An ensemble cluster has been formed from a data set comprising a complete magnitude-limited sample of 680 giant galaxies (M(B) < -19) in 8 low-redshift clusters, normalised by the velocity dispersions and virial radii for the early-type cluster populations. Distinct galaxy populations have been identified, including an infall population. A majority (50-70% or greater) of the infall population are found to be in interacting or merging systems characterised by slow gravitational encounters. The observed enhancement of galaxy-galaxy encounters in the infall population compared to the field can be explained by gravitational shocking. It is shown that disc galaxy mergers in the infall population integrated over the estimated lifetime of the cluster (~ 10 Gyr) can readily account for the present cluster S0 population.