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Conclusion: IRUK Merchandising Dimension Report 2018

At root, merchandising products across digital channels still relies on the basics: good images showing what their products look like from all angles, thorough descriptions that answer customers.

The voice of the customer has always been important in ratings and reviews; now it seems that voice is becoming even more important, and that customers are more willing to have their say, whether through the 2m reviews that the Argos website now boasts or the unboxing videos that its customers are now willing to post.

This has come, perhaps, as the audience takes a more active role in retail theatre, willing to share and collaborate via the internet. The net result should be that retail improves. The products on sale should be those that win approval from customers, while design faults flagged up should be corrected.

These changes have come as the technology that enables them has improved. It’s now easier for shoppers to record their own product reviews and to share them online. That improving technology is also leading to new innovations, from augmented reality to voice commerce. But even while the possibilities widen, the basics will still remain important.

Explain a product well, through a choice of images, alongside in-depth technical insights that are relevant to the person who’s reading and the device through which they’re reading, and the customer will feel the confidence that they need in order to buy.

That’s getting more important as consumers become more willing to spend more online. The future of merchandising technology looks set to be interesting as retailers find ever more innovative and interesting ways to communicate their products.

Our researchers will be following as those new approaches emerge and existing tools develop further. We’re always interested in how we can extend our research and improve the quality of our findings in this area.

Is there a new or emerging tool or approach that you consider vital and that we should monitor in future reporting? Get in touch with your ideas and any potential datasets via or tweet @etail with #IRUK500.

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