What is Geo-Merchandising?
Geo-merchandising (or location-based merchandising) is a marketing strategy that involves tailoring your sales outlets’ offerings locally based on the location and catchment region of the site, specifically:
- the sociodemographic composition of the area (household types, the age distribution of the population, income levels, socio-professional classifications, active/inactive/unemployed, renters/owners, etc.);
- analysis of past purchases made by known consumers (usually through the brand’s loyalty program) and market data from the panelists, which reveals their purchasing patterns and habits;
- the location type (city center, urban outskirts, rural area, business district, primarily residential area…);
- the location of the outlet in relation to the local cultural, geographic, and climatic factors impacting foot traffic and purchase patterns (mountain/seaside area, tourist hotspot…);
- competitors’ location and competitive advantage
In eCommerce stores, especially those with location-based websites, geo-merchandising is used to dynamically display relevant products to online shoppers based on their location data.
What is Geo-Merchandising used for?
In retail, geo-merchandising is used to identify the best range or offering that will maximize profitability per square meter, stock turnover, and surface area utilization for each sales outlet or category by cross-referencing various statistics.
In eCommerce websites, geo-merchandising is to boost products to a specific region, such as seasonal items tailored to a local holiday, goods of local sports teams, or state-branded specialties, etc.
The secret to connecting with each of your store’s consumers, regardless of where they live, is to provide a personalized shopping experience based on location. The customer’s buying experience is improved via personalization. Customers believe that personalization helps them finish their purchase across the board.
Customers mostly think of getting a better deal regarding website personalization.
Now marketers have access to a wealth of customer data and can use mobile technology to create omnichannel plans that are more successful and efficient thanks to geo-based merchandising.
Examples of Geo-Merchandising on eCommerce stores
While “vegetable patches” are very popular on urban balconies, potato, and leek plants are less likely to find buyers in the town center than in a rural or suburban area. Each store with gardening brands must ensure that it not only offers plants that are appropriate to local climatic conditions at the right time but also that it adjusts its product mix to its customers’ practices.
Sports stores might benefit greatly by creating shelves for the most popular activities in their target market. It is not as simple as it may seem: just as no one is surprised to see stores in mountainous areas dedicate a significant amount of shelf space to winter sports and hiking, the same can be observed in Danish stores.
Because a sizeable portion of their customer base participates in these activities and prefers to outfit itself before departing. Even though it seems like common sense in a nutshell, you still need to be able to quantify these behaviors, which necessitates a thorough examination of the pertinent product categories and quantities.
Best practices to implement Geo-Merchandising on your eCommerce store
Geo-merchandising, which lies at the intersection of statistical sciences, geography, and marketing, is a tough field that calls for specialized knowledge and tools. This is why it’s important to keep in mind the following:
- Use your website analytics to track customers’ location and language preferences based on their browsing history. If your store has different lookbooks or collections with limited items for different areas, you’ll want to display these products differently based on your website visitor’s location.
- Analyze past purchase data to identify trends in language and location preferences among your customers. Then, adjust your geo-merchandising strategy accordingly.
- Optimize your product descriptions and metadata to include relevant geographic keywords to improve search engine visibility. For example, you might include a city name in your product description and keywords if you’re selling their sport team t-shirts.
- Offer localized payment options and shipping methods to cater to customers in specific regions. For example, in the northeast of America, people prefer credit cards while people from the rest of the country prefer debit cards.
- Finally, geo-merchandising only serves the intended goal if it is carried out dynamically and over an extended period because businesses’ priorities, local settings, and customer behavior are all subject to change.