Merchandising is when businesses arrange products on the shelf (or digital shelf) in eye-catching ways that encourage customers to buy.
A business can offer top-notch products, but if they don’t get them in front of customers in compelling ways, they’re not as likely to sell. Merchandising is a strategy businesses use to catch customers’ attention and encourage them to purchase products, ultimately driving sales.
For brick-and-mortar stores, merchandising often occurs in the form of window displays, aisle end cap displays, shelf stocking, and promotional spotlights. For example, a retailer might strategically stock chips next to salsa and offer in-store samples next to the aisle to encourage customers to purchase both products.
Retailers can use similar strategies in ecommerce spaces by using their websites to highlight particular products, bundle items together, or spotlight particular features with images and videos.
All of these strategies are designed to draw the customer’s eye to particular items in particular places. Then, retailers can couple merchandising with pricing strategies, promotions, and marketing efforts to retain customers.