Merchandising refers to the techniques that are used to influence consumers’ buying decisions. Although the terms “sales” and “merchandising” are closely related, merchandising leads the customer to buy a product, and sales means completing the purchase. Good merchandising leads to higher profits, customer engagement, brand recognition and loyalty.
In retail settings, merchandising strategies include: interactive displays that use scent, sound and motion; window and in-store displays; shelf signage and product placement; thematic bundling (e.g., Christmas); tasting and demonstrations; samples and giveaways. In eCommerce, the most effective strategies include: live chat support; free shipping; thematically-curated landing pages; great product descriptions (images, copy, videos); recommendations; advertising banners; ratings and reviews; cross-selling and upselling; ribbon overlays that highlight something special (e.g., on sale, bestseller, new).