PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Oct 8, 2012) - According to projections by Forrester Research Inc., online shoppers in the United States will spend $327 billion in 2016, representing an annual growth rate of 10.1% over the five-year forecast period.1 Monetate, a leading provider of testing, targeting and personalization technology for online marketers, says that as the volume of online shopping continues to grow, ecommerce businesses must make it easy for customers to find and purchase what they are looking for. Creating a relevant and positive experience turns occasional visitors into frequent shoppers.
"Consumers now demand an online experience that is just as relevant as shopping in a store," said Kurt Heinemann, Chief Marketing Officer, Monetate. "A successful merchandising strategy makes products easy to find, facilitates purchase decisions by providing targeted and relevant information, and guides shoppers through the checkout process as seamlessly as possible. Without adapting to these consumer expectations, brands risk losing screen-share to more engaging competitors."
Monetate's platform allows brands to quickly implement new campaigns and create online experiences that make it easy to find products relevant to their shopping experience. The company has identified ten proven ways for retailers to deploy an online merchandising strategy that drive results.
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1. Enable visual predictive search that features product images. This will guide visitors to the product they're looking for, even if they're unsure about a specific product name or spelling, and can help reduce the search failure rate.
2. Replicate the in-store experience by adding endcaps. In physical retail stores, endcaps are the most valuable real estate. Translate this practice to the online store by offering intelligent and relevant product recommendations in dynamic banners above the fold, making items easier to discover and purchase.
3. Choose your images wisely. Your main banner image, especially on a category page, should not make your product grid difficult to find. Don't let curating hide other items that your visitors might want to buy.
4. Display product reviews, good and bad, prominently on your product page. Including negative reviews conveys authenticity and will improve visitors' perception of your brand.
5. Badge your products to highlight key attributes of items that might not otherwise jump out to visitors. Target "New Products" for returning customers, "Top Seller" for first-time visitors, and "Staff Pick" or "Limited Edition" items to spark interest.
6. Use threshold countdowns to indicate the value that shoppers must add to their carts to receive a particular offer, like free shipping. This will facilitate purchase decisions and drive higher average order values by encouraging customers to meet the offer threshold.
7. Optimize the coupon box. Coupon code boxes can be an obstacle to conversion just as much as they can be a facilitator. To counteract abandonment, use the right solutions to automatically apply coupons for eligible visitors and hide the coupon box when possible.
8. Target cart abandonment by showcasing unpurchased items along with image thumbnails or "You Still Have Unpurchased Items" messages when visitors return to your site.
9. Highlight quick and easy alternative payment options to make customers more likely to complete the transaction. Enable express checkout and allow customers to complete their purchases using services that they're already subscribed to or familiar with, such as PayPal.
10. Deliver product recommendations on the Thank You/Confirmation page. When the customer's purchase is complete, there is no risk of derailing the checkout process, only an upside to showing more of what you have to offer.
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To learn more about how Monetate can help your business personalize the online experience for your customers to drive greater revenue, visit www.monetate.com.
Monetate drives billions of dollars of revenue every year for some of the best-known brands in the world, including Best Buy, Comcast, Aeropostale, The Sports Authority, and PETCO. The company's comprehensive product suite and conversion expertise enable marketers to deliver a more relevant customer experience with unprecedented agility.
Monetate's solutions, which combine A/B and multivariate testing with behavioral targeting, merchandising and product recommendations, are used by global brands across a spectrum of industries. Monetate enables brands to use Big Data to increase conversions by creating a more relevant online experience.
Leading marketers rely on Monetate's cloud-based browser technology to achieve a new level of speed and control, allowing them to run 16 times more optimization campaigns compared to industry averages. The Monetate Agility Suite includes advanced products for testing, merchandising, targeting, and cross-channel consistency, providing an opportunity to bypass IT restraints and react in real time to customer demands. Monetate also helps marketers implement best practices and drive online revenue through its expert strategic services and content publishing teams. For more information visit http://monetate.com/ or follow us on Twitter @Monetate.