In the spring of 2020, online shopping saw a huge 129% increase across the UK and Europe due to unprecedented lockdown rules and social distancing guidelines. To avoid waiting in queues or shopping close to other people, consumers opted to shop from the comfort of their own home via the web. This included shopping for groceries, ordering takeaway food, spending on clothes and purchasing self-care items.
While the future of brick-and-mortar stores is still uncertain, there is one thing that many online businesses have struggled to capture from the real-life shopping experience – guided selling. This strategy has been used by some of the largest companies in the world, such as Amazon and Walmart, and resulted in huge boosts in their ecommerce successes.
Still need convincing on guided selling? Here is everything you need to know.
What is guided selling?
Guided selling could be the thing that takes your online store from a basic shop front to a customised, curated experience that keeps customers coming back for more. But what is guided selling?
Imagine a scenario where you visit the web store of your favourite brand and a knowledgeable sales associate appears, no matter whether it’s day or not. They listen to your needs and find out a bit more about what you’re looking for, then they show you the products that they think are best suited to you. That’s what guided selling is in a nutshell, but if you were to delve below the surface, guided selling software is a sophisticated, data-driven tool that provides shoppers with a personalised online shopping experience.
This type of curated ecommerce allows your website to offer up a limited number of product options to appeal to specific demographics depending on how they interact with the guided selling software, creating a bespoke shopping experience. It goes beyond past purchase and previously viewed product algorithms, tapping into an understanding of the customer like a personal shopper.
Should you include guided selling and curation in your ecommerce digital strategy?
The short answer here is yes, guided selling and curation should be things that you consider implementing in your ecommerce digital strategy. To make the shopping experience easier to navigate and accessible for all customers, ecommerce strategies must embrace elements of traditional shopping to make the online experience even more appealing, which is where guided selling comes in.
Here are three other reasons why guided selling and curation are important in an ecommerce digital strategy.
1. Customer engagement
By utilizing guided selling in your website, you will be able to appeal to the individual, rather than the demographic, and deliver a tailor-made customer service experience. This deeper-level engagement with the customer can help to increase positive perception, increase upsells and guarantee repeat customers.
2. Multiple channel solutions
While businesses that use showrooms or rely on brick-and-mortar sales will benefit greatly from guided selling, the model can be applied to a huge variety of retail categories. Industries that cater to customers’ personal needs or that offer products that require customers to research beforehand can benefit greatly from this model. Areas such as specialist skincare or computing can create a virtual environment that is friendly and easy to use, and ultimately guides shoppers to the appropriate items, based on their needs.
No matter if your site sells electronics, cosmetics, clothing, pet products or something else entirely, guided selling software can be utilised within a range of sectors.
3. Contextualise curation for informed purchasing
Cut out all of the distractions and products that may not be appropriate for your potential consumers. By providing a convenient way for your customer to tell the website what they are looking for, you will be able to curate a selection of products that puts their needs into context and informs their purchasing. By removing irrelevant products, customers will continue to interact with your website and stay focussed on the products and upsells that will guide them to purchase.
Overall, using guided selling and curation within your ecommerce digital strategy is important for tapping into a new audience, encouraging new customers to visit your site and creating an experience that mimics a personal shopper, without your customer ever having to leave the comfort of their home. If you would like more information on how our intelligent guided selling services could help your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.