How a personalised approach can help drive efficient growth online.

At the upcoming Retail Recharged event we will be exploring 4 key themes. Adaptive marketing is the first we are talking about and our partner, Apptus tells you more about why this is relevant to all retailers.

Online Merchadising is coming of age

During the digital age we have seen a plethora of innovations that have not only changed the way we shop, but fundamentally continue to change the way we live our lives.  Right from its early beginnings retail has been on an evolutionary path and those who have failed to evolve – whether in regards to location, store footprint or digital adoption, have been left behind. 

One way for retailers to increase product exposure is through online merchandising.  Gone are the days when an online merchandiser would sit in front of their search and merchandising engine, manually creating rules for the placement of products and content. 

a shopper will see only 2% of your range when they visit

Online merchandising, the process of managing and optimising screen real-estate, is coming of age. It’s been a slow process, but retailers are now recognising that this valuable resource requires active management. Contrary to traditional shopping, small digital screens – be they computers, tablets or smart phones, leave shoppers with far less product visibility than ever before. 

Statistics now show that a single shopper will see less than 2% of a retailers range in a single visit.  Combine this with the cost of driving traffic to a site in the first place, and the optimisation of screen real estate becomes a critical problem to solve. 

3 paths to success

Apptus suggest these three main ideas to aid retailers in creating more product visibility online:

1.     Active Management. 

The crucial point here is that retailers recognise that the valuable online resource requires active management.  Investing in people with the necessary skills and insights is necessary to overcome obstacles in product to customer contact.   Modern online merchandising requires a new relationship with technology, one in which the ‘day to day’ decisions are taken automatically and algorithmically. The merchandiser’s role is one of manager, rather than administrator. Their job is to configure, set objectives and monitor (and report on) their performance.

2.     Personalisation. 

The retailers that are on top are ones that recognise the need for personalisation in the management and presentation of product assortments throughout the customer journey.   For personalisation to work, the system needs visibility into what each customer does throughout each and every journey – unified control of product exposure. Every piece of behavioural data matters and the absence of just one piece of insight could be the difference between relevant, personal product assortments and random nonsense.

3.     Using Technology.

Modern merchandising is inextricably bound to technology, but the role of technology is changing. It’s evolving away from being a simple tool used to implement decisions, into a decision maker itself. Customers are demanding relevant, personalised shopping experiences and the technology now exists to make it happen. Making the transition is no longer a question of if, it’s when. 

More Apptus solutions can be found at this October’s ‘Retail Recharged’ event. 

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