January 18, 2018 Madeleine

Even if you’re unsure about what retail merchandising is, you can bet that you’ve come face to face with it more in your everyday life than you might realize. Retail and wholesale merchandising take many different forms, but the term itself relates to advertising that leads to conversions in sales. We can find advertising of all kinds around us almost everywhere we look—and online merchandising, or visual merchandising, is a newer realm of the game that’s still continuing to grow and change. Advertising is what encourages us to make purchases and that leaves a lot of sales out there up for grabs when we consider how much the Internet is used by the masses on a daily basis.

Whether offering fashion merchandising, the latest in bikes or some other merchandise, the Internet introduces unique challenges to retail marketing, but through effective e-commerce platforms and maximizing your decision-making skills, it also means that it also allows for the use of unique methods that are exclusive to those Internet-shopping customers of yours. Most major brick-and-mortar stores now have websites with effective merchandising strategies that allow customers can shop online at any time—and that just wasn’t the case for retailers 10 years ago. This simple example really speaks to the convenience and ease that the World Wide Web has ushered into all of our lives and you want to apply the same idea to your efforts in attaining and retaining customers. There are endless ways to advertise your business effectively and you might be surprised to learn just how easy managing everything at once can truly be.

When it comes to business creation in this day and age, the Internet has made it easier than ever to build your business from scratch in virtually no time at all. If you’ve got an idea that you feel could turn into a lucrative business, retail merchandising is going to be a huge part of your efforts right from the very start. As a business owner, you want the Internet to work for you—and that can be possible if you work hard to get the word out about your brand. You can use the power of Google—the world’s most beloved search engine—to create ads of different types that you can optimize to make money for you each and every time you garner a new click. You might even be able to purchase advertising space on a few of your favorite websites and that’s another winning way to introduce new clients to your products and services.

Having a user-friendly website is going to be key to successfully connecting with your customers. If they can’t find their way around your website with ease, you’re going to be putting yourself in a tight spot when it comes to securing sales. You want very clear page navigation and you want all of the information found within each of those pages to make sense and have a great flow to it. To maximize e-commerce sales, successful online retailers create webstores that are bright and inviting. Everything should be easy to read and comprehend. Not only do you want to have a great website via a desktop Internet browser, but you also want to be sure that customers can shop your website from their mobile phone as well. Smartphone apps and mobile browsing are huge for the online shopping industry and a mobile-friendly webstore is basically a prerequisite for anyone looking to sell online now. Depending on which website provider you use, a fully optimized mobile website might come along with that as part of the deal.

It’s not surprising to know that a majority of prospective customers will visit your website a number of times before they actually go through with making a purchase. This means that you want to have a number of features built into the interface of your website that entices visitors to become buyers. A live chat feature is one of the best ways to increase your conversion rates. When customers feel like someone’s there for them to answer questions in real time, they’re less likely to run away from their cart before completing their purchase. You also want to make sure that the website layout you choose to work with has upselling features that will entice customers to buy more than they initially planned to. When you’re shopping online, you generally see a range of “suggested products” at the bottom of the page when you scroll down for more in-depth product information. This is where your customers can find other items that are related to the ones they’re already thinking about purchasing and this is a great way to get to tack on a few extra goodies.

You don’t want to overlook the importance of promotional sales and discounts that buyers can take advantage of. Offering free shipping is one small way that you can persuade a lot of shoppers to make a purchase with very little effort. Even if it takes a few days longer, knowing they’re not going to be charged shipping fees is enough to get a lot of customers on board. You might also decide to offer certain products for free and to instead only charge the customer for the shipping and handling of the item. This is a great way to introduce new buyers to your product without them feeling like they’re throwing money away on something that they’re not sure they’ll like in the long run. Once they’ve got some hands-on experience with your product, they can decide if they want to come back again and support you by purchasing something at full price.

Retail merchandising for your online presence really shouldn’t be all that difficult! There are a number of small steps you can take right from the start that will set you apart and get you well on the way to making more and more money with your business. Strive to advertise about your company when and wherever you get an opportunity to do so and offer your customers some value they can see with coupon codes and promotional offers. If you take the time out to do it right, you can be well on your way to the heights of success that you’ve always dreamed of as a business owner!

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