Shop Assistant Blog

Manufacturers need to be non-technical when selling technical products

How Connective Retailing can add a human touch to your website

So you’re out shopping, but can’t see any staff around to help you. Only shelves and shelves of products with confusing technical specs. You want to spend wisely on the right item, but without advice on which product will suit you, the technical stuff means nothing. There’s no-one to ask, so you leave, wallet unopened.

Manufacturers can unwittingly give their website users the same experience. Many create catalogue-like product pages with dozens of cameras, appliances, power tools, etc. There’s technical information, but precious little on the best fit for a customer.

Consumers tend to browse manufacturers’ websites to look for ideas, rather than retailer websites[1], but what value do manufacturers provide if they don’t help shoppers choose? Some sites have “attribute pickers” on the left of the screen, or maybe product comparisons, but users usually need prior knowledge for those to be helpful.

What’s missing is the human touch — the reassurance of being asked what your needs are, and advised on what product/s will fill them. The right questions can quickly whittle 20–30 choices down to 1, 2 or 3. This creates a high likelihood of a sale, and of a satisfied customer.

As a manufacturer, to get closer to the consumer, you need to present your product in a manner they understand. This means engaging the customer with sales questions to understand and recommend products.

Connective Retailing, which is about bringing the retailer, the manufacturer and the consumer closer together, does just that: it adds real-life expertise and confidence to the online experience.
Doing the sales process your dealers are (or should be) doing has to be a good thing.


1. E-commerce and consumer goods. A strategy for omnichannel success. Booz & Company, 2012.