Help Shoppers Wade Through Consumer Hyperchoice With Guided Selling
In 1949 the average grocery store stocked 3,700 products. Today, the average supermarket has 45,000 products, while stores like Wal-Mart stock 100,000 products. When it comes to options, consumers have every size, shape, color and price for every product imaginable. On top of that, you can go online to find millions more. Combine this new shopping environment, dubbed “consumer hyperchoice,” with busier schedules and the demise of the educated sales force and it makes for a stressful purchasing process for consumers.
Consumers worry so much about buying the wrong item that they may opt out of the whole process by not buying at all. This presents a challenge for retailers as they attempt to drive additional revenue without expanding their sales teams. It's also a great opportunity to help shoppers in the process, leading them to check out with more in their carts and a more satisfied experience.
When someone helps answer consumers’ questions, they generally become more trusted, which translates into consumers buying from them more often. This has led retailers to look for new ways to help sort through the massive amount of options to find exactly what they want.
Guided selling solutions have emerged to create this experience online by asking a series of questions, synthesizing the responses, and recommending products or delivering content that aligns with the answers. Online retailers are continuing to discover new ways to use these tools. They're engaging, educational resources for their web, mobile, tablet, social media or in-store strategy that can increase conversion rates, cart sizes and average order values.
Ceiling Fan Finder
Buying a ceiling fan is nothing short of a complicated process. Not only do buyers have to match the style of the fan to their house’s décor, but they also have to determine which fan works best for the size and ceiling height of the room, what type of light they’d like, how they’d like to control it, and what colors or finishes they’d like for the blades and body.
Realizing this challenge for consumers, an iGoDigital client launched a ceiling fan finder tool, which simplifies this process immensely by asking buyers the questions they need to be asked, providing educational content where appropriate. In the end, the finder recommends fans that best fit the consumer's specific needs.
As a leading provider of technology products and services for business, government and education, another iGoDigital client offers a tremendous amount of server options. This can be a bit of a challenge for buyers because of the numerous roles that servers can perform (e.g., email, web, database), the number of users, environment and anticipated growth needs for the server. Instead of recommending the exact server, its server advisor asks four simple questions to recommend a set of specifications for the server (memory, memory slots, hard drive capacity, processor slots) to give them guidance when making the purchasing decision.
Tackling the Mobile Environment
While retailers are continuing to aid their shoppers online, they're also realizing that a lot of product purchasing and research is being done via mobile devices. According to comScore, 30 percent of smartphone shoppers research product and price details from their phones, forcing retailers to ask themselves whether they want to control the content that consumers are researching or possibly lose them to a competitor. Many are turning to mobile apps and mobile-guided selling tools to engage and educate consumers, helping increase conversions from this research.
The Future of Guided Selling
As the proliferation of new products continues, consumers will increasingly seek trusted guidance and advice to help them make their most important buying decisions. Guided selling will continue to play an even larger role in customer engagement as retailers and brands seek to find more ways to build meaningful relationships with distracted consumers.
Mobile will continue to be a medium for guided selling to transcend the digital and physical worlds as retailers will further enable consumers and store associates to engage digitally from within the in-store environment. Finally, guided selling appears to be one of the bright spots of social commerce, engaging consumers with rich, dynamic experiences that connect the social experience with the shopping experience.