In the previous post we looked into some basic merchandising scenarios that you’d need to build your merchandising tools. In this post, we’ll increase the complexity of the requirements slightly. Lets dive in!
- Displaying products sorted on lowest to the highest price This requirement is simple to accomplish on category landing pages or store home pages where all your merchandising tool needs to do is to extract the products from the database and present them in a sorted order. The real challenge lies in performing this arrangement for search results. In search results, not only does your merchandising tool need to ensure that results are sorted on how relevant they are for the visitor’s search query but it must also display them in a price sorted order. Ensuring the perfect combination of relevance and price-based sorting is where you will have to rely on a merchandising tool. Ideally, the tool will be smart enough to automatically create the right mix of price sorting and relevance without your merchandising team ever going into the mathematics behind it.
- Displaying products such that imported products are given lower preference over domestic ones and that within each group, imported or domestic, the products are sorted based on the relevance of the product name to the search query. This is where things start getting tricky. Normally, search for e-commerce sites will not have to think about which group the product belongs to. They would simply be required to display a product based on how closely it matches visitor’s search query. Technically, that is the right thing to do but as far as merchandising requirements go, that is just not good enough. In this case, search engine has to understand how products are divided into two groups, imported versus domestically produced. Then, to meet the merchandising rule, it needs to ignore relevance to first display domestic products followed by imported ones, then, within each group, display products based on how closely the products match visitor’s search query.
- Display replacement products for an out-of-stock product When a product is out of stock, merchandising organisations have the option of completely excluding that product from search results. However, the smart thing to do in this case is to accept visitor intent. This means attempting to satisfy visitor’s need through a replacement or alternative product. It requires that your catalog navigation and search engine understand that some products are related. The relationships like replacements or complementary products, can be used to satisfy demand when the original product is out of stock.