Chapter 3:
eCommerce Visual Merchandising Checklist for Online Stores

An eCommerce Visual Merchandising Checklist for Online Brands and Retailers

Successful eCommerce visual merchandising depends on following best practices and using suitable technology tools. In the previous chapters, we covered visual commerce and how you can use it to benefit your business by following eCommerce merchandising strategies. Here we’ll walk you through exactly what you need to do to implement an effective eCommerce visual merchandising plan. After reviewing just what eCommerce visual merchandising is, we’ll outline seven essential items you need to have in place for effective visual commerce. We’ll also show you how to leverage technology to implement eCommerce visual merchandising best practices.

What Is eCommerce Visual Merchandising?

eCommerce visual merchandising is a digital marketing strategy that optimizes the placement and display of compelling graphics on an eCommerce site to attract customers, improve the virtual shopping experience, and increase engagement. Much like the carefully arranged window displays of a brick and mortar store, visual site merchandising serves as a potential customer’s first look at your brand identity. To effectively convey an eCommerce brand’s story,  web designers use tools such as high-quality 2D images, 3D models, and augmented reality (AR) interactive shopping features. These online merchandising tools provide enhanced product visualization for shoppers, delivering a more realistic, immersive, and engaging online shopping experience that mirrors the customer experience of a physical store. These immersive customer experiences drive sales and lower returns. Incorporating visual commerce features such as 3D and AR in your online store can yield as much as 100% growth in conversion rates, with a 60% increase in average shopping cart purchase value and a 40% reduction in returns.

An eCommerce Visual Merchandising Checklist: Seven Essential Items

To do effective visual merchandising online, following best practices for website design and graphics display is essential. Use the visual merchandising guide below to help you optimize your site for eCommerce.

1. Website Homepage

Good visual merchandising websites start with a properly designed homepage. To optimize your homepage for conversion, appeal to online shoppers by:
  • Highlighting best-sellers and organizing products by theme: for example, highlighting personas, special designer collections, and seasonal collections
  • Driving engagement with interactive content: incorporate video or interactive 3D models
  • Highlight sales and promotions: encourage shoppers to buy with strategic emphasis on your sales and promotional campaigns

2. Category Pages and Product Pages

Your category and product pages help your customers find what they’re looking for and make purchasing decisions. To optimize these pages for conversion, appeal to online shoppers by:
  • Using high-quality product images, such as 3D, 360-degree, interactive product images
  • Emphasizing details in product descriptions: the VNTANA 3D web viewerhotspots tool makes it easy for customers to hone in on key features visually
  • Helping shoppers understand your product with immersive 3Dand AR experiences

3. Page Layout and Speed

You may lose sales and customers when shoppers can’t load or navigate your page quickly. To deliver a great user experience, you need a fast-loading page that is easy to navigate. Making your page mobile-friendly is especially critical, so smartphone users can quickly access it and find what they’re looking for. VNTANA uses a patented algorithm to optimize website 3D images from your site so that they load quickly for customers, avoiding the slow downloads which can result from poorly designed graphics management.

4. Social Proof

Online shoppers trust other customers’ opinions, and social proof can influence their buying decisions. You can provide social proof by showcasing user-generated content on your site, product, and sales pages. Include elements such as:
  • Customer testimonials
  • Product reviews
  • Social media mentions

5. Site Navigation and Search Bar

To ensure that customers can find the products they want to buy, developing an easy-to-follow site structure for your eCommerce website is essential. Have a clearly defined navigation menu split into logical categories and subcategories. Remember that you want the user to get to where they need to go in the fewest clicks possible. Search bars are a great tool to make online shopping easier through search filters like color, size, brand, and price. Make sure your products are categorized and tagged appropriately. The VNTANA platform includes a content management system to help you tag and organize 3D and AR content so customers can find items quickly.

6. Product Recommendations

Customized recommendations based on shopper behavior can encourage customers to buy more per purchase. To boost more sales, promote products that work together as a set. Suggested combinations can be personalized based on the customer’s browser behavior and purchase history. Multiply the impact of online recommendations by leveraging data from website activity into personalized email marketing campaigns.

7. Checkout Page Optimizations

Your checkout page design forms another critical component of your visual merchandising strategy. Making it easy for shoppers to check out encourages sales. You also can use your checkout page design to promote upsells and cross-sells that drastically increase Average Order Value (AOV) and revenue. This can be as simple as showing a pop-up notification before the user checks out to encourage impulse buys of related products.

Add 3D and AR to Your eCommerce Visual Merchandising Strategy with Ease

To get the most out of the best practices outlined in our checklist, you’ll need an eCommerce visual merchandising platform suitable for supporting enhanced graphics. VNTANA 3D and AR eCommerce solutions enable your website to deploy visual merchandising in minimal time for maximum benefit. Our 3D web viewer can be integrated with any site and comes equipped with built-in AR support compatible with all devices your customers use. Our optimization algorithms let shoppers load 3D images fast without lowering image quality, preventing slow downloads that can turn buyers away. We use Google to index your images for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), ensuring that your products appear in search engine results. Our customers enjoy doubled conversion rates, increases in AOV, and drops in returns. Schedule a demo to see eCommerce visual merchandising in action and experience how VNTANA can help you make more sales online.