Online Visual Merchandising: How to Increase Your Store Conversion Rate

Sortler: Online Visual Merchandising
Online Visual Merchandising

Why is Smart Sorting Such a Big Deal?

You probably know that in usual offline stores, merchandisers and marketers work really hard on the correct organization of the retail space for optimising sales.

And an online store requires no less attention to its catalog too. So you’ll definitely benefit from using an online visual merchandising tool, aimed to skyrocket your sales.

Smart online catalog sorting helps you achieve the following:

  • reduced average bounce rate: therefore, customers spend more time exploring the assortment;
  • improved perception of the product line. With better sorting product listing, you catch and keep the attention of consumers;
  • more chances to sell. The less time a consumer spends to find what he wants, the more opportunities you get to turn him into a paying buyer;
  • flawless user experience. It’s not enough to just attract as many visitors to your online store as possible; you also need to provide them with an excellent customer experience. Your task is to get them to come back again and again (and bring you more and more money).

The basis of any ideal catalog is a flexible sorting system. And creating it is more difficult than it seems at first glance.

Online Catalog Problems and Challenges

The difficulty of managing an online store catalog

We can bet your staff spends a lot of time on merchandising tasks, trying to place items in the catalog in such a way that they sell better. And every moment the merchandiser spends increases your overhead costs.

Lack of variety, harmony on the category page

Sometimes a customer, scrolling through the catalog, doesn’t see the whole variety of assortment of your online store. He can’t find the desired and leaves your resource unsatisfied and annoyed. And the worst part is that you actually have what he is looking for, and the only problem is inefficient category sorting!

The explanation is simple: some product types, brands, or collections prevail over others on the web page. As a result, there is a risk of you losing a promising buyer.

Certain items are in the wrong place

You may need to urgently change the arrangement of catalog items on the webpage. For example, you want to make a certain product more visible or, on the contrary, hide it.

Without a well-thought-out, flexible sorting system, moving catalog objects within a page is extremely difficult to perform; for large catalogs, it’s even impossible. In any case, the manual approach to the task is time-consuming and unproductive.

The category page doesn’t look so good

The UI/UX means not only the usability of the resource but also its visual design. So if the products in the current sorting look really sad, causing the desire to arrange them in some other way, the online store loses its ground.

Lack of logic for product combinations

In the best case, the products in the catalog are arranged by date or price (which is far from ideal); it’s even worse when your items are sorted in a random way. That’s a completely wrong approach to your catalog! A more correct one is to take a cue from offline stores. After all, when you enter a fashion boutique or a hardware shop, you always see the best product combinations and perfect item matches: for example, a handbag and a wallet of the same style or color or two devices that work better when coupled with each other. When creating a catalog sorting system, you need to achieve the same effect. Your overarching goal is to involve consumers in the purchase process.

Ineffective display of low-selling goods on category pages

If you have an unsellable product in your assortment, don’t rush to write it off as unprofitable. Sometimes, in order to interest buyers with low-selling items, it is enough to change their placement in the catalog.

After all, maybe the customer failed to see this item due to its unsuccessful position in the list of products. And there is a good chance that by remedying the situation, you’ll make it better-selling.

How to Increase Store Conversion Rate with Smart Product Sorting?

It doesn’t really matter which eCommerce platform your online store is based on (Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, or a custom one). Either way, managing your catalog would be tricky and challenging. The thing is, flexible sorting isn’t provided by your solution, which means you have to find a way to solve this problem yourself.

You have 2 basic options to choose from:

  1. Customization of the existing store functionality;
  2. Ready-made solutions: Online Visual Merchandising.

1. Customization of the existing store functionality

One of the obvious solutions is to work with what you already have. Simply put, you hire developers, give them the task of improving your existing sorting system, and get the finished result when it’s done.

  • Meeting your business needs. You get the opportunity to create the functionality, which will be cut out for your business needs.
  • Flexibility. You can control the customization project and change any of its details in the process.
  • Waste of time. Customizing store functionality can take several months, and all this time you’ll have to deal with an ineffective category sorting system.
  • High price. The duration of development not only takes your time but also increases the cost of the project itself (since the hourly rate of developers is rather high).
  • Unpredictable result. There is a risk of getting a low-quality product: alas, you cannot be 100% sure of the expertise of the hired development team;
  • The need for constant improvement. You’ll have to constantly work on your customization project. The reasons are regular system updates (which occur from time to time) or possible conflicts with existing platform modules.
  • Risk losing your results. Sometimes there is a need to migrate your online store to another platform. Such migration can ruin all your work on customizing the functionality, and you’ll have to start everything from scratch.
  • Inability to create smart sorting. You have a good chance to create a decent sorting system, but making it really smart, automatic, and intuitive is next to impossible. And why should you settle for less?

2. Ready-to-go Online Visual Merchandising Tool

If the factors of time, money, and quality are essential to you, then bothering with the customization of existing features is a losing battle. And it would be much wiser to resort to the ready-made, cloud-based solution: Online Visual Merchandising. This way, you’ll get great results with minimal effort and cost.

What is Online Visual Merchandising?

These are external systems that are hosted in the cloud and can connect to any e-commerce platform, be it Magento 2, Shopify, BigCommerce, or another of your choice. They allow you to flexibly customize the sorting of products on your catalog pages using a visual editor and simple, easily configurable rules.

  • Plug-&-Play solution. It only takes a few minutes to connect the sorting tool. Besides, no programming knowledge is required.
  • Low cost of implementation. It’s much cheaper than hiring a developer to customize your catalog sorting system or create something from scratch.
  • Ease of product support. The product is being supported by a third-party team 24/7, there is no need to hire a developer to oversee a project. Of course, a lot depends on the specific company (solution vendor), but usually, you can ask for help at any time of the day.
  • The flexibility of settings and ease of use, which we’ve already mentioned.
  • Reliability. The system has been tested and proven to work. Probably, many clients around the world are already working with it.
  • These solutions have only one real drawback (if you can call it that): they are cloud-based. Therefore, you won’t be able to make some drastic changes to your system on your own. However, solving the problem is as easy as pie: just contact technical support and ask the team to customize the solution for your specific requirements.

And once again, the result is largely dependent on the solution you choose. Some vendors offer 24/7 support, others rarely respond. Also, there are more and less flexible sorting systems with varying features. So what will it be? What should you select, after all?

We offer a well-proven solution named Sortler. And we’re ready to ground our case right away.

What is Sortler? is a prime example of advanced and smart sorting systems. It is a cloud-based service for merchandisers and eCommerce professionals.

What is so cool about Sortler?

  • Compatibility with any eCommerce platform. Sortler supports all popular eCommerce solutions, including Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce.
  • Simplified merchandising. Your employees, e-commerce experts, work faster and more efficiently thanks to Sortler. And the less time they spend on online visual merchandising tasks, the lower your costs and the higher your profit.
  • No Coding Required. You don’t need any technical background to get started with Sortler. Everything is designed in such a way as to put the smart sorting system into operation without delay.
  • Smart Rules of Sorting. The solution allows configuring special rules for your category pages. These rules are varied and flexible, so you are unlikely to need additional system customization.
  • Built-in emulator. Sortler provides you with a special emulator that shows all changes before they are applied to your live website. You won’t have any unpleasant surprises.
  • Affordable price. There are no hidden charges or interest on sales.
  • Backup feature. Our visual product sorting tool has a special backup feature to undo the changes made. So you actually risk nothing.
  • Round-the-clock support. Being in touch 24/7, we’re ready to answer your questions in real-time, whenever you need.

Main Catalog Sorting Features:

  1. Drag and Drop catalog management. Set scores for products by adding number, SKUs with higher scores will be displayed on top of the category pages. Or Use the Drag and Drop function to sort your products in the most intuitive, quickest way.
  2. Manage the display of different product groups on category pages. Achieve a certain variety on your catalog pages:
    1. Specify the maximum number of identical product groups per page: subcategories, brands, attributes (like color, style or type).
    2. Hide and add the desired products or product groups on the category page.
  3. Create rules of low-stock and out-of-stock products. Show certain amount of products with low stock per page. Or move out of stock products down the catalog.
  4. Control poor-selling products. Sortler provides a separate mechanism to increase conversion by managing products which have low sale rate.
  5. Create rules to prioritize seasonal products. Manage positions of specific product groups.
  6. Show best combinations of products.
  7. and more…

Manage poor-selling products

Sortler provides flexible features for the management of your low-selling items. Here’s what you can do to make your slowest-selling products bring you money:

  1. Tracking low-selling items. Use a convenient filter to see all low-selling items in your assortment. Knowing the situation, you can take appropriate measures in time to prevent possible financial damage.
  2. Raising the item position to the top. Create product groups that Sortler will gradually move through the catalog to its top. And then watch your sales grow along with the increase in user views.
  3. Applying discounts. Create rules for applying discounts in your catalog. Simplify loyalty program management, thereby increasing sales of the items you are interested in.


By using modern tools and an advanced catalog sorting system, you spend much less effort, money, and time to achieve the best possible result. And by improving the consumer experience and engaging the buyer in the shopping process, you reduce the bounce rate and lower your CAC (customer acquisition cost). As a result, both your sales and profits are growing.

Build experiences that drive engagement and increase conversion:

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