Consider the humble croissant. A mainstay of the continental breakfast. Wonderful paired with fresh butter, jam and a strong coffee. A great grab and go breakfast.
If you want to stock up for home, you know where to go. At the supermarket, not far from the bread, in the baked goods section, next to the cakes and the speciality loaves like rye bread or ciabatta. The reason it’s there has a logic, in the supermarket the shelving configuration is the same as you need for speciality breads. In your mind there is a similarity in the production method, they are baked. And they sit there quite happily next to the bagels and sell in reasonable quantities.
Psychologically we understand the supermarket we have been successfully conditioned to do so.
Consider the following scenario. You are a café owner. Making an online order with your foodservice to fulfil your breakfast sitting tomorrow, you are ordering bacon, fresh tomato’s, coffee and possibly oranges for a fresh juice.
The fresh croissants would provide a great option, an add on for the passing trade who drop in for a takeaway coffee. A great opportunity to increase the share of wallet, and something lighter for those not needing a full English.
Engaging in the product conversation, at the point of consideration, where it makes the most sense to the customer.
Supermarkets are expertly merchandised and behaviourally we know where our groceries are. We would find it incongruous to come across croissants in the bacon chiller. However, in the contextualised context of a café owner ordering volumes of stock for the breakfast sitting from a foodservice website the need for croissants is a very relevant conversation to be had whilst they are weighing up maple smoked bacon.
In a b2b context successful merchandising is a key driver of share of wallet. Primary considerations around taxonomy andnavigation are important, (Croissants sit under baked and breakfast categories). For some organisations delivering the contextual connections can be as simple as drawing up a matrixed relationship and making careful use of upsells and cross sells within the sales journey. The matrix can be optimised and expanded upon using A/B tools over time. For a more complex product suite AI tools are the most effective way to manage a complex and sometimes layered set of product relationships at the scale required.
The contextual relationship is vital to develop the customer experience and drive a higher order value. The relationship between croissants and bacon as well as jam need to be addressed.
If the process is manual, starting simple is key. Build up knowledge based on results. It is too easy to get caught up in the complexity however drawing up a simple set of rules initially that can be refined over time is simpler to achieve than you think.
It is possible to deliver an uplift with a simple rules-based approach. Refining and learning as you go. If you are not doing this already this route may be possible with the tools you are currently using without the need for extensive development.
For AI driven merchandising there may be components within your existing application suite that can deliver significant results. I have seen quoted all be it unattributed statements that over 80 percent of executives in both the retail and consumer product industries expect to be using automated intelligence by 2021, whether this is true or not, it is a fact that AI is into the mainstream and achievable bought as a service without eyewatering investment.
Merchandising your site involves thinking in the context of the site user. Is your head up and smelling the coffee at breakfast or are you nestled away from flow to the side of the baked goods?