In the dynamic world of e-commerce, online shops are constantly faced with the challenge of optimizing their customers’ shopping experience. A key element of this is an efficient assortment control, i.e. product range management.
The latest Gartner study from September 2023 “Market Guide for E-Commerce Merchandising Solutions for Unified Retail Commerce” shows that 60% of consumers who cannot accurately search for products in an online store tend to buy less or nothing at all. This underlines the need for precise personalization of the shopping experience in order to win loyal customers.
The challenges in e-commerce
E-commerce teams are faced with the task of guiding customers through their online shopping experience in order to optimize sales and profitability. According to Gartner, the biggest challenges are:
- Product discovery
Customers need to efficiently and accurately find the exact products that meet their needs on landing pages and category pages with product listings.
- Performance management
E-commerce providers must manage and optimize thousands of products and product features, as well as their performance in the store.
- Customer-specific search
According to Gartner, 43% of online retail customers use a store’s search function directly. Poor search results can lead to frustrated customers and lost sales.
The solution: Personalized assortment control and merchandising solutions
These challenges can be overcome with the implementation of advanced merchandising solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI). Such a solution offers:
- Individually relevant content
By displaying individually relevant product images, banners, recommendations, etc. and using personalized landing pages, the user is given the feeling of individual advice.
- Personalized product recommendations
A standard approach that only delivers personalization based on rule sets and pre-built segments does not work sufficiently and only serves recognized users. Yet, incoming traffic is often 60-80% unknown. AI-based systems such as ODOSCOPE can use various internal and external signals to determine and deliver optimal, individually relevant recommendations in real time.
- Dynamic product badges and banners
Automated highlighting of product features such as new products, special offers or specific characteristics (e.g. guarantee, fair trade, test winner, etc.) are crucial.
- Highly personalized search results
AI-based systems take into account current user behavior and other data points to personalize search results.
- Individual product listings and ranking
The relevance ranking on category pages is based on current user behavior and individual customer history (if available), in conjunction with the campaign and business objectives.
Recommendations for your e-commerce team
- Implement a world-class e-commerce merchandising solution to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
- Say goodbye to static or rule-based approaches and use user-specific personalization for all areas of your online store.
- Optimize your product range with automated merchandising solutions.
- Avoid manual processes that only take into account a small selection of products or can only deliver standard displays for predefined user segments.
- Pay attention to the proportion of unknown visitors in your store and ensure the personalization of this – usually – largest user segment according to individual relevance.
- Intensify e-commerce merchandising by understanding customer behavior in detail through the use of AI and optimizing product list sortings, product recommendations and search queries in real time and on a user-specific basis.
By using intelligent, personalized merchandising solutions, e-commerce companies can not only better track and optimize their strategies and increase profitability, but also ensure lasting customer retention and loyalty.
In a world where customers expect increasingly personalized and efficient shopping experiences, assortment control is becoming a critical factor for success in online retail.