Unlocking the Secrets of Effective Merchandising

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Spa Product Composition with Palm Leaves, Towel and Cosmetic Stone on a Flat Lay Display

Have you ever walked into a store and felt totally enticed to buy something, even if you didn't exactly need it? Chances are, you experienced the power of good merchandising in action. Merchandising refers to everything stores do to promote sales, like positioning products prominently, crafting appealing displays, running promotions, etc. Simply put, the merchandising definition is how stores sell the goods they stock.

When done well, merchandising creates a win-win. Shoppers can easily find items they want, and stores see higher profits. The core merchandising meaning is matching products with customers. Think about your favorite clothing retailer. They don't just throw items on the shelves, they organize by color, style, and season using visual merchandising to guide you to pieces you'll love.

Ever notice how certain products are always grouped together? That's cross merchandising. Stores are capitalizing on the fact that people tend to buy products that complement each other, like jewelry and accessories or bedding and bath towels. Cross merchandising related items side by side prompts an "oohh, I need one of those too!" reaction that results in a bigger shopping cart total. Sneaky, but smart!

While stores work hard to define merchandising strategies that increase our spending, as customers, we can enjoy well-crafted displays, convenience, and must-have items as long as we go in with a plan.

The Art and Science of Merchandising

What is Merchandising?

Merchandising refers to everything stores do to promote sales, from choosing which products to sell to displaying them attractively. The goal is to create an engaging shopping experience that brings customers coming back.

  • Choosing Products

When a retailer selects inventory based on trends and customer demand, that's merchandising at work. Our go-to stores carry options tailored to shoppers and regularly refresh with the latest must-haves. The meaning here is simple: give customers what they want.

MysteryBox Template Showing Cosmetic Merchandise

Image taken from Strikingly


  • Visual Presentation: Display is Everything

Product placement, attractive displays, and signage spur interest and sales. "Sale" or seasonal items placed prominently at store entrances lure you in and spur impulse buys. Eye-catching visuals are designed to entice!

  • Promotions: Giving Good Reason to Buy

Everything from loyalty programs to coupons to flash sales gives us reason to buy now. Savvy shoppers watch for promos on staples and stock up when the price is right!

  • Seasonal Merchandising: Short-Run but Effective

Temporary decor or themed accessories draw customers wanting to participate in an event or season. Although fleeting, seasonal merchandising builds excitement. Think pop-up shops, food festivals, and short-run experiences creating urgency by being available for a limited time.

  • The Win-Win of Well-Executed Merchandising

When a store nails the experience through interactive displays, seasonal reinventions or go-to products you can’t find anywhere else, you become a loyal fan. While techniques may differ, the goal is the same: drive sales by meeting customer needs.

  • Appreciate the Art of the Sale

Next time you shop, look closer at your favorites. Appreciate their mastery at turning browsing into buying. When done right, customers win with convenience and must-haves. Stores win our repeat business and word-of-mouth. A cycle where everyone benefits!

Cross Merchandising: 1 + 1 = 3

Cross merchandising displays complementary goods together so you're prompted to buy more. It works by appealing to your desire for a complete outfit or all you need for an activity. When stores pair naturally related or seasonal items, the result is often increased sales and satisfaction.

What is Cross Merchandising?

The cross merchandising definition is simple: placing products from different categories in close proximity to suggest purchasing combinations. By experiencing products together, you realize their synergy and value as a "bundle". Your mindset shifts from buying a single item to collecting a whole, compelling look or solution.

Examples of Cross Merchandising Strategies

Here are some explanations for the cross merchandising examples:

  • Scarves, hats, and gloves:

These cold-weather accessories are naturally related and complementary products. Displaying them together suggests to customers that they can get everything needed for a complete winter outfit in one place. This bundling prompt can spur impulse purchases of items they may not have planned to buy originally.

  • Digital cameras, photo printers, and picture frames:

For photography enthusiasts, seeing these products merchandised together highlights how they connect as part of a broader solution. Even if a customer only comes in for a new digital camera, they are exposed to accessories like a compact photo printer or decorative picture frames that enhance their experience with the camera. This can lead to buying more on the spot or returning for related items later.

  • Makeup, brushes, and cosmetic tools:

Anyone shopping for new makeup is likely interested in applying the right brushes and beauty tools. Displaying a selection of recommended products along with makeup subtly nudges the customer to get everything in one trip to achieve the look they want. For stores, grouping related cosmetic items leads to larger sales and enhanced satisfaction for shoppers in a time-efficient one-stop shop.

  • Grilling tools, barbecue sauces, and patio furniture:

Come summer, customers are focused on preparing for barbecues and outdoor entertaining. Showcasing an assortment of essential grilling tools, delicious barbecue sauces, and stylish yet durable patio furniture taps into what is top of mind for the season. Even if a customer only purchases a few items at a time, seeing how they come together encourages follow-up visits to acquire everything needed for the ultimate summer set-up and experience. This prompts continued interest and sales for retailers over months.

Benefits for Stores and Shoppers

For stores, cross merchandising means higher transaction totals, increased sales and enhanced customer satisfaction. For shoppers, it provides one-stop convenience and everything needed for an activity or season. When done thoughtfully by pairing naturally complementary products, both parties win.

The Power of Suggestion

Cross merchandising taps into our tendency to make impulse buys based on subconscious suggestions. Even if we only intend to purchase one item, seeing relevant products displayed together triggers an urge to get the complete "set". Simply put, you went in wanting A and came out with A, B, C, and D. While an unintended extra spend, when the purchases genuinely enhance your experience and enjoyment of an activity, the splurge may feel worth it!

Little Toys Template Showing Merchandise

Image taken from Strikingly


A Tool to Drive Intentional Spending

Overall, cross merchandising is strategic tool stores use to boost sales in a way that also benefits shoppers. However, as with other merchandising techniques, it pays to shop consciously. Only you know what products will truly meet your needs and budget. If a cross merchandised display inspires you to get more, make sure each item earns its place in your cart! When thoughtfully curated and tailored to customers' lifestyles, cross merchandising can enhance our experiences. It amounts to pushy upselling when used excessively or with no clear purpose. As with everything, moderation is key.

Bringing Merchandising Online with Strikingly

Strikingly is a website builder where you can create your online store for merchandising and cross selling. Think "shop in shop" experiences brought to the web. A dedicated branded space to provide a curated selection of products in one place.

Benefits of a Strikingly Online Store

For brands, a Strikingly store means building awareness and loyalty by simplifying the shopping experience. Offering a wide range of products in one immersive destination elevates image and conveys quality. For customers, these stores provide one-stop convenience and everything needed from a favorite brand. When done thoughtfully by pairing complementary products, both parties benefit.

Using Strikingly for merchandising and cross merchandising leads to increased sales, higher transaction totals, and happier customers. When people can find a wide range of products for their needs and desires in one place, they're prompted to buy more and feel good about their purchases. For brands, guiding customers to make collateral buys and build complete solutions is a proven strategy for success.

How to Create a Strikingly Online Store

Here are the basic steps to build your own Strikingly store:

1. Choose a template that suits your brand image and products. Strikingly offers stylish options for clothing, jewelry, technology, and more.

2. Set up your domain name and website content. Include information on your company, mission, and customer service policies.

3. Add products to your online store. Include detailed descriptions, images, pricing, and purchase options for checkout. Group complementary products together for easy cross selling.

4. Use banners, videos, and high-quality images to bring your store to life. Create an immersive brand experience that educates and inspires customers.

5. Offer promotions and email marketing to drive traffic and sales. Launch sales, bundles, giveaways, and newsletters tailored to your target audience.

6. Provide multiple payment methods for customer convenience. Accept credit cards, PayPal, and other trusted payment processors to make shopping seamless.

7. Focus on mobile optimization. A majority of online shopping happens on mobile devices. Ensure your Strikingly store displays beautifully on smartphones and tablets.

8. Review analytics to gain insights into on-site visits, browsing patterns, and sales. See which products and promotions are most effective to keep improving your store.

9. Update your store regularly based on trends, seasonality, and new product releases. Keep content, images, and offerings fresh to give customers a reason to return.

On a side note, if you choose any of Strikingly’s yearly plans, you get a free domain for 1 year. Try it out and see if you like it!

Using Strikingly for Merchandising Success

With the right products, presentations, and promotions, brands can leverage Strikingly to create destination online stores that inspire and boost sales. By providing a tailored shopping experience centered around customers' interests, Strikingly stores become the go-to place to discover and buy everything one needs from a favorite brand.

Best Practices for Boosting Sales

1. Well-Stocked and Organized Displays

Keep store shelves and Strikingly stores fully stocked, clean, and clutter-free. Shoppers want to easily find what they need and appreciate organized, abundant options. Regular restocking and tidying up convey that you value customers and their experience.

Little Peggi Online Store Template

Image taken from Strikingly


2. Compelling Visuals That Draw You In

Use creative signage, high-quality images, and smart grouping of products to capture interest. Eye-catching displays that showcase how items complement each other prompt unplanned purchases. On Strikingly, embed video and banner ads to bring your online store to life.

3. Strategic Product Placement

Group goods by style, brand, color, or purpose to suggest a complete look or solution. Place naturally related products side by side so people buy more. For cross merchandising, pair accessories, tech devices, or seasonal items that enhance customers' activities and moods.

4. Keep Things Fresh

Change in-store and online displays frequently to give people a reason to revisit. Update window merchandising, move product sections around, and create new lifestyle collages or bundled offers. Add new products and run promotions on Strikingly to keep your store feeling vibrant.

5. Seasonally Themed Merchandising

Focus merchandising around holidays, events, and the time of year. Decorate stores with seasonal signage and products as customers prepare for the next occasion. On Strikingly, the content and products in your online store should also reflect the season to tap into people's mindsets.

6. Unite Complementary Brands

Group products from brands that share a similar style, mission, or customer base. This cross merchandising partnership exposes shoppers to more high-quality options that meet their needs under one roof, fueling greater satisfaction and sales for businesses.

Zikape Online Store Template

Image taken from Strikingly


7. Immersive Brand Experiences

Use merchandising to craft memorable interactions with your brand. Blend visuals, scents, sounds, and stories to bring the essence of your brand and products to life for customers. Educate and inspire people in a way that transcends a single purchase and builds loyalty.

8. Optimizing the Customer Journey

Effective merchandising, in person and online, means optimizing the entire customer experience to highlight what makes your business special. By creating an enjoyable place for people to explore products tailored to their interests, you become a destination for customers again and again.

In Review: The Art of Merchandising

We've explored how merchandising, cross merchandising, and Strikingly work to boost retail sales. These strategies create an enjoyable customer experience in stores and online when thoughtfully executed. For brands, it leads to higher profits and loyalty. For shoppers, it means convenience, must-have goods, and interactions with favorite stores.

A Win-Win for All

Good merchandising means higher sales and profits for stores through satisfying customers. It gives shoppers a reason to return by crafting an experience tailored to their interests and lifestyle. And for brands with "shop in shop" presences, it builds loyalty by simplifying the path to their products.

Keep Exploring

With holidays approaching, be ready for stores to roll out all the stops. Take in the seasonal decor and merchandise with a sense of fun and possibility. Go open-minded without rigid expectations. You never know when something unexpectedly perfect may catch your eye.

Here's to shopping with purpose and continued adventures of discovery. When stores create experiences centered around delighting their customers and shoppers keep an attitude of openness, merchandising wins for all. Our favorite places stay thriving, and we as individuals gain meaningful goods, moments of joy, and sometimes much-needed whimsy.

Overall, remember that behind the sale, merchandising should be a collaborative relationship between businesses and their customers. When done right, trust that it can benefit us all. So shop smart, display smart, and stay open.

The finds are out there waiting to be uncovered!