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We can all identify with some of the struggles presented to us by online shopping. Unable to locate the product we want, too many search pages to trawl through, not sure whether to take the risk and buy without seeing it in the flesh. Think back to when you first did an online food shop for example.Did you get confused and a bit frustrated about the large product assortment presented to you? It's not so easy to browse through online as it is to walk through the store, right? The worst is, you can't even grab the nearest sales assistant to quickly guide you to the correct aisle.


Lots of E-commerce Managers and Marketing Teams are realising that their online shoppers are being turned away due to lack of guidance and advice available to them online. Don't allow your customers to be put off! Thanks to intelligent technology, there are lots of online Guided Selling methods out there to make online shopping more customer focused. Let's discover which method is most suited to your particular online shop.

Here are some of the most common asked questions by online shoppers, as well as the pros and cons of different Guided Selling solutions on offer:

Customer asks: "What kind of features can this product offer?"

Guided Selling Solution: The Faceted Search

The faceted search breaks down a product's features and specifications making it easier for the customer to filter out what they do and don't want in their product. Literally, every shop uses faceted search, either as a standalone search or as an after-search navigation.

Faceted Seach at Walmart
Pros:
  • Efficient browsing within a product's category
  • The fastest way to browse a product assortment
  • Intelligent faceted search solutions don't lead to dead-ends and are able to explain a lot about the product details - particularly ideal for professional buyers who are already pretty familiar with your products
Cons:
  • Faceted searches are unable to assist customers who are unsure of their requirements and exactly what they want
  • The faceted search does not function like a human and won't be able to advise and educate your customer like a sales assistant would

Customer asks:"Which of these products fits my needs, and, uhmm, what actually are my needs?"

Guided Selling Solution: Product Guides

Kamera Guide von Excentos

Product Guides really help the customer to get what they need. Once the customer has started exploring your products with the faceted search, they want to know which product is the right one for them and this is where the Product Guide comes into play. Product Guides allow you to deliver a short yet savvy questionnaire for your customers to state what they do and don't want. AI Guided Selling technology can then refer the customer to an ideally suited product match.

Pros:
  • Be able to naturally guide the customer through the selection process
  • Product Guides act like a piece of marketing to further enhance your products and make them more attractive for purchase
  • Make online shopping a more enjoyable, customer focused online shopping experience
  • Be able to offer cross-category recommendations to try increase sales even further
  • Automatically update your latest product listings and automatically adapts the question flow to never ask unnecessary questions
  • Sell in line with your sales strategy and reach targets by controlling the recommendation behavior and ensuring the Product Guide recommends exactly what you want it to
Cons:
  • Someone has to develop the questionnaire concept and in order for it to create successful product recommendations, time and expert knowledge is required
For tips on "How to Create the Perfect Product Guide" - see our blog post: How to create the perfect Product Guide

Customer asks: "What's the in-thing? What is everyone else buying?"

Guided Selling Solution: Statistical Recommenders

If your customers are followers of trends, then statistical recommenders are great! They are able to fill the gap and learn from your shop or website's previous usage data which then translates into product recommendations. It detects patterns in buying behavior such as:

  • Users who bought this product also bought these other products
  • Users who watched this product also bought/watched these other products

There are separate types of recommender technologies, e.g. collaborative filtering and content-based filtering solutions. They aim to incorporate historical data or content, such as: product descriptions, names and attributes etc. More updated product recommenders powered by artificial intelligence focus on information such as product images, shipment returns, contextual information and much more...

Pros:
  • Scalable as data driven
  • Doesn't require explicit knowledge models
  • Can be very dynamic and adapt to user trends
Cons:
  • Cold start problem
  • Does not work properly for new products or if newly integrated into a website
  • Requires a lot of traffic to learn dependencies consequence: not suitable for smaller shops
  • Not very suitable for long-tail assortments (since there is little data per product; can be enhanced by content-based filtering or other contextual approaches)
  • No reasoning
  • Cannot make sure that there are complete mismatches, e.g. child book recommended together with sex toys since mom once bought this together (unless category dependencies modeled manually)
Amazon Recommender Example
The most common examples of recommenders in a shop environment is Amazon

So, what do we think?

We say Mixed Models are best...

As you can see, there are many ways to guide your customers through your online shop. The best tools obtain great conversion rates and upselling by mixing the Guided Selling and data-powered recommender technologies together.

The excentos mixed Guided Selling and recommender technology is perfect to get the best of both worlds and offer your customers the best online shopping experience. The result is beneficial since it allows knowledge models which guarantee quality, reasoning and historial usage data to cover buying trends which quickly adapt to user preferences and allow the customer to have their say on which of your products are the best!

Increase your Sales and Reduce Drop Off Rates with Guided Selling Solutions

Let's talk more about your business and choose the best Guided Selling Technology for you

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It's that time of year again - Valentine's Day is around the corner! Customers are panicking that they've still not found that special gift for their special someone.

We all know how much of a pain gift shopping can be - whether it be for your love on Valentine's or any time of year for that matter: birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries etc. Even when you know someone well, finding a good gift can be tricky and most of the time, it's hard to even know where to begin.

This is where Online Gift Finders can really help and advise your customers. Gift Finders are an excellent tool for providing your customers with gift advice, inspiration and recommendations - both easily and successfully!

Let's take a look at the advantages of Gift Finders as well as an example of how leading online homeware store yomonda is already using them.

LOOK

Having a Gift Finder on your website is enticing for customers - they are bound to be curious and test it out. It's fun to use and provides inspiration and recommendations - particularly useful for those who struggle for gift ideas or even people who find your number of products too overwhelming to trawl through. excentos recommender logic uses an intelligent matching engine and combines your sales and marketing strategy. That is what makes the Gift Finder an invincible tool bound to increase your sales and look good in your online shop.

OBSERVE

With excentos, you can observe and track how your Gift Finder is performing, as well as monitor online consumer behaviors. Our web analytics tool collects valuable user information and buying desires which help to assist you in optimizing your marketing strategy and customer approach. Find out exactly how your customers think and which products they really love!

VALUE

Sales personalization provides great value to your customers and allows your business to create real customer relationships online. Gift Finders provide you with the opportunity to speak with your customers and not at them. Customers who experience a pleasant online shopping experience are more likely to value your business and get to the checkout.

EXPERIENCE

We all know how important user experience is when it comes to e-commerce. Gift Finders make the online shopping experience more interactive and also provide good advice and recommendations like you would receive if you went in-store and spoke to a sales assistant. Customer expectations are rising and so it's important that your business keeps up and delivers a high quality online service. After all, the customer is always right so make sure you are proactively finding new ways to keep them happy!


Love is in the air

yomonda demonstrates that love really is in the air with their excellent gift finder. It inspires and gives online shopping that extra special human touch. Check it out:

yomonda - Leading Home Furnishing Retailer

yomonda sell products which make your home more beautiful - anything from home accessories and textiles, furniture, lighting, kitchenware, garden, bath & wellness and more... They aim to offer an online shopping experience which inspires. Their Gift Finder compliments this ethos perfectly.


Step 1 - Person

By asking the customer to type the name of the person they are buying a gift for as well as their relationship - the shopping experience becomes much more intimate and personalized.


Step 2 - Occasion

Narrow down the search for your customer and allow them to discover gifts which perfectly suit certain occasions.



Step 3 - Interests

Let the customer tell you a bit more about the person they are buying a gift for. What are they interested in?

Step 4 - Style

The Gift Finder only asks questions that your customers can answer. What kind of style does the recipient have?


Step 5 - The perfect Gift

And finally, your customer is presented with clever recommendations which the recipient of the gift is bound to love.


Step 6 - More great recommendations...

For those customers feeling generous, they are also presented with several more suitable recommendations.


Help your customers find their perfect gift this Valentine's

Start your 30 day free trial today