4 Spring Merchandising Tips: E-commerce Edition
Legendary comedian Robin Williams once joked that spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s party!” If you’re an e-commerce company, the start of spring (in late March in the United States) is the perfect time to refresh your inventory and imbue your store with some excitement and energy. Below are some e-commerce merchandising ideas for the season of new beginnings!
Spring Clean & Curate Your Inventory
Spring is the time to be out with the old and in with the new. Take stock of your inventory and decide what you want to warehouse or otherwise stock away until the next season, and decide what you need to purge before it further loses its value. For the latter, hold a clearance with deep discounts and watch your inventory spring clean itself! We’ve previously discussed e-commerce segmentation by weather in detail. However, as Mark Twain put it, spring brings with it “136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” It’s an odd time of year where you can sell lightweight jackets, umbrellas, AND sunglasses with equal ease! Additionally, if you’re a local e-commerce website, you can also try segmenting parts of your inventory on a weekly basis to
account for changes in weather.
Styles, Colors & Motifs
Choose merchandise in spring colors or change the background of your website or newsletter or social header to reflect the season. You could also tastefully use spring motifs like flowers, butterflies or timely festive motifs to convey the vibe. Lighter, brighter colors, (pastels in particular) are usually huge in spring. According to Pantone, a leading company in the commercial color space, the top colors for spring 2017 are primrose yellow, lapis blue, denim blue, aqua, kale green and yellow-green, bright orange, hazelnut, various shades of pink. Spring is an important time in the fashion calendar and the Fashion Week shows that precede it offer ample inspiration on merchandising. Major spring 2017 trends include seaside stripes and Wall Street stripes, khaki, sashes, shirt dresses, high-waisted and wide-legged jeans and trousers, overalls and culottes. Shoulders, waists, and sleeves are big this season with shoulder cutouts, off-shoulder clothes, slit sleeves, ruffles, cinched waists and foldover waists being in vogue. Long slouchy trench coats are in style too! Whimsical and romantic embroidery, paisley, florals, and ruffles are in style for both apparel and accessories.
Springboarding from the athleisure trend of the previous couple of years, Spring 2017 has witnessed the move to a more casual look. This is so even for business attire, reflecting the overall trend towards more casual work environments and telecommuting. Pajamas now double as daywear and styles include fancy slip dresses, casual outdoor robes, fancy pajama shirts and blouses often paired with matching bottoms and heels for parties and formal occasions. Popular handbag styles for spring include handheld bags, bags with clasps and buckles and cinch bags. For jewelry, hoop earrings, pearls, enamel jewelry, colored stones and asymmetrical designs are in. Shoe trends include feathered and embroidered shoes, platform and kitten heels and casual sliders and sneakers.
Spring Diet, Beauty & Fitness
Spring is that sweet time of year when customers are still working on their new year’s diet, nutrition and fitness resolutions, and amping up their fitness game before summer. It’s also when beauty products and palettes need a refresh to adapt to the warmer weather. Spring calls for lighter, cleaner and colder food. Farm-to-table foods, fresh produce, and detoxes tend to become more popular. Merchandise your food and beverage offers accordingly. Think more raw foods, salads, lighter cuisines, smoothies and even supplements. For fitness, curate trendy classes, athletic apparel and accessories for sports (especially the outdoor variety). For beauty, curate more lightweight and waterproof products in spring colors.
Festivals & Observances
The next few months are full of major festivals and cultural observances including International Women's Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and Spring Break. Check the Nimble Network for relevant offers you can curate on your publisher site for these occasions! You could also curate products and services from lesser known observances. For example, National Prom Day in March is perfect for curating formal apparel and jewelry, “National Fruit Cocktail Day” in May is great for drinks offers and “National Decoration Month” and “Lawn and Garden Month” (both in April) are great for merchandising home and garden decor!