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💰 6 tips about a budget question in your product finder

Written by
Anniek Veltman
Published on
16/6/2023

Should you ask your customers about their budget in a decision aid, or not? In this article, we'll show you what options are available and when it's better to ask a question about budget or not.

You have created a decision aid that advises customers on the product that suits them best. The questions in your decision aid are about the customer (” Are you going to exercise with it?”) and not about the specifications of the products (” Do you want Bluetooth?”). But there is one question you're not sure about. Should you ask your customers about their budget in a decision aid, or not?

A question about budget seems quite logical, because after all, every webshop has the option to filter by price. But sometimes asking for price preferences can actually get in the way of good advice. In this blog, we show you what options are available and when it's better to ask a question about budget or not. We also give some examples of how our customers approach this.

1. Whether or not to ask for a price preference?

To get a clear picture of how “contests” perform, we compared these types of questions with various customers and decision aids. This meta-analysis shows that, on average, around 40% of decision aid users choose the answer “No preference” when asked about their budget in a decision aid. And in some decision aids, we even see a high drop-off if the “No preference” option is missing. This indicates that quite a lot of users have no idea about their budget yet, or that they would like good advice regardless of the price.

40% of decision aid users choose “No preference” when asked about their budget.

We also now know that a question about price can sometimes lead to less good advice; see the example below. In the left advice (no question about price), there is at least 1 perfect match. In the right-hand example (with a question about price), none. By keeping the more expensive product in the advice, you explain more clearly to customers the downside of a cheaper option. In the example, it is clear that you are sacrificing a “short set-up time” if you choose a cheaper tent.

The left example shows one piece of advice that fits perfectly. With two 'cheaper' alternatives that are less suitable. In the right-hand example, no advice is perfect.

So consider in advance whether a question about price really adds something to your decision aid. Is the price filter in your webshop always well used, or are you known as a price fighter? Then it may be relevant to ask a question about the budget. But there are often plenty of other questions that are better to ask than a question about price. The more relevant your questions, the better the advice, the greater the chance that customers will feel helped, click through and buy.

And if price is a bit important for your users, they can always opt for the 'cheaper' variant in the advice. Are you unsure? Then just try it for a month and see the results in your analytics decision aid. You can always remove the question.

2. Price category preference

If you are going to include a question about price, we recommend opting for a single-choice question with increasing price categories. Users of your website with an amount or budget in mind can easily indicate which price category they are at. roughly think.

Consider in advance which categories make sense and limit the number of answers. In the case of a decision aid with a large product catalogue, we recommend formulating the answers in such a way that they are mutually exclusive. You can choose answers with similar categories or your own price segments, as our customer Beddenplein does here.

Asking out a range using a single choice question.

In their banking selection tool, fonQ uses overlapping categories. The answer “Up to €2000” also fits all products that match the two answers above. If you choose this option, you can smartly set the matching to ensure that customers with a larger budget mainly see products around that amount.

Request price preferences with overlapping categories.

Finally, remember to add a “No preference” response option. This is how you help users who have no idea yet or don't care about price.

3. Preference for price/quality

A subtler way to find out whether your users care about price at all is the example below from The Green Beauty Shop. This can be nice for users because they don't have to think about amounts.

This way of asking requires a bit more thought when matching, because what is 'a modest price' and which products are the perfect match? With these types of questions, we see that around half of the users say they don't think price is important or less important (which is quite a lot).

Are you known as a prize fighter? Then you can assume that your users find price important and it may be logical to ask about the budget.

4. Preference for a specific (maximum) amount

To find out a preference for a specific (maximum) amount, you can use a numerical question. Users enter the exact amount here. Depending on what you set when asking, the advice shows them products with a price around, below or just above the desired amount.

Ask for a price preference with a numerical question.

First, ask yourself how your users can answer this question most easily. Do they think about what they want to spend approximately, or how much, they want to spend?

We recommend using a numerical question only if it really is the best option. Answering this question (especially on a mobile phone) is a bit more work than clicking on an answer in a single choice question.

5. Price preference or requirement?

If you set the question about price as a 'requirement' (filter), all ill-fitting products will not be displayed at the chosen price. This can be useful if you are sure that customers are very price-driven. They don't want to be confronted with products that are out of their budget.

This can also have a downside: the advice is becoming less transparent. In the example below, you can see that the tent that best suits all preferences - except price - is the most expensive tent. If you set the question about budget as a filter (and therefore make it a requirement instead of preference), the user misses that tent. It then looks like there are no tents with a “short set-up time” at all (see right example).

By setting price as a filter, it is therefore possible that some of the well-fitting products not becomes visible in the advice, making it seem to the customer as if there is no product that fully meets his needs. While that customer might be willing to go for the more expensive product, because price was just a preference for him and the “content” characteristics were more important.

In the right-hand example, the question about price was set as a “filter”.

6. The best place for price preference in your selection guide

In addition to the price, there are of course other preferences that are important to the customer. In the advice, your customer sees a clear overview of how the products fit his budget, but also his other needs. And then it may just happen that your customer changes the budget preference slightly to receive advice that is better suited to his other wishes.

It is therefore a good idea to ask the question about budget preference as one of the last questions in your decision aid. This makes it easy for your customers to quickly adjust their response and see the effect of price on advice.

At Aiden, we're also thinking about new ways to charge a price. Do you have any ideas, tips or wishes about this yourself? Let us know via support@aiden.cx.

Want more tips? Check out our 6 tips to make your good decision aid perfect.

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