Shop Assistant Blog

Guided selling…Is it right for your product category

When looking at improving the conversion rate on your website whether that be an enquiry, or a product purchase, guided selling can appear to be a profitable track to go down. But…before embarking on the Guided selling route it is important that you review the appropriateness for your product category.

When going thru this process you should ask yourself the following questions.

What is the value of the product.
Generally speaking the price of the product should be of high enough value that the customer is happy to invest time in the selection process.  This could be $150 for some. As well as having a minimum product value, there are some products that are of such a high value that a relationship with the seller is required to scope out the customers requirements.

What is the cost of selecting the wrong product.
Selecting the wrong product impacts both the customer and the supplier. From a customer perspective there is the sheer annoyance of wasting both time and money which isn’t ideal. From a supplier perspective there is a cost in the shape of returns and lost credibility.

For suppliers, monitoring your returns is a good way of measuring deficiencies in your selling process, whether this is online or in store.

How technical is the product
The more technical the product the more valuable guided selling can be. With technical products customers won’t be familiar with the terminology used and the benefits associated with the technical specs. If you’re using an attribute picker and the picker has some technical questions then this should be replaced with a guided selling interface.

What is the purchase cycle for the product
If the purchase cycle of your product is irregular then the chances are that the customer isn’t knowledgeable about the product. If it’s a regular purchase the customer should have sufficient knowledge to select the correct product.

Is your product an emotive purchase filling want more than need?
When thinking of products that have an emotive element to their consumption, think fashion. I buy it because I like it. No need to engage the site users in a guided selling manner here. What is useful in this instance is an attribute picker. I am after a green floral shirt…please show me what you have.

Here goes a brief list of product categories that would benefit from Guided selling…
Adhesives, Beds, Cameras, Camping equipment, Home Appliances, Fasteners, Financial services, Fitness equipment, Outdoor tools and machinery, Power tools, Printers and Office equipment,  Sports Equipment,  Insurance, Skin name but a few.

And if none of the above makes any sense then the acid test is…if you went into a physical store and needed to engage with a salesperson to select the correct product…then Guided Selling is appropriate for your product category.