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E-Commerce merchandising
October 9, 2023

The importance of visual merchandising in fashion E-commerce

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An image of Malin Ericson, CRO Specialist at aim'n

Amber Denwood


Visual merchandising plays a crucial role in the fashion. Showcasing products to potential customers in an intentionally crafted way can greatly improve both the chances of them making a purchase, and revisiting your store.

In brick-and-mortar stores research shows that 86% of customers tend to spend more time in ‘nice’ stores. And, after one bad experience, nearly 70% would be more likely to shop at a competitors store instead.

So, how does this translate into fashion E-commerce experience? We explore this, below.

Why is visual merchandising so important in E-commerce?

Just like with brick and mortar stores, shoppers are more likely to convert when an online store looks, and feels, good. If their expectations aren’t met and a website has terrible user experience, for example, 35% of orders are likely to be abandoned.

On top of this, the average online attention span sits at around 8 seconds. That means your store needs to really offer an enjoyable, interactive, and visually appealing experience to keep your customers’ attention.

With the sheer number of E-commerce fashion websites available worldwide, there’s no shortage of competition for online fashion retailers at the moment. This makes truly nailing your fashion E-commerce visual merchandising techniques crucial, or you risk sending your shoppers elsewhere.

To summarize, both your online fashion store’s profitability and customer retention are impacted by getting your E-commerce visual merchandising right. 

Where onsite does visual merchandising need to be considered?

In short, your whole fashion E-commerce should have a consistent, and visually engaging appearance.

These are some of the sections of your online store where the importance of visual merchandising is felt the most:

  1. Category pages

While this may be one of the most obvious choices, there’s a good reason for this. Category pages often serve as landing pages, meaning they’re the first thing a user sees when they enter your website. 

Having a coherent, well-merchandised page not only creates a good first impression, but encourages a user to stick around and engage with the page. It also increases the chances that a user can actually find a product they want to purchase if your page is visually merchandised in an attractive and intuitive way.

And, of course, if a new user has a good experience on your site, then the chances are higher that they’ll return. This mimics the brick-and-mortar store experiences we mentioned earlier.

  1. Search

Search merchandising, or searchindising, is exactly what it sounds like – merchandising your product search results. 

When a user searches for a specific product or item on your E-commerce site, they’re showing signs of being highly engaged, and therefore more likely to make a purchase. One sure-fire way to encourage this purchase further is to searchandise your results.

Showing results in a way that both shows you understands your customers requirements, while remaining on-brand, and presenting products in a way that does them justice is a clear path to conversion. 

  1. Product recommendations

Product recommendations require the perfect balance between accuracy, personalization, and great visual merchandising. Customers expect to see products they truly want, and that are unique to their journey in their recommendations panel.

But, if these tailored product recommendations are presented in a way that is chaotic, or offputting, your efforts are wasted. 

Instead, displaying products in a way that compliments their shape, product type, color, or overall style, means your product recommendations are more likely to convert.

  1. Collection pages

If your customers expect excellent visual merchandising somewhere, it is collection pages. Collection pages are one of the most important places to highlight your storytelling skills, and present products in a way that truly represents your brand and vision.

Here, full looks and styles should be curated, with meticulous attention to detail on color, shape, and seasonality. Product images can be combined with content, and copy, to truly sell the story to your shopper.

How can fashion E-commerce visual merchandising easily be improved?

Alongside more general tips, such as always making sure to use more high quality images and font that is easy to read, visual merchandising requires an in-depth understanding of how products look when placed next to each other.

Of course, visual merchandising in this way can take tons of time, effort, and manual work, which some fashion E-commerce businesses just don’t have the resource for. Luckily, there’s an easy answer to this. Automation. 

Products, such as Depict, can easily automate this usually manual process, using a visual-AI led engine, which can curate category pages in a short amount of time. 

With a fashion-taught AI, Depict can accurately pick up specific features from garments and accessories, and use this to curate category pages in a way that is as well-thought out as a physical store.

Personalized visual merchandising can boost your brand

Personalization is also key here. A personalization engine can assure that alongside being visually appealing, your E-commerce website is merchandised in a way that shows customers the products that they want to see first. This is especially important when it comes to category pages, as it reduces the amount of time a customer will need to scroll before finding the products they want. 

As well as this, product recommendations are crucial, as this is sometimes the last chance to get customers to add a little extra to their basket. If you want to find out more about the different levels you can incorporate here, check out our post of the different levels of onsite personalization.

Further tips for fashion E-commerce

Need to know more about current fashion E-commerce trends? Our fashion E-commerce trends report for 2023 is packed full of tips to keep you up to date with the industry. If that isn’t enough, check out the recommended articles below, or sign up for our newsletter to stay updated.

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