Merchandising rules act as a weighting mechanism, based on both product attributes such as product type, category, brands, inventory level, and price—and performance metrics such as conversion rate, margin, and inventory turnover. By mixing and adjusting these elements, product promotions can be tailored to fit different merchandising scenarios.
Merchandising is available for Recommendations, Search and Categories. In each, the basic principle and weighting rules are the same, yet naturally the output mechanism is dependent on the page context.
Once the perfect blend of merchandising is created as a rule, it can be applied to a recommendation, specific search query or an individual category, as a site-wide option across all recommendations, searches and categories or anything in between!
Below is a top-level summary how merchandising works with different Nosto products by using an example of a fairly common, practical use case: A merchandising rule giving more weight for a specific product category, which could be for example a new product range featured in marketing campaigns with high inventory level.
In recommendations: Recommendation respects any of the inclusion and exclusion rules (filters) and selected recommendation type (algorithm) and other options, but by giving more weight for products meeting the merchandising rule criteria. In short, relation to the product viewed or any personalization is not ignored, but merchandising rule outweigh products that don’t meet the criteria, by appearing first or on top of the recommendation.
Example: Without merchandising, a product in new product range & high inventory might be positioned as sixth in a recommendation carousel. With merchandising, product is pushed towards primary positioning 1-4.
In Search: Similarly to Recommendations, search query and relevance of search results based on user’s input is neither ignored, but products that meet the merchandising rule criteria outweigh the ones that don’t, by appearing higher up in the search results page.
Example: Without merchandising, a product in new product range & high inventory might be positioned at the middle section of search results page. With merchandising, the ranking improves more towards the top of the page.
In Categories, products are sorted according to the merchandising rule weighting. Unless specific pinning rules are used, merchandising rule itself is the sorting criteria.
Example: Without merchandising, a site might use a sorting such as new-in, which would by definition rank already position new products on top, typically sorting products based on the creation time or technicalID. With merchandising, products from the selected range which is new are sorted in order of their inventory level.