Some Effective Merchandising Techniques Online Retailers Can Borrow From In-Store Retailers

This video shows and tells some of the secrets retailers use to merchandise, market, and sell -- what they do in order to get the customer to buy what they came for, then buy what you want them to buy, and in the right atmosphere -- by understanding how customers want to shop, and how to make them feel that they're getting a value. We've broached this subject in previous blog posts that included, How Retailers Get You To Buy, How Using New Consumer Shopping Metrics Mean Bigger Sales & Profits For Retailers, and many other related blog posts found at Upstream Commerce

My point for online retailers is to take these procedures to heart. Adopt and adapt as much of this as you can to your online business -- including merchandising, the order in which the customer sees the information, and getting your customer to buy more, as you, too, use the art and science of retail to capture and captivate your online audience. Here's the video on The Science Of Shopping:


With around $24 billion spent every year in the store chain in the video (Woolworth's), "nothing should be left to chance," says seasoned marketing pro, Brian Walker, who's run many large businesses and now serves as a "Retail Doctor" to other businesses. So it should be with online retailers, no matter what the size of their business.

There's an art and a science to retail -- understanding customers and how they want to shop. What they see. How they see it. How to capture the customer's interest, and then interest the customer in buying, not just what they came to buy, but more of what you want them to buy. Here are some of the takeaways:

1. First, the layout of the store (your website) is critical. The customer sees what you want them to see, in the order you want them to see it, which leads them to other merchandise and purchases inside the store.

2. It's all about convincing the customer to buy associated products; or if they come for a particular item (destination shopping, especially for big items like giftware, household goods), how the store is designed so that they leave with more than they came for. Some of the associated products are obvious, like hosiery and handbags at the shoe department; accessories with the apparel, peripherals with the electronics; breakfast teas with the breakfast cereals; crackers right at the cheese counter, etc.

3. There are reasons for using certain colors, e.g. red is for action, lighter colors like limes and yellows induce a more reflective mood, e.g. as with furniture shopping.  I'm not saying this should be the background color on your website, but these things are good to know.  


Online retailers can do many of the things that retailers do in-store. The goal is to excite, motivate, and compel customers to come to your website, to increase the "dwell time", i.e. keep the customer at your website as long as possible; show them how the product suits their needs, and sell more at the same time. You want the customers to say to themselves, "Do I get value for this?" And the answer should be "yes." And do they feel good about it? If so, that characterizes and describes the ultimate purchase for the customer and the ultimate sale for you. 


Share this post
Gilon Miller, CMO

About Author

Gilon is a seasoned marketing, sales and business development executive with over 15 years of experience in the software and Internet business. He is the Founder and CEO of GuruShots. Previously, Gilon was the CMO of Upstream Commerce, VP of Marketing at iMDsoft and Director of Global Marketing at SAP. He earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
Follow us

Comments are closed.