How Sideshow Creates a Shopper Experience as Unique as its Products
Unique items are intriguing to consumers, especially collectors of rare pieces. Individuality can be a great selling point for shoppers, but retailers often struggle with effectively merchandising one-of-a-kind products on an e-commerce website.
Sideshow, a popular seller of collectible art figures and prints related to comic books, superhero films, literature and other hot topics in pop culture, is familiar with this paradox. Sideshow has evolved over the 28 years since its founding, but its dedication to connecting people with their favorite characters has remained steadfast.
Now, Sideshow is known as one of the top manufacturers and distributors of sought-after collectibles. With such a niche and unique product catalog, Sideshow could not rely on standard search and merchandising strategies to ensure customers quickly found what they wanted. That’s why the e-commerce retailer turned to Searchspring to create a better shopper experience.
How Individuality Changes the Merchandising Process
Sideshow’s products are never mass-produced. It’s common for collectibles to be labeled as out of stock, waitlisted, coming soon or on sale. As such, product relevancy is key to Sideshow’s merchandising. To impress consumers, Sideshow must ensure that shoppers looking for merchandise related to a specific character or comic book can find the products they seek, as well as be immediately informed of the availability.
Before partnering with Searchspring, Sideshow struggled with flexibility. A native platform limited Sideshow’s ability to customize messaging around product availability. Plus, it was difficult to create landing pages for featured products.
Creating Unique Experience With Searchspring
Sideshow chose Searchspring, the leader in site search, merchandising and personalization, to help create a more customizable e-commerce experience. Even though every Sideshow customer favors different characters and comic books, Searchspring helped the retailer use customer behavior data to create a more personalized shopper journey.
This behavior data was integrated into Searchspring’s boost and sort filters. Sideshow then created a personalized e-commerce experience that ranked the most relevant products higher on search results pages. With Searchspring’s rule-based merchandising tools, Sideshow boosts on-sale products that the company wants to sell through, while demoting products that are out of stock. Similarly, best-selling items can be pinned to the top of the search results. In doing so, Sideshow increases the likelihood of helping shoppers find an item that matches their interests and can be acquired immediately.
Searchspring also helped Sideshow highlight products on its homepage and relevant landing pages. Features like inline banners can now be used to advertise flash sales and special promotions of items that have limited availability.
The Impact of Showcasing Passion and Creativity
Site design is unique to every retailer, but for sellers like Sideshow, the e-commerce website must match the individuality and creativity of the customer base. Now, Sideshow’s customers experience a personalized online journey that considers them personally. From relevant product recommendations and promotions to highlighted item availability and custom-designed landing pages, customer behavior is woven into everything Sideshow does.
This customer-centric approach has led Sideshow to generate record-breaking revenue. In fact, when Sideshow first implemented Searchspring’s solutions in late 2021, the retailer experienced its most profitable Black Friday ever.
With an audience that’s filled with excitement for all things pop culture, from comics and superheroes to movies and TV, Sideshow is benefiting from a site design that incorporates these passions and promotes a shopper experience that’s as unique as the merchandise.
Peter Messana is the CEO of Searchspring. Chris Pirrotta is the vice president of marketing at Sideshow.
Related story: Why Personalization is the Linchpin for Retailer Success