By Sue Chapman

Site search, navigation and categorization are all great elements to drive increased revenue and conversion through your site, but don’t overlook the importance of effective merchandising on the grid page as a critical element to drive results.

Some of the most common questions I get are:

  • What’s the best way to organize search refinements or filters for conversion?
  • Do category banners help conversion?
  • What about multiple sizes and color options for products?  Is it best to break them out?
  • What are some creative ways to merchandise on grid pages?

Here are some of my tips to help you effectively merchandise on the grid page:

  • Keep refinements in view – Whether your customers are shopping for a sweater or a new TV, filters must be specific to the product results to allow them to quickly and easily find the product they’re trying to buy. Keep the top decision making filters—such as style, size and color for apparel—above the fold so they’re always in sight.
  • Optimize product assortment by variation or attribute – Consider how you’re presenting the product assortment in a category. Sometimes, splitting styles to show all color, material and silhouette options can be a better way to merchandise products than just showing swatches.
  • Merchandise colors or patterns for trend pages – If your customers are shopping for the latest trends, create category pages that let them explore the depth of your collection, such as the houndstooth trend page on The Limited.The Limited screenshot
  • Utilize grid tiles for advertising – Keep in mind that some visitors are directed through email or affiliates directly to a category page, bypassing your home page where all your great promotional offers typically are. One technique some of our customers use, like Vitamin World, is to use merchandising slots integrated into the product grid. Doing this keeps products above the fold and lets you continue to merchandise as shoppers scroll down the page.

Vitamin World

  • Test different versions of category banners – Category banners are great for reminding the shopper about specials or deals, but are they always the best use of your real estate? Take advantage of A/B testing to determine which banners your customers respond to best.

Next up: we’ll take a look at metrics and benchmarks.