How Retailers Can Use Guided Selling to Drive Holiday Sales
For an in-store guided selling tool, use a kiosk that prompts shoppers to complete a series of lifestyle or usage-based questions, and offer them the option to print, share or email their results. With a tool that uses guided selling to ease the sales process and provide expert advice based on lifestyle, usage or preferences, every store associate is now the top salesperson with insights into each product, current inventory and knowledgeable advice.
Taking this a step further, make sure you're tracking the data and preferences that customers are providing to build and refine customer profiles that can be used across all channels to create a seamless personalized experience. Additionally, integrating the online and in-store experience gives customers a consistent experience and reinforces your brand as a leader in the space, making you top of mind for future purchases. Giving customers expert advice will also gain trust and create brand advocates that will return again and again to enjoy the quality of service that your brand offers.
Another great use of guided selling during the holidays is as a gift finder. Consider a nonimmediate family member trying to decide on a gift for a child. Guided selling could help suggest toys based on age and general interests. For a toy finder, for example, a retailer would need to follow these guidelines:
- include three questions to seven questions for the customer to answer;
- ask only the bare essentials that are applicable to your audience;
- ask lifestyle or usage-based questions to gain insights into the gift recipient;
- use text, videos, photos and diagrams to illustrate products;
- ask linear questions;
- ask what the product will be used for most (e.g., learning, playing, etc.);
- use customer knowledge of the gift recipient; and
- store the explicit data being collected in the shopper's profile for future interactions.
While early adopters of guided selling tools were typically retailers of complex, high-ticket merchandise like home electronics and appliances, today guided selling tools are being deployed by retailers in virtually every segment. For instance, apparel retailers are deploying "fashion finders," big-box retailers are helping shoppers move quickly to their desired departments and categories, and cosmetics retailers are using guided selling to help consumers find just the right shade of lipstick.