James Ingold (our XQ experience designer) and Jacquie Scarlett (our XQ content guru) spoke about how merchandizing has evolved from the past, to the present, and to the future.
After a bit of historical context, James and Jacquie talked about how merchandizing accommodates the way people shop today:
- People prepare (and do all kinds of online research) for important purchases (e.g. shopping for a car).
- Personalization and customization are more important than ever. Visual and tactile experiences are increasingly crucial.
- "Digital natives use digital spaces." The Internet has transformed how people shop.
Keys to better merchandizing include:
- Neatness: It's vital to keep displays clean and organized, to encourage interaction and product discovery.
- "The Kindle effect": Putting a large library/inventory in an easy-to-use digital interface makes it easier to browse through the whole catalog.
- Product grouping: Need to make the browsing process less overwhelming for consumers. Help them drill down through different categories.
- Tailoring displays to customers: If you have a predominantly female customer base (e.g. Adidas' Stella McCartney line), alter displays to appeal more to females.
- Feature new products and sale items: Draw attention to flagship (e.g. Hermes scarves) and/or high-demand products.
- Size restrictions: Nice thing about digital merchandizing is it gives you added flexibility for merchandizing and makes the most of limited space.
- Infuse your brand's style: Helps the consumer make the connection with you (the retailer) and not just the products you're selling.
- Reporting and Merchandizing: Tracking what products are most commonly sold as add-ons (in RQ4) and tailoring your XQ merchandizing accordingly.
- Omnichannel: Connecting mobile/online shopping experiences with the in-store experience.