Practical examples and advice on how your ecommerce brand can leverage guided selling
Customer service has always been an indispensable factor for ecommerce brands, with 96% of customers choosing to be loyal to companies that deliver exceptional customer experiences.
With customer experience now surpassing both product and price as the element that most distinguishes a brand and makes it invaluable, most ecommerce companies have begun adopting practices to elevate their customer service.
These practices include deploying conversational agents powered by AI, and investing in the omnichannel experience, amongst others.
To understand what ecommerce customer support really looks like, and the best practices you can adopt, check out our insights here!
In this post, you will learn how to deliver a personalised, seamless customer experience- with examples from some of the best e-commerce brands
Most ecommerce brands invest in frequent and extensive R&D to create more products suited to their customers. This helps them build their brand and distinguish themselves from their competition.
However, customers are unable to decide which products are most suited to solving their needs, and they end up bouncing off your website.
Our insights on customer behaviour have helped us identify the below as the most frequent problems your customers face:
|Do these problems sound familiar to you?|
|I have an extensive product catalogue.||Customers find it difficult to search for the product they need onsite.|
Most people who visit my website don’t make it to the cart.
|My products have complex features that are difficult to explain.||Customers struggle to choose a product even when they spend time browsing.|
I don’t have enough data about my customers’ purchase behaviour.
|My product catalogue is dynamic and prone to changes.||It is difficult for me to recommend products tailored to each customer.|
I find it difficult to engage with my customers during the sales process in a meaningful way.
So, how do you solve these problems? Altering your catalogue is out of the question!
The answer- Guided Selling.
Guided selling targets these problems to offer your customers a one-stop, easy-to-navigate, smooth customer experience.
A product advisor helps customers find what they are looking for from your catalogue quickly.
This helps your customers make faster purchase decisions and add products to their cart.
Product guides can engage with your customers to explain the complexities of your product and make them easy to understand. This data helps customers build confidence that they have chosen the right product to solve their needs.
Your conversion rates increase, and you gather more data about their purchase behaviour, which you can use to further streamline your product guides.
Additionally, product advisors can recommend the right promotions and offer to your customers based on their purchase behaviour, thus letting you recommend the best products from a seasonal catalogue, and compel your customers to complete their purchases.
Guided selling in ecommerce leverages intelligent conversation to start a discussion between a brand and a consumer and then uses the information from that conversation to improve the purchasing experience.
Guided selling is essentially a set of tools that help you replicate an in-store consultation experience online, allowing every customer to engage in personalised, one-on-one conversations.
These tools ask your customers targeted questions to figure out what they want and need. Based on these goals, they guide the shoppers to the optimal purchase.
As a result, as your customers go through your conversion funnel, they discover more products and make a purchase.
This helps you better promote the products your shoppers are looking for, by informing them about the product attributes that they resonate with the most.
Most ecommerce brands that leverage guided selling use Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven conversations, to recommend the next step in the customer’s purchase journey.
Everything from “How can I help you” to “You’ve won these discounts!” Let’s take a look below-
Product advisors are essentially virtual salespersons: they ask your customers targeted questions to understand their wants, needs, and preferences, educate your customers about the products that can fulfill these needs, and advise them on which product would benefit them the most.
Product advisors step in at crucial points of the purchase experience, beginning with asking the right questions to offer a filtered, customised product catalogue, discussing specific preferences, allergies, dislikes, etc, cross-selling supplementary or complementary products, and offering discounts and promotions at the right time to hook the consumer.
However, as your company grows, it is not possible to scale your virtual CX team rapidly and definitely not without increasing overhead costs.
With AI (which we’ll discuss below in detail), you can offer the same guidance at scale and within minutes – leading to more sales.
Asking the right questions is the most crucial part of designing a guided selling experience because this data goes directly into personalising their future experiences and making appropriate recommendations at the right time to create a sale.
Designing intelligent quizzes that filter your product catalogue quickly to offer customers a narrow range of products is thus crucial to a hassle-free, smooth shopping experience.
It can also gamify the experience for the customer leading to stronger positive brand associations, leading to more loyalty.
Answering your customers’ queries while they browse your narrowed catalogue is very important to your customer support infrastructure.
This includes queries regarding additional product information, delivery timelines, payment models, and possible customisations, in the same manner as an in-store representative would support your shoppers’ purchase journeys.
Thus, chats that project the right emotional intent help you clear every doubt your shopper may have, and help them be confident in their decision to choose your brand and product.
Thus, guided selling combines support from chats, personalisation from quizzes, and advice from product guides to
This makes guided selling one of the fastest-growing trends and strategies for ecommerce companies, especially those using D2C models!
Most sophisticated organisations have recognised this— Almost 51% of sales brands have deployed AI-driven guided selling, or plan to deploy AI-driven guided selling in the next three years, according to Gartner.
Mac’s lip colour finder is a typical example of how brands with a wide range of products use guided selling to engage with shoppers and smoothen their purchase journey.
The lip colour finder is in addition to its virtual try-on feature: customers can upload pictures of themselves, and click on over 800 swatches to see how the shade looks on them.
It also offers a live-chat option if customers need help with the try-on tool.
Finally, if customers are still unsure about which shade would suit them perfectly, it offers its lipstick shade finder to allow shoppers to compare shades and textures on different skin tones.
Shoppers can filter by skin tone, finish, and colour, to narrow down Mac’s product catalogue and discover what different shades and finishes would look like on them.
Anomalie helps brides-to-be build their perfect wedding dress.
They offer a series of options, including the type of bodice, train length and type, sleeve length, neckline, lace work, and so on. These options are accompanied by graphics to help the shopper better envision the style.
Finally, the webshop puts together the perfect style to match the shopper’s goals, visions, and aspirations.
Anomalie’s designers then deliver a custom sketch to the shopper’s inbox, allowing her to provide further feedback and guarantee her gown is picture-perfect.
Anomalie also offers a category called ‘Need a Little Inspiration’, which displays photos of brides in their actual Anomalie dresses, to give buyers a realistic idea of what the dress would look like on them.
Coolblue is a Dutch company that sells electronics, including TVs, laptops, monitors, and phones, whose specifications are highly technical.
It thus offers a guided selling tool for customers who need help choosing their product. For example, if you want to purchase a monitor, the guided selling tool asks the shopper a series of questions about what they want to use the monitor for, the size of monitor they want, the sharpness of the image, ergonomic functions, and other attributes.
Based on the questions the shopper answers, it recommends the best product for them, tells them exactly which attributes it has that the shopper prefers, and allows them to compare it with alternative products.
ASICS employs guided selling in the form of a quiz to determine the shopper’s running style, goals, and profile.
The shopper must answer 6 questions, based on which ASICS filters the products a shopper can browse through. These questions include the type of shoes the shopper is looking for, their foot type, their pronation type, the cushioning they are looking for, and the colour schemes they prefer.
Thus, ASICS’ quiz emulates an in-store assistant by asking specific questions that pinpoint a shopper’s intention, needs, and preferences.
We at LimeChat have created the world’s first Level 3 AI chatbot, which enables you to have thoughtful, insightful, human-like conversations with your customers.
LimeChat is powered by the latest advances in AI and machine learning, which allow its conversational assistants to understand a shopper’s questions, intent, and emotions.
It then crafts customised responses at every crucial stage of your customers’ journeys, to deliver a precise, memorable experience on par with the best in-store experiences.
LimeChat helps ecommerce brands like yours to elevate their guided selling experience by:
Too many products and too much information can overwhelm a customer, making them confused about which product to choose.
Collaborative filtering that reduces the number of products you recommend to your shopper is thus very important to guided selling.
However, it is equally important to extract the most information in the least number of questions: too many questions make shoppers less interested in continuing their journey.09cv
Intelligent, AI-driven conversational agents that deploy the latest machine learning technologies are then essential to offering the best guided selling journey— they keep collecting and learning from consumer metrics and optimising the number and type of questions to ask, to create the most fruitful purchase experience.
Reading a lot of information for every product fatigues a customer, and increases the likelihood of them dropping off your site.
However, not providing shoppers enough information is equally detrimental, as it confuses shoppers about the best product for their needs and preferences, and increases the time they take to reach a decision.
Data-driven, analytical conversational agents can map user data and preferences over a large volume of information to determine what and how much information your customers find most helpful, to deliver the ideal bite-sized product specification and maximise your revenue.
Discovery-oriented shoppers prefer browsing through a wide range of products to understand what kind of products could fulfill their needs, and exploring and deliberating between a wide range of options.
Goal-oriented shoppers prefer a fast, streamlined process to purchase the products they have in mind in the shortest period of time.
Chats are the most essential guided selling tool for discovery-oriented shoppers, as they clear questions about products at whatever stage the customer wants, thus minimising drop-off.
They also offer alternatives and helpful resources at key points in the purchase journey, thus ensuring the customer keeps moving forward through their purchase journey.
On the other hand, quizzes are the most essential guided selling tool for goal-oriented shoppers, as they filter products based on the customer’s specifications, and offer them a narrower product catalogue to make a quick informed decision.
Conversational AI-driven technology that combines these guided selling tools can optimise the purchase journeys for both these categories of shoppers, by collecting analytics at every stage, and intelligently customising every shopper’s journey to deliver a seamless, preferred experience.
Thus, our guided selling package helps your brand:
We have worked extensively with solely ecommerce companies- and use deep research and data from our clients to continuously improve our guided selling feature.
Mamaearth is an Indian ecommerce brand that delivers natural, toxin-free, certified safe skincare products online.
Wellbeing Nutrition offers its customers multivitamins that are made organically, with whole food ingredients and full-spectrum herbal blends.
Man Matters is a holistic wellness platform for men. It sells products for hair, weight, skin, sex, sleep, and more, and provides online consultations for these issues and wellness.
LimeChat, the world’s first Level 3 conversational assistant, lets you conduct humanlike conversations with your customers virtually.
It can create a guided selling model for you that lets you:
In addition to this, we at LimeChat build powerful analytics dashboards for you so you stay up to date with how your automations are performing with respect to conversions, sales, customer retention etc. It also offers you
The best part- finding out costs you nothing!
Ready to take your customer support to the next level? Book a free demo today!
This post is the fourth lesson in our Masterclass series on Guided Selling, where we deep dive into the current expectations and strategies some of the best D2C brands use and how to execute them in simple, actionable ways.