E-merchandising: definition and primary levers

Monday 5 February 2024 
Elsa Benaiche Elsa Benaiche
3 minutes
E-merchandising: definition and primary levers

Shoppers are increasingly using digital channels and in particular eCommerce platforms1 such as Walmart, eBay or AliExpress…

They have high expectations from these channels and will often research product information before making their purchase: 53% of shoppers2 do this to ensure that they make the best possible choice. To get their attention, brands must put effort into their e-merchandising.

Check out the definition of e-merchandising and the key levers for getting the most from it and boosting your sales.

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What is e-merchandising?

E-merchandising is all the techniques and methods enabling a business to generate sales on their eCommerce site: overall website presentation, optimization of online browsing, improving the quality of product information…


This process is in some ways similar to traditional merchandising aiming to improve the appeal of an in-store offer and develop sales: store layout, window design, point of sale advertising, « assortment strategies »…

The key levers for making e-merchandising work

Don't overlook the home page

The home page is an essential part of your e-merchandising strategy. On an eCommerce website, this page is as important as « a store window4 » and draws customers to your online store.

The first visual contact with a brand's customer, it needs to make a strong impact: color pallet, style, readability… and display the brand's visual harmony5. If the overall style of the page is not consistent, you could confuse shoppers and lose online traffic.

The home page should also provide shoppers with clear information on the brand's value proposition: most popular products, link to the « About us » page, company values...

Structure your page categories

Your page structure is crucial to developing a strong e-merchandising strategy as these pages enable shoppers to find the product that best suits their needs.

To get the most from your pages, you must organize the information: prioritize product categories (primary, secondary…), limit the number of primary categories, choose the display order of articles strategically… and place certain products in several categories to « vary the entry points4 » of visitors to your website. 

Also, just as you may use a gondola display6 in a physical store, you should promote « the current best-sellers7 » to increase your brand's sales.

Recommend products

Product recommendations are an essential e-merchandising technique to increase average shopping cart sales.

For example, a business can use cross-selling methods8 and recommend additional products that are relevant to the initial purchase. These suggestions can be placed in different places: product page, clickable pop-ups at checkout, email…

Businesses can also use algorithms to customize recommendations depending on a shopper's recent navigation history: search criteria, previously consulted products, wish list…

Make browsing easy (UX or User Experience)

For a powerful e-merchandising process, you need to optimize the browsing experience for shoppers: 85% of visitors9 leave an eCommerce site within 2 minutes if they can't find the product they're looking for.

Make browsing easy - ux ou user experience

To help them browse easily and intuitively, it is important to set up powerful filter systems: brands, colors, sizes, materials… and to optimize the internal search engine: 43% of shoppers10 use search engines when shopping on line.

It is also important to address SXO, a strategy for optimizing the SEO and UX of an eCommerce website to improve the overall experience of online shoppers and better position the site on search engine results pages. Some of the actions that will make this strategy successful are using the right keywords, optimizing the website's performance, improving navigation…

Present content rich web pages

Optimizing the product page is one of the key levers in an e-merchandising process. This is the page that determines whether or not the shopper buys your product.

To sway them, it should contain detailed information on the product including technical features, marketing descriptions, user guides… 85% of shoppers2 consider these elements to be very important when choosing a brand.

Your product page should also contain high quality images (lighting, staging, definition…) as well as 3D visuals to give shoppers a precise idea of the color, size and/or materials. For 93% of shoppers11, the visual aspect of a product is key to their decision to buy.

All this data is essential for a successful e-merchandising strategy and requires the use of a PIM (Product Information Management) solution to get the most from it. PIM will help you manage, organize, and optimize all the data related to the product: product descriptions, sales pitches, photos… When using PIM, products are showcased on all the points of interaction between the customer and the brand.

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1 Bathelot, B. (2021, September 14). Assortiment - Définitions marketing » L'encyclopédie illustrée du marketing. Définitions Marketing.
2 ThinkwithGoogle. Consumer Insights. Think with Google.
3 Baluch, A. (2023, February 8). 38 E-Commerce Statistics of 2023. Forbes Advisor.
4 E-commerce : tout savoir sur le merchandising d'un e-shop de mode. Welcome to the jungle
5 Chouchou, A. (2019, December 16). Marketing visuel : 6 astuces à connaître pour les sites e-commerce. Maddyness.
6 Sommer, P. (2020, February 3). E-commerce et marketing : nos best practices pour les e-merchandisers. Contentsquare.
7 Adamony, A. (2023, April 20). 11 éléments pour réussir les pages catégories. blog.hubspot.
8 Aballéa, A. (2021, December 2). Cross-selling et up-selling ; : 2 méthodes pour augmenter vos ventes. BDM.
9 Voeung, V. Augmentez vos ventes en ligne en optimisant votre e-merchandising. Payplug.
10 Nation, E. (2022, October 17). Recommandation de produits : Quels sont les avantages ? ECN | E-Commerce Nation.
11 Devienne, O. (2020, March 3). Le Online Visual Merchandising : une nouvelle tendance dans le monde du retail - IT SOCIAL.

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