Online merchants have no shortage of challenges. In their quest to attract customers and boost sales, many have expanded their products lines. This may have been especially true as they sought to compete against the likes of Amazon. But, recently, online retailers are seeing the wisdom in curating their offerings which means they’ll be adjusting their marketing strategy as well.

If the Internet truly is about the long tail of commerce, it makes sense that merchants can use its reach to find consumers who are seeking niche products and services. In their report, Curated Ecommerce: How Less Can Be More for Shoppers, eMarketer analysts see evidence of this trend. Report author, Krista Garcia, says that “Curated ecommerce is becoming recognized by both retailers and shoppers for its simplicity and ability to help fill an online void.”

In the past year, marketers have noted they are increasing every one of the following merchandising tactics. The numbers below show the current percentages of marketers using these strategies:

  • Brand boutiques 89%
  • Channel/merchant exclusives 83%
  • Guides/how to 75%
  • Themed areas 64%
  • Guides/how to on product pages 48%
  • Automatic reordering/gift of the month 20%
  • Lookbook 24%

This shift in product offerings will lead marketers to focus their promotional funds on fewer items, making them easier to find online which is a complaint that many shoppers have increasingly voiced about the digital marketplace. They may also strengthen co-op funding arrangements with manufacturers as they carry fewer brands.

[Source: When Less is More for Online Retailers. Emarketer.com. 9 Mar. 2012. Web. 23 Mar. 2012]