Managing your inventory to perfection is a difficult artform. But making one simple change on your category pages can make life a little less complicated for you and a lot easier for your customers.

Few aspects of your online business can probably give you as many grey hairs as making sure that your inventory is managed correctly.

What products do you need for the upcoming season? And how do you walk the fine line between not disappointing your customers by having too few products in stock and having too many products gather dust on your shelves?

One solution is to invest time and money to constantly optimise your inventory by monitoring and calculating demand variability, sales forecasts etc.

And yes - this is an important part of preventing your online perfume store from transforming into an online perfume museum with hundreds of bottles of that JLo fragrance that was hot in 2001.

But in a business where available time is as hard to imagine as a giraffe on stilts, simplicity is golden.

And focusing on how and why you display products on your category pages is a simple way of streamlining your inventory.

And just as with the design of your front page, you are faced with a number of options when deciding how to sort the products on your category pages.

But forget about filter options such as price, colour or date added.

Most popular products should be the first thing your customer sees when entering your category pages.

By placing focus on most popular products, you increase the exposure of a few key items in your store.

This way you can concentrate a larger part of your stock on a smaller number of items, which reduces your risk of burning your fingers by having too many niche-products lying around on your shelves...

The cherry on top

But there are more than one upside to adding special emphasis to most popular products on your category pages.

Aside from trimming your inventory, you also increase the chances of displaying the products most relevant to your customer, which will fast-track his shopping journey.

And I realise that I might sound like a broken record when stressing this again, but giving your customer a fast and easy shopping experience really is ALFA/OMEGA if you want to increase your conversion rates.

Remember that your customer will see only a tiny fraction of the many products in your inventory during his visit. This means that you need to make it easy for him to quickly find the needle in your haystack.

Another cherry on top

A third advantage of highlighting most popular products on your category pages is the magic of peer approval.

70% of your customers are influenced by the opinion of fellow shoppers when browsing on your eCommerce store.

You can call this the iMDB effect.

What matters is not so much a fancy product description or that John Travolta is so mad that his eyes turn green, but rather the opinion of the people who've purchased the product or seen the movie.

Placing focus on the most trending products on your category pages is an easy way to make the iMDB effect work in your favour.

You simply add extra credibility to the featured products because your customers can see that these products are in high demand among other shoppers.

To reinforce peer approval even more on your eCommerce store, you may also consider adding actual customer reviews to each product. This works well for eCommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart.

And on that bombshell, it's time to tie a nice bow on this post.

What you need to take away from this is that both you and your customers will benefit if you place most popular products at the very top of your category pages. This strategy will:

1. Make it easier for you to run a streamlined inventory with less risk of product devaluation.
2. Increase value on key items in your eCommerce store through peer approval.
3. Make it easier for your customers to quickly find the hottest products of your eCommerce store.

Once you've displayed most popular products, you can then include banners with product recommendations and best offers of your eCommerce store to vary your page design and give your customers different opportunities.

And don't forget to read more about our product recommendation software, which will let you create category pages that simplify your work of running the inventory and give your customers a smooth shopping experience.

You can also get a FREE REVIEW of your eCommerce store for a step-by-step guide on how to increase your online sales.