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Advanced Commerce

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Emma Wragg

What is online merchandising?

"Shoppers attention spans are short so the decisions we make about what to show first in any and every part of our online stores is becoming increasingly important.” Our online merchandising platform, GrapheneHC®, helps retailers and shoppers navigate the paradox of choice by providing all the tools required to visually merchandise an online store with the same care and attention you would apply to a brick and mortar store. Unlike other merchandising platforms that operate a simple boost or bury merchandising function, GrapheneHC® allows retailers to create a merchandising blend based on a number of product, onsite and external attributes and then define exactly where they want that blend to apply - to a whole category or as granular as to a single cell, and by combining multiple merchandising blends together create a merchandising strategy that delivers relevant products as you would in store. Furthermore, we provide the ability to apply a merchandising strategy based on a persona thus highly personalising a customers experience, in real time, and delivering the most relevant products increasing the chances of a conversion.

The paradox of choice states the more choice we have as consumers, the harder it is to make a decision. As we have entered the digital age, there has been an explosion of choice - the physical boundaries and constraints of floor space in a shop are removed online and in a bid to offer great service and grow revenues more and more choice has been offered, and this is making it harder and harder for consumers to make decisions. Merchandising in the online world is really about controlling the product display sequence, it!s a retailer's way of helping shoppers navigate the paradox of choice by showing relevant products that a customer will like instead of trying to show every product in the catalogue and let!s face it - if you have a product catalogue of 3,000 products we know there is no chance of a customer viewing all of them. Shoppers attention spans are short so the decisions we make about what to show first in any and every part of our online stores is becoming increasingly important. This type of merchandising happens all the time in a brick and mortar store.

They are carefully laid out making sure the right blend of products based on price, stock level, popularity etc are displayed throughout the store, and retailers are finding similarly, as they merchandise their online store and they take control of their product curation, it has a waterfall effect on things like conversion rate, average order value, volume of orders, and even things like returns and cancelled orders.  GrapheneHC® allows retailers to use a blend of attributes such as popularity, margin, availability, trending, price etc to determine their product sequencing. It is computationally complex to do this quickly in real time, which is why most technologies out there use really simple merchandising techniques like boost or bury, but we have solved the complex nature of this and are able to do it really quickly, giving average page load speeds of below 100ms. I think that the question "how do we offer better online experiences to our customers?” is really accelerating the growth in eCommerce technologies and headless commerce is allowing retailers to connect the best technologies to their current eCommerce platform which is why GrapheneHC® has been built to connect with any eCommerce platform.  The question "how do we offer better online experiences! also drives right to the solution of the paradox of choice. Merchandising our online stores is a start, but it doesn’t solve the paradox of choice, it merely changes the products that are displayed to the customer.


The solution to the paradox of choice is using merchandising to show customers the products they want. Those that are really navigating the paradox of choice, those that are truly giving the best online experiences ensure their online stores and brick and mortar stores treat their customers the same and have a merchandising strategy taking into account everyone is different, using personalisation tools to change the product display sequencing based on the user, or user decisions. Ultimately, this is what GrapheneHC® does. It gives retailers all the tools they need to visually merchandise their online store and provide a curated product display sequence that is personalised to the shopper meaning customers find the right product quickly and easily, which in turn has a waterfall effect on increasing conversions, average order values and revenue. We have built GrapheneHC® to become the gold standard of online merchandising and it performs the competition in speed, breadth of functionality and price, it is a merchandising Rolls Royce for the price of a motorbike.

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