Drive Purchases In Your Shopify Store And Get Bigger Baskets With Visual Merchandising Techniques

Ellie Ho
Jun 7, 2024
3 min read

Visual merchandising can have a powerful effect on shoppers. The look and feel of a store can evoke strong emotions that will cause a shopper to explore and eventually make a purchase.

Brick-and-mortar stores have been harnessing the power of visual merchandising for eons. But did you know online stores stand a lot to gain from an effective visual merchandising strategy? In this article, we’ll reveal some visual merchandising techniques that will push shoppers to spend more in your Shopify store.

What Is Visual Merchandising?

what is visual merchandising | online merchandising | shopify merchandising

Visual merchandising first took shape in physical stores. Here, store owners attempt to attract shoppers’ attention with an enticing layout. This would involve everything from the floor plan and lighting to color schemes and displays.

In eCommerce, the goal of visual merchandising is the same. E-merchants use visual stimuli to spark interest, engage visitors, and push them to make a purchase in their online stores. The difference lies in the tools online stores have at their disposal to attract and engage shoppers.

There are four visual merchandising elements online merchants can use to enhance the shopping experience:

  • Brand identity: this is the visual representation of a brand and includes factors such as a logo, color palette, and style.
  • UX & UI design: the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are to do with how you structure the shopping experience and the look and feel of your site, respectively. They create the visual identity and organization of every page in your store.
  • Curation: this is the act of grouping products together. These products might share similar attributes, be part of an offer, or trending choices.
  • Recommendations: this has to do with presenting shoppers with products that match their preferences and interests.

The Impact Of Visual Merchandising On Basket Size

So, how can visual merchandising boost your average order value (AOV) and coax shoppers into putting more into their baskets?

First of all, it’s much easier to get messaging across with visual stimuli. That’s because humans are overwhelmingly visual learners. We process and learn from what we can see quicker and better. Visuals are so potent that the retention of a message increases by 42% when eye-catching visuals are used. Using visuals to convey the value of your products to shoppers will, therefore, have a greater chance of convincing them to buy.

visual learning statistics

Statistics showing the importance of online visual merchandising (Source: Vaimo)

Visual merchandising also helps shoppers form an emotional connection with brands. Online visual merchandising is often used to tell a story of a brand or sell a lifestyle that its target audience can relate to. This heightened connection results in shoppers becoming more engaged, which, in turn, makes it more likely for them to purchase products.

Additionally, product discovery is enhanced with an effective visual merchandising strategy. Site search techniques, curation, and product recommendations bring shoppers closer to the products they’ll love. This makes their shopping journey a whole lot smoother. As a result, customer satisfaction will be lifted, which has been proven to cause a 15% increase in revenue.

Visual Merchandising Techniques For Shopify Merchants That Boost Basket Size

Let’s now take a look at some simple yet effective visual merchandising techniques you can employ in your Shopify store for bigger baskets.

Storytelling and lifestyle imagery

Strong, cohesive visuals that portray a story or image of a brand is a technique favored by many of the big players. Think of Apple’s sleek and minimalist approach or GoPro’s action-packed persona. Spend just a few moments in these stores, and you’ll immediately sense these identities. That’s the power of visual storytelling. In visual storytelling, your products take center stage, and text is kept to a minimum.

visual telling on salomon online store | boost ai search and discovery user

Think about the persona of your brand. Is it vibrant and fun, modern and sophisticated, rough and rugged, or sincere and down-to-earth? You could even think about the traits of your target customers. Salomon, for example, is all about adventure and exploration.

Your homepage should act as a homage to this brand persona with large visual media that showcase your products in this way. Product pages should also rely heavily on visuals to convey a message. Use a mixture of product videos and images that can be improved by innovative AI enhancer show off the product at every angle while still invoking the persona. Don’t forget about your color scheme and fonts. They’ll need to be a reflection of the brand persona.

Another excellent tactic is to contextualize your products with imagery. Use visuals throughout your store that show your products in use or in the setting they’re meant for. This will help customers visualize how your products will fit into their lives. It’s also a great opportunity to incorporate user-generated content (UGC) for a huge dose of trustworthiness.

You can bring visual storytelling to your Shopify store with page-building apps like Gempages. Alternatively, you could try one of the many Shopify themes built for visual storytelling.

Seamless discovery with search and filters

The search bar is where 69% of consumers embark on their shopping journey, making it a prime target for visual merchandising.

Bringing visual merchandising to the search experience allows you to draw attention to the products your customers will love or even those best suited for your business goals. For specific search terms, pin or boost products that are bestsellers, trending, or overstocked on the search results page.

search merchandising example

Enesco Studios, for example, pins the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter | Harry Potter 9 3/4 Platform | Bookend to the top spot in searches for “harry potter”.

You should also think seasonally and give priority to products that match holidays in searches. The same goes for collection pages. Products that align with your business goals and bring the most value should be pinned to the top.

Looking from the other side of the coin, underperforming and irrelevant products should be demoted in search results. This could be products that were part of a promotional campaign, out-of-stock goods, or outdated items. Pushing these products to the bottom of the pile will help your most valuable ones shine through.

The way you present search results can too be given a boost with visual merchandising. Empower your search bar with instant results in the dropdown, including product images and other useful information like star ratings.

Filters also need to be present to help shoppers narrow down their selection on search pages and collection pages. Filters can be enhanced with color swatches, non-technical language, a price range slider, a variety of relevant filter options, and multi-select.

Product recommendations that visualize how items work together

Another visual merchandising hack is recommending products in a way that shows their synchronicity.

frequently bought together recommendation widget | boost ai search and discovery user

Sergio Tacchini combines frequently bought together, complete the look, and bundles in this stellar product recommendation

Frequently bought together and bundles are product recommendation types that really resonate with shoppers. The relevance of these recommendations is guaranteed, and customers may even get to save a few bucks. This can be a ticket straight to bigger baskets, but with clever visual merchandising, you’ll increase your chances tenfold.

Complete the look recommendations are great at helping shoppers visualize how items look and work together. Popularized by fashion stores, these contextualized recommendations have begun to appear in a variety of eCommerce stores.

Pair items from the same collection, are complementary or can be combined to follow a fashion trend. Create images that contain all of the products shown or worn together. These images can be presented traditionally on relevant product pages or as images with hotspot links.

With hotspot linking, you’ll get more freedom over where you place these recommendations. They work well on the homepage, collection pages, and product pages. You can add

Create bundles, if you can, and display them in ready-to-add packages on product pages. If shoppers can save with these bundles, make it clear with slashed prices next to the bundle.

Make your items dazzle on product pages

Perhaps the only downside of online stores is that they lack the sensory stimulus brick-and-mortar stores give shoppers. Visitors to your store can’t feel, hold, try on, or get as much of a sense of a product when shopping online. That’s why rich imagery is a must for convincing shoppers to load their carts with your products.

It goes without saying that you need high-quality images on your product pages, but these images should also be dynamic. Ensure you capture images from different angles and that the images can be zoomed into. You’ll also give your customers a more true-to-life experience with product videos. Create videos that show your products in use so shoppers can get a better idea of how they could fit in their lives. Ring Concierge provides an excellent example of bringing your products to life with gifs, videos, and quality images.

visual reviews in online merchandising example

Visual reviews are another great tool for bringing context and reliability to encourage shoppers to purchase. Apps like Loox Product Reviews & Photos can help you add this powerful form of social proof to your store.

Treat the cart page like a checkout display

Walk to any store’s checkout counter, and you’ll be greeted with an array of finger-friendly goods ready to be picked up as you wait in line. This clever merchandising technique is so effective that it leads to shoppers spending $6 billion on products in the checkout area. That’s the power of impulse buying, and you can capitalize on it in your online store.

Placing product recommendations on the cart page helps you transform it into a checkout display. Recommendations can be just as powerful as in-store checkout areas, with 92% of shoppers finding cart page recommendations influential. This means you can bump up your AOV with some well-thought-out recommendations.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can place any product on the cart page. Online shoppers are highly sensitive at this point. Just 1 irrelevant product recommendation on the cart page will cause them to lose faith in all of your suggestions.

green fresh florals cart page recommendation

To guarantee bigger baskets, squeeze the cross-sell chances by recommending complementary products on cart pages. You can also opt for upselling with products that have a similar use case but a higher margin. Personalized recommendations like Recently viewed products are another great thing to try. You can also borrow from the tried-and-tested physical store method of opting for products that are on the cheaper side. Green Fresh Florals takes this method and injects relevance with budget-friendly plant products for shoppers purchasing a succulent.

Wrapping Up

Visual merchandising is a powerful technique that all e-merchants need to master. When done right, visual merchandising will help shoppers find their desired product with ease and even sway them to buy more. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so invest your time in getting your visual merchandising strategy up to scratch.

Ellie Ho
Content Marketing Specialist
June 25, 2024
6 min read