Guided selling

What is guided selling?

Guided selling is another word for product finders. Webshops and other e-commerce sites use product finders to help customers find the right product. Guided selling has a positive effect on e-commerce conversion rates: customers that used a product finder are more likely to buy a product, hence the total amount of sales increases. But why is this the case?

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Why guided selling?

Physical shops - the ones with the bricks - consist of two essential parts: a space where products are stored, and staff to help the customers. In other words, there's the advertising of the products: beautifully displayed, with a price sticker on them. And there's the assisting of the customers: the familiar 'Hi, can I help you find anything?'. After a few questions, the sales assistant can point anyone to the right product.

A helping hand like this is hard to find in the digital world. E-commerce sites - webshops - consist of a number of standard parts: a homepage, category pages and product pages. Plus a search function, content pages, a checkout and maybe some top-10 lists. Help or assistance are nowhere to be found, hence customers have to rely on their own knowledge and skills to find the right product.

Guided selling solves this problem. With a good product finder, webshops can help their customers find and buy the right product.

How it works

How guided selling is reinventing e-commerce

Our current e-commerce model takes the products as a starting point. Customers have to make their way through a stack of products with lots of (often technical) specifications in order to find their best choice.

In guided selling, the customer and her needs are the focus, instead of the products. The customer answers a few questions, which allows the webshop to automatically assess their needs. Subsequently, only the relevant products for that particular customer are presented.

Guided selling limits the overload of products and information for the customer. This leads to more clarity, confidence and decisiveness on their part. Just like in the physical store. And this, in turn, results in a huge increase in conversion for the webshop.

Check out this conversion case study

The benefits of guided selling

The biggest benefit of guided selling is that you support a customer in the process of making the right choice. This saves them time and effort, which is extremely valuable for those customers. But it also has a direct impact on your business results.

  • Increased conversion rates: People who find what they're looking for are more likely to buy.
  • Fewer returns: The products customers buy are better suited to their needs. These are therefore returned less often.
  • Higher customer satisfaction (NPS): Customers appreciate it when you put their needs first and help them make confident decisions more easily, in less time.
  • More returning visitors: Customers who are well helped return to that store more quickly.

Put differently: Guided selling brings the helping hand to the online store, and turns a digital warehouse into a familiar, warm experience. Good for the customer, and for the webshop.

Want to read more about the 'why' of guided selling? We wrote the book on it:

Check out the book

What makes a good product finder?

An online shop is a large digital warehouse, filled to the brim with products. The racks contain name tags for the categories that can be found there: sweaters, car tires or insurance, for example. The products are often well sorted, and can regularly be found in the right corner. A tray for yellow jerseys in size M, winter tires size 205/55 R16 91H, or health insurance with a refund policy and a deductible of €685.

Very convenient, of course... if you know what you're looking for. But if you don't know exactly what you're looking for, if the specifications don't mean anything to you, if the products differ minimally from each other, or if you have to buy something for an aunt you don't know very well — then e-commerce works downright poorly.

With a good product finder, a webshop helps its customers to find their way through the digital warehouse.

A good product finder:

  • Gathers the needs and context of the customer in an understandable way.
  • Matches these needs to a product (or product configuration).
  • Recommends 3 to 6 products that best meet the customer's needs.
  • Ensures that the advice is traceable, so that the buyer can act with confidence.
Check out these case studies
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