This article was written by Michelle Weger.
How many times has this happened to you?
You’re at the grocery store.
You need just one thing.
It might be milk. Or eggs. Or maybe bread.
You tell yourself you’re going in for just that one thing… and then you walk out with two shopping bags full of stuff because next to that one thing was something else you needed.
If you’re like most people, it happens more often than you want to admit, and there’s a reason for it.
Grocery stores (and all sorts of other stores) invest a lot of time and money into merchandising. Often, big companies will have a dedicated person or department whose job is to create displays and reorganize products in a way that guides shoppers to buy more.
This isn’t some big secret. There are tons of articles about why you almost always walk into a grocery store and the first thing you see is the produce section, and why you have to walk through the junk food aisle in order to get to the dairy aisle.
The reason so many stores are laid out the same way is because it works.
Showing you bright, fresh produce right as you walk in stimulates your appetite.
By then creating a path through the store that guides you past things you might not really need (but very possibly want!), stores create an opportunity to increase their sales.
The vast majority of physical stores do this. When you shop for clothing, stores create outfits on mannequins that show off how their products look together and inspire you to think of how the clothes would look on you. When you look at home decor, different items are paired together so you can create a visual of what those items would look like in your home.
So why aren’t you doing this in your e-commerce store?
Your customers still follow a path when they visit your store online instead of in-person. It may not be a physical path, but their virtual journey is just as important as it would be if they were walking through a store.
How you display your products on your shop page can have a vast impact on your sales.
Our e-commerce clients who have purposeful, thought-out structure to their shop pages see a measurable increase in the amount of time customers spend on the page, the amount of clicks to each product, and an increase in sales.
That’s right – the layout of the products makes them more money.
Just like it would it in a physical store.
So how do you do this?
Think of the products you sell.
If you have a physical location, what do you display next to each other?
What items pair well or compliment each other?
When you talk to your customers, what do you recommend people purchase together?
The product listings for those items should be displayed near each other on your website.
Reordering the products on your page so that attractive items or items that compliment each other are displayed together helps your customers get that “oh, I didn’t know I needed that… but now I want it!” feeling.
Your customers can’t see your products live and in person when they’re shopping online. In addition to where you place your product listings on your shop page, your photos have to inspire your customers to imagine your products in use.
One of our e-commerce management clients recently learned this in the best possible way. On a very busy holiday, we began pairing certain gift items together and creating photos that showed the items next to each other.
The result? This client processed roughly the same amount of orders they had the previous year on this holiday, but their average order size went up significantly.
More items sold equals more money in your pocket.
Your customers may know what they’re looking for.
They may use the search function or click through the menu to narrow down the categories.
Or they may browse your shop page, much like someone who would window shop or go into a store just to see what’s new.
By being strategic in how you display your products, you can increase your order size and create additional sales opportunities for your customers every step of the way.