Defining Your Ecommerce Merchandising Zones

Merchandising zones are essentially spaces (or <div>’s) on your website where you would like to surface personalized content. Merchandising zones can contain images, carousels, product recommenders or HTML depending on the type of content you want to appear.

The first exercise when developing your site’s personalization strategy is defining exactly where these zones should go. To achieve this, you first need to review your website’s path to purchase and identify each key page template that a visitor may pass through before completing their order.

This typically includes:

  • Home Page
  • Search Results Page
  • Category Page
  • Product List Page
  • Product Detail Page
  • Added to Basket Page/Pop-up
  • Basket Page
  • Order Confirmation Page

The most common mistake made when implementing a personalization strategy is not understanding the importance of showcasing personalization throughout the entire user journey, this causes a lack of consistent messaging and can lead to missed up-selling or cross-selling opportunities. Once you have identified your website’s key purchasing page templates, work through each design and decide where to add a merchandising zone (your personalization provider should guide you through this!).

Once you have decided where to place your merchandising zones, you simply need to tag the areas in the code. Selecting what type of content and setting the content itself can be managed within your personalization dashboard, although you will probably have a good idea of the type of content you want to show in each zone.

Top Tip: Develop your ‘everyone’ (or base) content first. You can then begin to select which zones you would like to overwrite with personalized content and build your campaigns up from there. Product, brand and category recommenders will be selected automatically by the system so all you need to take care of is designing images and/or text-based content (such as a discount banner).