AI: Unlocking the Full Potential of Digital Merchandising

Beth Norton
January 22, 2024
5 mins

The pressure for brands and retailers to nail digital merchandising — the strategic placement of products on a website to attract and convert customers — is high. Today’s customers seek fast, seamless shopping experiences and they expect personalization at every stage of their journey, which means merchandisers need to shift from product-centric to customer-centric strategies. And it’s brands and retailers who are delivering on this that are the ones storming ahead of the competition, with high conversion rates and a slew of loyal customers.

Like all aspects of eCommerce, AI is revolutionizing digital merchandising. But how can merchandising teams capitalize on AI technology to improve the offering for their customers? And how does AI change the way merchandisers approach their jobs?

Digital Merchandising: Then and Now

Where merchandisers were once logistical managers focused on inventory management, their role today makes them strategic, data-driven decision makers. No longer are they carefully planning and executing product displays in physical stores based on stock levels, they now use a combination of data analytics and digital tools to shape the customer journey and influence purchases. Digital merchandisers today are expected to be content creators, personalization experts and site experience designers, which is a lot to manage as an individual or a small team. This is where AI comes in.

Why Merchandisers Should Embrace AI for Commerce Success

On average, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable. With AI progressing at an accelerated pace, it can automate almost every aspect of digital merchandising strategies, helping teams to be more productive and efficient and freeing up valuable time to focus on customer demands and how to meet them. Success will come from blending the science of technology — automating the repetitive tasks — with the art of merchandising — the storytelling and strategic recommendations.

For example, merchandisers can use AI to streamline inventory replenishment and ensure optimal stock levels, they can leverage AI-driven analytics to track customer engagement in real-time and evaluate optimization opportunities such as sorting rules and content enhancements. The automation of these tasks results in consistent product availability and improved profitability, while accelerating the merchandisers’ output.

Searchandising and Personalized Product Recommendations

Searchandising, also known as search merchandising, combines on-site search and product merchandising to ensure that shoppers are presented with relevant results when they use a website’s search function. Leveraging AI and behavioral data, this allows merchandisers to provide a seamless, tailored search and discovery experience for their customers.

One of the most effective and valuable searchandising strategies is personalized product recommendations. By using AI to analyze shopping behavior and preferences, merchandisers can make data-driven recommendations to individual customers. And this doesn’t just apply to search results, merchandising teams can recommend complementary products on PDPs too. Our AI Bundling integration, powered by Stylitics, enables merchandisers to add AI-driven outfitting and bundling to PDPs, presenting customers with personalized product recommendations to complement the product they’re viewing. Whether pairing products together to make an outfit, build a skincare bundle or create a tailored home decor or furniture collection, it’s a tool that increases customer engagement, conversions and AOV — the key metrics of a customer-centric merchandising strategy.

To find out more about how AI Bundling can transform your customer experience and supercharge your digital merchandising strategy, get in touch with us.

Or, read more about Amplience’s merchandising solutions.

Looking Ahead

When leveraged strategically, AI is the force multiplier that will revolutionize digital merchandising efforts. Using AI, merchandisers can create personalized customer experiences and benefit from more efficient operations, allowing human expertise to shine.

To drive engagement and customer loyalty, brands and retailers need to harness the data-driven nature of eCommerce and embrace intelligent technologies to unlock growth.