Inflation is near a four-decade high and online retail sales are projected to grow 10% annually over the next five years. It’s important to remember that shoppers continue shopping. While consumers might have slowed their retail shopping since COVID came in 2020, consumers are still shopping online more than they were in 2019.
Merchandisers fight some of the same challenges even as consumers continue to spend. The number of digital shelves consumers can purchase from is a serious challenge for merchandisers. If brands fail to deliver a seamless experience across digital shelves and brick and mortar locations, they risk losing the customer to the digital shelf that is able to better deliver.
Merchants must build an experience that provides A+ content and experiences, and they can do so with search and discovery technology. Ease of searchability, consumers become frustrated and then merchants lose revenue. Consumers have a lot of information coming at them at once on retail sites. Due to this, they have certain expectations when they want to purchase. They want to easily find what they are looking for, and they want their shopping experience to be smooth. They want to be able to do appropriate research on the product they are purchasing—and to do it all at their fingertips.
We are very much in the era of value driven ecommerce. People buy brands and people buy missions, and that means that companies need to consider their holistic presence, down to brand voice and the experience they’re creating onsite. For shoppers, that may mean ease of searchability and product discovery. Is there strong, descriptive content for each product? Does the site create a seamless shopping experience sitewide?
And then there are new challenges in this market with pricing, supply chain, and fulfillment. Ecommerce companies right now are very profit-focused in a tough economy, and they are doubling down on the solutions that have a direct impact on profit. Product discovery, when done correctly, is one of them. Optimizing shopping experiences specifically to drive profit and revenue is critical, and product discovery that is built to do this specifically is well worth the investment. Being able to drive brand loyalty by making it delightfully easy to find the right kitchen shears or being able to increase revenue per visitor by making the right upsell recommendations is how ecommerce companies not only survive but thrive and keep customers coming back time and again.
Brands or retailers unable to give a consumer the information they require when they need it to make their purchasing decisions, will lose that consumer. Digital merchandisers are the lifeblood of online retail, and it’s their expertise that connects the customer to the product—but for many merchandisers, there is a lot of menials, repetitive work involved. Smart retailers know this, and they’re investing in their merchandising teams by arming them with tools that both remove some of the manual work and help them leverage their experience and expertise so that they can really shine. That drives fantastic results and creates more opportunity and growth all along the value chain.
Newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer at Constructor, Courtney Austermehle has joined the team to further develop and expand the marketing team to support the increasing demand for tailor-made ecommerce merchandising solutions for online shopping experiences. Previously, Austermehle worked at Salsify where she was the VP of Marketing, Revenue and Business Development Representatives, growing the company’s marketing team from five employees to 40 in just three years.