How to improve your merchandising

There are many merchandising techniques that you can use to increase sales in the world of online marketing. We have created a list of techniques that will help you optimize your website traffic and maximize your revenues.

  • Make your links prominent. Have product links at the top of every page. This makes it so customers don't have to scroll to buy. You might want to place links at the top and bottom of your pages, ensuring that an opportunity to buy is always visible to the customer. You can change the size or color of your link as well, or even animate it, to draw more attention. Experimenting with text links can also yield results, e.g., using boldface or different text colors. Note that successfully uses the technique of placing a "buy-box" prominently in the top-right corner of every product detail page.
  • Use Individual Item Links for pages with pages with specific content. For instance, if you are reviewing a product, provide a direct link to that product in the body of your review. You can have several links on a single page, but make sure they work together and address different needs.
  • Use Search Box Links or links to the home page for pages with general content. Some of our best-converting messages, like "Search New and Used," are small enough so they won't overwhelm your pages, and appeal to your visitors who might want to shop, but aren't sure of exactly what they want to buy.
  • Cross-merchandise. If your website is about gardening and you're highlighting gardening books, why not also promote garden tools and how-to videos? If it's on cooking, you might offer a range of cookbooks, kitchen appliances, utensils, and even food items. Try to be creative when presenting products, and offer a variety of items that match your visitors' interests. Our category and keyword links make it easy for you to do this. Note that, on many product detail pages on, there is a section entitled "Customers who bought this item also bought...," and we've found such cross-merchandising very effective.
  • Make it easy for customers to find your store within your website. If you're going to spend a lot of time building links and creating stores, make sure it's easy for your customers to find the products you feature. You can do this by placing a link to your store at the top of every page.
  • Use the brand in your links. Many sites find that, since their visitors trust the name, adding the brand to their links will increase the number of clickthroughs or improve their conversion rate.
  • Test different graphics and messaging. Our own conversion changes when we use different messaging. Whether you're using banners, buttons, or text, it pays to rotate messages, to see what works best.
  • Include recommendations for the products you feature. Your visitors value your expertise and judgment, and so will be more likely to make purchases if you provide recommendations or comments about the items you promote.
  • Use product images and "Buy" or "Buy It" buttons. Logos and graphics make it easy for customers to understand the products you offer, and you can find a variety of them in our Build Links section. In addition, using Buy or Buy It buttons lets your visitors know they can easily buy displayed products; without the visual cue, they may not realize this.
  • Vary the products you feature throughout the year. You might focus on one product 10 months out of the year, but it's a good idea to rethink that strategy during the holidays, when many folks are looking for gifts and need help finding the best new toys, electronics, and kitchen items. For example, place a list of best-selling gaming systems on your site as the holidays approach.
  • Encourage gift buying. features interesting gift ideas year round. From best-selling books to the latest toys, you'll find all sorts of products to promote on your site that will please the most discerning gift buyer.
  • Change your placement's landing page. There are several destinations at to which you can link: product detail pages, subcategory pages, category pages, search results, or the home page. You might be surprised by which landing page converts best.
  • Make sure your links are properly built. Ensure you're linking to the page you intended, and check that your Associates ID is included, so you get credit for all qualifying purchases. Alexa, an company, offers a free, online site report that you can use to eliminate broken links

Speed Security & Privacy

  • Speed. Customers cite speedy performance as the biggest determinant of their satisfaction with a Web site. We recommend that you visit your own Web site using a 56K modem and evaluate its performance. Conventional wisdom is that it should take less than 10 seconds for your site to load. If it takes longer, your potential customers may not wait, and this will cost you business. A common reason Web sites load slowly is overuse of graphics. If you think your graphics are negatively impacting the performance of your Web site, try converting them to 5-bit color to reduce their size and, if necessary, remove some.
  • Credit Card Security. offers customers a safe way to make Internet purchases: the Netscape Secure Commerce Server, which encrypts any information they type in. If customers prefer not to submit payment information online, they can phone or fax their credit card number to us, or pay us by check.
  • Privacy. Privacy is very important to your visitors, and protects their personal information as a matter of policy. If you want to assure your visitors that they can expect secure purchases and their personal information will be safe, link to the Privacy Notice, which outlines our security measures.
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