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2022 State of Ecommerce Merchandising

Constructor, the company building revenue-driving on-site search and discovery solutions, today announced the findings of its 2022 State of Ecommerce Merchandising report, revealing merchandising teams turn to technology solutions to reduce time spent on routine manual tasks and increase effectiveness as their workloads increase.

Customers that once flocked to online shopping are tightening their belts with online sales dropping again in July. Strategic on-site merchandising drives conversions, enabling customers to find exactly what they’re shopping for and increasing loyalty through customer experience. Even small optimizations on a website can translate to millions of dollars in revenue every year for each retailer.

However, hours of boring, repetitive manual work like correcting misspellings can keep merchandisers from leveraging their expertise. Technology tools empower ecommerce teams by freeing their time to focus on strategic initiatives.

“Instead of spending hours manually fixing issues like typos that the system should have figured out on its own, merchandisers can partner with AI technologies to maximize their impact and get time to work on actual strategic initiatives they’re best positioned to do,” explains Eli Finkelshteyn, CEO and co-founder of Constructor. “The best AI solutions can learn from billions of data points to provide excellent ranking and personalization at scale, while giving merchandisers data-based feedback on the effectiveness of their work and clues on where they should focus. Combining that power with human merchandising experts is what drives strong on-site experiences. It’s a team sport.”

Merchandising Teams Are Experiencing Burnout but Leadership Believes Their Workload Is Manageable

• One in two merchandisers report feeling stressed, but 77% of merchandising leaders say they’re not concerned about burnout on their teams.

• 48% of merchandising employees work at least 5 hours over their regular schedules each week, nearly half of which is spent doing manual work.

Smaller Merchandising Teams Are at a Digital Disadvantage That Hurts Their Bottom Line

• 40% of small teams spend at least 30 hours per week manually merchandising compared to just 16% of large teams.

• Only 40% of employees on small teams feel that it’s easy for their customers to find what they’re looking for via search, compared to 87% of employees on large teams.

• 60% of small teams report ease in finding the data they need compared to 82% of teams of more than ten.

Merchandising Teams Are Optimistic about Leveraging AI Solutions Purpose-Built for Merchandising Tasks

• The overwhelming majority (94%) have a positive view of AI as a technology for ecommerce.

• 85% of large teams and 40% of employees on small teams report using AI to assist in their digital merchandising.

• Most (91% of merchandisers) feel they have the insights they need to contribute strategically to business goals.

“The 2022 State of Ecommerce Merchandising Report highlights that merchandising teams are excited about the possibilities and impact of AI when it’s actually built for ecommerce and with the goal of helping them in mind,” elaborates Finkelshteyn. “In today’s economy retailers can’t risk losing customers because of a poor on-site search experience. With AI-powered tools, merchandisers can deliver the best online shopping experiences for their customers.”

In April 2022, Constructor surveyed 100 ecommerce employees at leading retailers worldwide to learn more about their work. Of the 100 surveyed, 72 were merchandising associates and managers (“merchandisers”) and 28 were directors and executives (“merchandising leaders.”) Each respondent worked on an ecommerce merchandising team for a large enterprise company with a minimum of $100M in annual revenue. The full 2022 State of Merchandising Report is available for download here.