Personal Shopper Merchandising
Stitch Fix is a website addressing customized men’s and women’s wardrobe needs. At stitchfix.com once you put in your measurements, your wardrobe and lifestyle needs, your shopping is done for you. The customer gets a box full of basic wardrobe pieces that all work together. And once the customer starts building a wardrobe with this personal shopping website, the customer is regularly sent a box of coordinating pieces of merchandise. The customer can always return what she’s not interested in. Talk about personalizing the relationship, this is an ideal example.
Merchandising a State of Mind
Huckberry is a site with a very distinct point of view in addressing men; it consistently appeals to a man’s sense of adventure and well-being. It is a site whose character or approach to lifestyle is reflected in every facet of the brand’s communication. Men who appreciate that aspect in their lives will closely identify with this brand in fulfilling their goals and desires.
How Does the Customer Travel Through Your Site?
The first requirement in merchandising a website is addressing the customer looking for a specific item: how do you get the customer to that item or category as quickly and easily as possible. This customer is on a mission and you want to facilitate that as easily as possible.
Getting visitors to the site takes a lot of visibility. You want the environment to work as easily as possible. Ease of navigation is a key element in merchandising a site. Remember the landing page of a promotion when merchandising the site. If a brand runs a promotion advertised with a link from other sites, it is important to always have the landing page from the link take the visitor directly to the promotion or the merchandise presented in the promotion. Navigation is critical for maintaining customers. If it is difficult to make a purchase complete it usually results in a lost sale. Again, have different age group individuals who are not necessarily computer savvy go through the process to find out where the kinks are.
Video Brings the Merchandise to Life
Video is such a powerful tool as far as showing the merchandise on the body and how it moves, therefore you will find more and more of it in the merchandising of websites. Video is used for how-to presentations, product presentation, steaming live events, entertainment stories and all of this works. Adding lifestyle videos, cause-related video stories, testimonial videos, promotional event videos and merchandising/ entertainment videos should serve every brand’s websites and social channels. You can never have enough video content. Video posts get all the engagement in the social channels no matter what the brand.
The following link features a promotional video created to serve as an email reminder to Bloomingdales’ consumers with a graphic presentation of the catalog merchandise. It was presented around 2006. Just like the JCPenney videos, this technique can repurpose expensive print content into video format for email and social content: https:// vimeo.com/215536241.
Think about the best way possible to produce DAILY content, including video content, for the social channels. You want content that educates, informs, entertains and sells. The public now expects this constant news stream from one’s favorite brands.
Website merchandising is an ideal place to put imagination with a capital “I” back in retail. The social channels are selling channels driving traffic directly to the web. They must be merchandised with a new point of view that takes in the full dimension of the brand characteristics.