Merchandising for your online store can be immensely time-consuming for eMerchandising teams. With visual merchandising, the process becomes much faster, saving time and money while also providing deeper insights and better management tools.
One team member can not only accomplish more in less time with visual merchandising, but they’ll also gain a deeper understanding of their customers. They can then use that knowledge to respond to subtle changes in customer needs quickly and efficiently, keeping consumers happy and ROI high.
Smart Merchandiser is an online visual merchandising tool that enables eMerchandisers to accomplish these tasks. Let’s break down how it works and how it actually improves ROI.
What Is Smart Merchandiser?
Smart Merchandiser is a drag-and-drop online merchandising tool that overlays critical data on your product images in an unobtrusive way. With many types of data integrated into your visual merchandising interface, you can layout your catalog to best meet customer needs and wants at any given moment. Here are a few key features that make this possible:
- Visual drag-and-drop interface to see a preview of what your catalog looks like live
- Save product sequences for use in future promotions
- Synthesized data sources covering inventory, analytics, and social media data
- Inventory management with out-of-stock alerts and color management
- Automation and business rule tools to ensure you always have precise merchandising
Visual merchandising tools like Smart Merchandiser automate and streamline many tedious and time-consuming merchandising tasks. You’ll reduce the number of tools and programs you use in your merchandising process, and you can always be sure your most popular and in-stock items are prominently featured, boosting sales, and even automatically move out-of-stock items to the bottom of a page. You’ll have both the insight and the ability to optimize your catalog to maximize your ROI.
How Visual Merchandising Increases ROI: JanSport Case Study
For a deeper look at exactly how visual merchandising with Smart Merchandiser improves ROI, let’s examine the case of JanSport, the backpack company that adopted Smart Merchandiser with the hope of optimizing their merchandising process. They went from a slow, manual merchandising process plagued with too many programs and spreadsheets for their data and a lack of product images to assist in the visual component of the layout to a smoother and faster process that yields far superior results.
Since utilizing Smart Merchandiser, the JanSport team has seen productivity improve by 30%. This translates to 1080 hrs a year for a team of 2 merchandisers and $54,000 in cost savings.
Improve Productivity with Visual Catalog Management
One of the first major improvements to JanSport’s merchandising process was the addition of a visual component, enabled by Smart Merchandisers' drag-and-drop interface with product thumbnails. The Smart Merchandiser tool allows eMerchandisers to work with a catalog that previews what the live site will look like, allowing an instant representation of what site visitors would actually see.
The ability to see real product images during the product sequencing process was particularly helpful for the more than 400 color options that JanSport has on their site. Without a visual component, the merchandising team couldn’t group similar colors to more effectively sequence products. It’s not an understatement to say the visual merchandising tool completely revolutionized this part of the process for JanSport.
Improve Conversion Rate with Analytics Management
One of the biggest challenges eMerchandisers face is aggregating and synthesizing data sources in multiple tools and spreadsheets – one for inventory, one for conversion and abandonment rates and other analytics, one for social media data, and possibly even more. Since Smart Merchandiser combines all of these data sources and integrates them into the drag-and-drop interface, the JanSport team was able to complete their entire merchandising process with a single tool.
Smart Merchandiser even provides graphical representations of online catalogs, giving teams a macro view of their strategy and its success (or need for improvement). The time saved from streamlining and standardizing the merchandising process leaves more time for big picture strategy, which pushes the entire eCommerce site forward.
The level of analytics and information available in one visual interface has led to better website layouts that are more in tune with customer needs. Customers get a better online shopping experience because the merchandising team can respond in real-time to any changes in the customer base or marketplace, drawing from conversion data, social media mentions, and more. This feature protects ROI from unexpected changes to the market.
Avoid Out-of-Stock Condition with Inventory Management
The JanSport team often needed to update inventory on a daily or weekly basis, which took a very long time when contending with different data sources for things like color codes and other product attributes. Smart Merchandiser synthesizes these pieces of information into one resource, pairing attribute data with an image of the product in question.
The inventory management features also include ways to avoid a loss of sales due to out-of-stock products. Automation features and business rules can provide alerts for low or depleted inventory on certain items, and even automatically place out-of-stock products at the bottom of a page, reducing the risk of a lost sale due to lack of inventory.
Improve Bottom-Line ROI Now!
Manual sequencing for online merchandising is tedious and time-consuming. Decentralized data sources, a lack of visuals for product sequencing, and other bottlenecks leave merchandising teams overwhelmed and overworked, and as a result, ROI suffers.
With a visual merchandising tool like Smart Merchandiser, eMerchandisers can streamline and optimize the merchandising process. Multiple data sources are synthesized and overlaid into a drag-and-drop interface that lets you see exactly what your customers will see when they visit your online store – and you’ll get the insight into customer buying habits and opinions on products thanks to the wealth of data incorporated directly into the tool.