Visual Merchandising: Create an Engaging E-commerce Experience for Your Customers – The Fast Lane – Fast Simon Articles

Visual Merchandising: Create an Engaging E-commerce Experience for Your Customers

Jameela Ghann - Writer for Fast Simon
By Jameela Ghann
Michelle Meyer - Editor for Fast Simon
Reviewed by Michelle Meyer
Olivia Kashti - Writer and Fact-Checker for Fast Simon
Fact-check by Olivia Kashti

Updated May 21, 2023.

Smart business woman man giving rating and review with happy smiley face on

Visual merchandising is an essential aspect of e-commerce that can significantly impact customer experience and sales. As a merchandiser, you have many tools to create an engaging and visually stunning e-commerce experience for your customers.

From designing navigation and product categories to using images and videos, every element of your online store can be strategically arranged to captivate and convert your customers.

What is Visual Merchandising?

Visual merchandising is designing and arranging the physical or digital presentation of products in a way that engages and entices customers. In e-commerce, visual merchandising refers to using online visual elements to create an appealing and intuitive shopping experience.

Your website's design, layout, and product displays are the first things your customers see, and they can significantly impact their purchasing decisions. An effective visual merchandising strategy for e-commerce can help your business stand out from competitors, improve customer engagement, and ultimately drive sales.

Pela: Sustainable Visual Merchandising Practices

For example, by using high-quality product images, you can give your customers a clear idea of the product they're interested in, thereby increasing the likelihood of converting and purchasing. Plus, if you couple this with effective calls to action, such as prominent "Shop Phone Cases" or "Shop Watch Straps" buttons, it can also help guide customers towards the right category.

Screenshot from Pela's online store showcasing effective visual merchandising coupled with calls to action

Creating a Visual Merchandising Plan

Creating a cohesive and consistent visual identity is crucial for your e-commerce store. By ensuring that your website's visual elements, including colors, typography, and imagery, align with your brand values and target audience, you can establish a memorable and trustworthy image for your business. This in turn creates an immersive shopping experience that captivates your customers and drives results.

Popular Visual Merchandising Elements

There are many visual merchandising elements that e-commerce merchandisers can use to enhance their customers' experience and drive sales.

Visual Merchandising ElementDescription
Product images and photographyHigh-quality product images showcase your product's features and benefits to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
Videos and animationsEngaging videos provide additional information about your products (e.g. demonstrate how to use them) to increase customer engagement and conversion rates.
Color schemes and typographyConsistent color and font use that aligns with your brand identity can help create a cohesive and recognizable visual identity.
Graphics, icons, and illustrations Visual elements such as graphics, icons, and illustrations can help reinforce your brand identity and add visual interest to your website.
Product displays and arrangementsThoughtful displays and arrangements can help your customers easily find what they're looking for and increase sales.
Navigation and category designEasy-to-use navigation and well-designed category pages can help customers find products quickly and efficiently.
Calls to actionClear and compelling calls to action can help encourage customers to make a purchase, e.g., "buy now" and "add to cart" buttons.
Social proof elementsCustomer reviews and ratings can help build trust and credibility with potential customers.

» Here's how to optimize your e-commerce merchandising management

The Benefits of Visual Merchandising

Increased Customer Engagement

By creating an immersive and interactive experience, you can hold the attention of your customers for longer. Whether this is through videos and animations showcasing your products in action or giving your customers more options than they bargained for, the right visual merchandising strategy will keep your customers engaged.

For example, popular designer Steve Madden gives its customers a view of its products from all sides. Each image is clickable and can be viewed in a larger format. Even the color variations of the particular shoe design are merchandised and easy to navigate. Because these merchandising elements help to make the website easy to use, customers are encouraged to engage more.

Screenshot of shoes on Steve Madden's online store as an example of using visual merchandising to increase customer engagement

Higher Conversion Rates

Visual merchandising coupled with the right prompts can help you increase your conversion rates and sales. Effective calls to action can encourage your shoppers to take action and complete their purchase, while showcasing related or complementary products can encourage customers to make additional purchases.

Keeping with the Steve Madden example, if customers are unsure how to style their purchase, the "Wear It With" section provides suggestions with clearly merchandised items to create a complete outfit. This gives Steve Madden a perfect opportunity to upsell and cross-sell.

Screenshot of Steve Madden's "Wear It With" section showcasing how to upsell and cross-sell through visual merchandising

» Find out why product recommendations also require merchandising rules

Improved Brand Recognition

Visual merchandising can improve brand recognition by establishing a consistent and memorable visual identity. When you use consistent branding across different touchpoints, you can create a strong visual presence that helps customers recognize your brand and strengthens your position in the marketplace. Additionally, incorporating user-generated content, such as customer photos and videos, can also help build customer trust and authenticity.

For example, apart from social proof elements like product reviews and ratings, Steve Madden also encourages customer engagement on social media where customers can share photos and stories of enjoying their purchases.

Screenshot of Steve Madden's customers sharing their purchases on social media

» Discover how user generated content influences brand loyalty

Boost Your Customer Satisfaction the Fast Way

Visual merchandising is a vital aspect of your e-commerce store that significantly impacts customer experience and sales. By strategically arranging every element of your online store, from navigation and product categories to using images and videos, you can create an engaging and visually stunning shopping experience for your customers.

Implementing effective visual merchandising strategies such as high-quality product images, calls to action, consistent branding, and social proof elements can increase customer engagement and loyalty and ultimately lead to higher conversion rates. Therefore, it's essential to have a cohesive visual merchandising plan aligned with your brand identity, target audience, and business goals to drive results and stand out from competitors.

» Explore this ultimate merchandising guide for more best practices

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