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Give credit where credit is due – why digital merchandisers are so valuable?

By July 16, 2019Press Releases

Merchandisers are the most important in the back-office team of any digital channel as they are responsible for the performance of the site in terms of revenue. And yet, they are usually given the challenge without the tools to do their job. They are expected to do magic with information scattered everywhere, data from many sources and in many cases, they have to use cumbersome tools that are not user-friendly, time-consuming and tedious.

For sure, the marketing team comes up with clever campaigns and promotions but they rely on the merchandisers for the strategic placement of the products to attract shoppers the very instant they landed on the site.

Here are a few of the challenges that merchandisers need to deal with on a daily basis.

For a promotion campaign, should the promoted products be featured in a specific category for the campaign or should they be highlighted as special products in a regular category? Merchandisers need to do this in a very simple way without the help of IT.

Do I have enough inventory to support this promotion? Oh wait, I need to know inventory by color and by size… Where do I go for this information? Should I check my ERP system for this information? Let me think… my ERP system only has DC (Distribution Center) information and not the stores information so Ughh…

Merchandisers understand how important real estate is on the website more than anyone.

They will position the products to avoid scrolling as much as possible and put the most important products on the first page.

Analytics are important, so they need to be aware of the sentiments around their products.Analytics can tell them how many people viewed the product, actually added them to the shopping cart and checkout, or abandoned the cart.

They need to understand the cause of cart abandonment. Is it due to poor ratings and reviews, shortage on inventory, size or color? Without the data, they are playing the guessing game.

If this is your business and this affects your revenue, give your merchandisers a tool that would help them. A tool that provides visual data on each product would be a great start. In addition, wouldn’t it be nice to have business rules that would let them prioritize price, inventory, brand, etc. and sequence products automatically for each campaign?

Even with automated sequencing in place, merchandisers may want the capability of pinning products at certain spots on the page. They know that there are products that always perform no matter what season, time of the year and regardless of promotion. These classic performers need to be featured in prominent spots so it’s easy for shoppers to find. So of course, they would enjoy the capability of pinning products.

Visual Heat Map
Finally, an overview of the products in a heatmap would be most wonderful so merchandisers can have a sense of orientation where the best performing products are on the website. Are they scattered here and there? Are they properly situated for the best yield?


Time Savings Boosts Efficiency
There are many challenges for merchandisers but because they are in the back office, their voices are not often heard and they spend many hours pouring over spreadsheets, and struggling with multiple tools. Would they like to be 80% more productive and get back 7 hours in their daily routine? Would they like to contribute 20% more revenue by effectively merchandising the website and never let a customer leave without buying? Sure they would.

Get in touch with us at and we will show you how to honor your merchandisers.

Angeline Namai
WebSphere Commerce
Project Lead
Meet the Team

Angeline Namai is a WebSphere Commerce project lead at Smart Merchandiser and Zobrist Consulting Group. In this role, she is responsible for the architecture as well as project management of Smart Merchandiser, a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time onlinemerchandising decisions.

She joined Zobrist eight years ago, focusing her entire career on ecommerce solutions. After four years as a developer, coding back-end solutions for ecommerce sites, Angeline took on an architect role. With dual responsibilities as an architect and project manager, she acts as the liaison between clients like The North Face and translates customer requirements into technical applications.

Angeline graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a double bachelor’s degree in computer science and French. She holds certifications in Java programming, Java web component development and WebSphere Commerce application development.

Mariann Godkin
IBM WebSphere
Commerce Developer
Meet the Team

Mariann Godkin is an IBM WebSphere Commerce developer at Smart Merchandiser and Zobrist Consulting Group. In this role, she is responsible for product development and programming related to Smart Merchandiser, a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time online merchandising decisions. She developed the beta version of Smart Merchandiser and supports all clients, including Lee, Wrangler and JanSport. Mariann also helped launch JanSport’s new website in 2013.

An expert in online retail and merchandising, she has worked with IBM WebSphere Commerce for a decade.Before joining Zobrist Consulting Group, she worked as a programmer analyst at the Interamerican Motor Corporation, where she was responsible for multiple software projects related to the company’s e-commerce, knowledge management and collaboration business strategy. Prior to that, she developed custom applications for public and private sector companies while at WebSciences and ABCS.

Originally from Belarus, Mariann received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from California State University – Northridge.

Gerry Taylor
Director of Services
Meet the Team

Gerry Taylor is the director of services at Smart Merchandiser and Zobrist Consulting Group. In this role he is the lead strategist, architect and developer responsible for user experience and Smart Merchandiser, a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time online merchandising decisions.

Gerry joined Zobrist Consulting Group in 2012, following a 12-year career at Ritz Interactive, a specialty online retailer and e-commerce service provider. As the director of information technology, he led the strategy, design, deployment and growth of 11 e-commerce sites with peak revenue of $111 million.

Before joining Ritz Interactive, Gerry honed his developer and coding skills at Capita Technologies. He began his career at Smarthome as a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist.

Gerry is an IBM Certified Associate Developer and a member of the IBM WebSphere Commerce Customer Advisory Council and Business Partner Advisory Council. He earned his bachelor’s degree in information and computer science and master of business administration from the University of California, Irvine.

Teresa Zobrist
Founder & CEO
Meet the Team

Teresa Zobrist is the founder and CEO of Smart Merchandiser, a visual ecommerce merchandise management solution that enables better-informed, real-time online merchandising decisions. She has extensive experience in helping businesses launch online stores to gain more customers, increase revenue and compete globally.

Teresa founded Zobrist Consulting Group, an IT services consulting firm, in 2001 with the goal of providing a healthy and collaborative working environment for a talented team of e-commerce consultants.

Prior to starting her own company, Teresa worked at IBM for 15 years as an IT consulting architect, building custom projects for large corporations such as State Farm and AARP. Additionally, she spent five years at CF Braun & Co., a large engineering firm. As a piping engineer, she built a 3D computer design program along with a team of experts.

After graduating from college, she worked as a programmer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There, she worked on the Voyager mission as part of the command team. She left in 1980 after getting her master’s degree at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Born in Vietnam, Teresa moved to the United States at 18 to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of Southern California.


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