Seasonal Merchandising in Commerce

Seasonal merchandising happens like clock-work in brick- and- mortar retail chains. Each retailer can have anywhere from 6 to 13 shopping seasons within a year. But how do you translate those shopping seasons to e-commerce?

05 Apr 2018


Today’s shoppers are no longer brand loyalists and purchasing items that have a personal connection to them; what they like, what they hold important, ultimately, what they feel. Retailers can reach consumers on this emotional level by not only targeting a buying persona, but also the emotions associated with the shopping seasons.

Seasonal Merchandising in Commerce

Seasonal merchandising happens like clock-work in brick- and- mortar retail chains. Each retailer can have anywhere from 6 to 13 shopping seasons within a year. But how do you translate those shopping seasons to e-commerce?

A shopper decides within the first 3-seconds of walking into a store if they are going to purchase an item. Brick and mortar retailers have an advantage with being able to reach shoppers through the 5 senses of touch, smell, see, hear, and sometimes, taste. With more and more consumers doing product research, comparison shopping, and purchasing products online, seasonal merchandising is no longer a “nice to have” in commerce, but a “have to have”.

Consumers purchase based largely on emotions. If you have ever visited a Target store meaning to purchase one specific item, walked out with half the store in tow – forgetting to purchase the one item you went in for – you know exactly what I’m talking about. Just like the Target visit, 52% of online shopping is the result of an impulse purchase. Promoting products in the context of what consumers are looking for is the first step to bridging the product to an emotional purchase, more widely known as an impulse buy.

Creating the “Have to Have” Feeling in Commerce

Let’s say you have a product that you plan to have available on your e-commerce site from May to September. During this time, you will experience at least three different retail buying seasons: Spring, Summer, and Back-to-School. During each of these seasons there are different feelings that consumers are experiencing.

Spring: Refreshing | Hip | Excitement | Flirty | Updated

Summer: Adventurous | Togetherness | Relaxing

Back-to-School: Fresh | Chic | Personality | Versatility | Quick & Easy

The most common way to capture these feelings is through lifestyle images, images with accent items such as flowers, and videos. Another way to capture the feeling of each buying season is through product descriptions. For each season you need to not only update the graphics, videos, etc. but also the content with which you promote the products.

Effectively Managing Product Information

E-commerce planning is typically managed through an assortment of spreadsheets and images held in disparate systems such as email, shared drives, etc. Keeping up with the latest, most accurate information and the different specification requirements and attributes across the different channels is one of the biggest headaches for e-commerce professionals.

There is an emerging solution in the market place known as PIM (Product Information Management). A PIM solution gives the power back to the marketers to manage the product information in one centralized location, collaborate with different teams, set-up product relations, and push the product information out to both online and offline channels.

Organizations such as La vie en Rose, Mayline Company, SAIL, LoveCrafts, and Dormy Golf & Fashion have turned to inRiver’s PIM solution to effectively and accurately manage their products across their different channels. You, too, can achieve a single version of the truth with your product information. Learn more here.

Chelsea Camille, Campaign & Alliance Marketing Manager

About Chelsea:

Chelsea Camille is a B2B revenue marketer with over 10 years’ experience in the technology space. Before she joined the innovative world of technology, Chelsea belonged to the world of fashion, helping companies reach consumers on the subliminal level through placements, colors, etc.