Shop Assistant Blog

How to design a successful guided selling experience

Seven best-practice tips that will outperform your competitors

Online guided selling tools are fast becoming mainstream. So much so that simply having one is no longer a competitive advantage. Knowing when and how to best use guided selling is the key to outperforming your competitors.

Guided selling is a dialogue in which shoppers are asked what their requirements are, and a product is recommended to them. It works best when you want to educate shoppers on a complex product or service to help them make a purchase decision. It’s great where customers are unlikely to have a clear preference in mind beforehand – and is unnecessary for simple purchases.

A good guided selling tool needs to immediately engage a customer, and build a relationship, just as a sales assistant would. For best results, your guided selling system will:

Solve a problem for the customer. Design your questions to find and fill a need. If your questions are designed to promote less relevant features or products or for covert market research, your shopper will smell a rat.

  • Engage your customer quickly. It takes less than 15 seconds for your page visitor to decide to stay or leave. Show from the outset that you will guide them through the sale at every step, and make it easy – just as a salesperson would do.
  • Establish a rapport – ask the right questions, in the right language. Explain why the recommended product was chosen. It’s reassuring and helps customers feel confirmed that the decision is the right one.
  • Unlock inventory. Guided selling is an educational approach. It’s okay to make your shopper aware of a huge product range, but don’t show them irrelevant things, and reassure them that you’ll whittle down the selection to find exactly what they need.
  • Avoid introducing an attribute picker, or a filter. They’re for people who know what they need. Guided Selling is for people who don’t yet know, and want to learn more.
  • Recognise that omni-channel shopping is a key to the future. Customers research and choose products in a combination of online and in-store decisions – and on their smartphones while they’re in the store – which is old news by now, but it does mean that your guided selling programme should be mobile-friendly and must integrate seamlessly into your website.
  • Be human. This is often the hardest one to get right, but is crucial. Your guided selling system should have a human touch; it must be personable and real – just like a good salesperson.

To wrap up: when you add a guided selling system, make sure that you don’t settle for just another widget. You should, in fact, be adding a personable salesperson to your website.

Guided selling pioneers such as Wired Internet Group have the experience and expertise to guide your web team towards best-practice guided selling with a human touch, plus optimising and measuring its effectiveness. While you have the knowledge to ask the right questions, speaking to an expert will help you trounce your competition.

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Photo by Sara Carter.