaaS for flexibility and low cost
  • “leasing” to keep a handle on your data
  • “acquisition” for total control

The last point as relates to your structure, and not the least, is the budget. Once again, there’s something for everyone. But as you can imagine, the cheaper a tool, the fewer the functions.

All depends on where you set the bar, and this, notably in terms of functional needs.

Define your need(s)

Who will manage your site’s e-merchandising?

A complete team, a full-time person, a part-time person? A person with a strong technical affinity or to the contrary, someone more product- or marketing-oriented? You should know that there are tools with interfaces that are more or less difficult to appropriate, “user-friendly” as we like to say, which can quickly become complicated to use on a daily basis. And of course, the greater the hand you have in setting the parameters for your tool, and the more functions it offers, the more time you’ll spend on it.

Which e-merchandising levers do you want to address?

The first thing I recommend is that you conduct a specific audit of the e-merchandising levers you own in order to define the priority actions to put in place. In other words, ask yourself which actions will require little effort but will have a rapid impact on performance. Then rank them in order of priority subject to having a reliable web analysis tool, in order to draft the roadmap for your evolution.

Which functions are indispensable to correct the pain points identified?

To answer that question, you must define the functional need for each of the actions you want to affect. Do you want:

  • to handle setting your tool’s parameters or to the contrary, to automate everything
  • a tool capable of interpreting your internal search engine’s most complicated searches (For example, I want a sunny destination for the family during the mid-term break) or rather simple searches (eg., jean jacket)
  • a tool capable of interpreting several languages
  • to manage and fine tune the rules for your pages or handle them in a more macro way (eg., management of the product bloc or product category)
  • to administer positions in order to highlight your promotional operations
  • to offer personalized content to your visitors and customers.
  • etc.

I won’t list everything here but you get the idea. Don’t limit yourself. Tell yourself that the technical should be at the service of your profession.

Don’t think short term.

After having completed the different steps listed above, you will direct yourself towards a tool that meets your current needs.

Let’s imagine that while you’re defining the priority actions to implement for improved performance, you observe that you need a searchandising tool (that is a tool that manages the relevance of your internal search engine – on that subject, read Camille’s article here.) You’ll then incorporate this tool and you’ll see your indicators increase, everything is perfect!

However, here’s the thing, now you’d like to go further, faster, and tend to your complete site. Manage how your products are displayed on all your list pages, make recommendations, personalized even, to your visitors, but the tool you chose several months ago doesn’t allow it…

You can see where I’m going with this I’m sure. Long term, you run the risk of finding yourself with several tools which means multiplying cost. So, in your thought process, even if the actions which are priority are concentrated on a specific lever, don’t put blinders on and think medium term at a minimum.

 To recap:

  1. Take a step back to analyze your ability to do (structure and budget)
  2. Evaluate the technical and business impacts (feasibility and business gains)
  3. List your priorities (effort/effect ratio)

Don’t think short-term (tool’s capacity to follow you in your evolution).

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E-Merchandising Solutions: At Your Service