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😎 5 great (and not so great) guided selling examples

Written by
Marja Silvertant
Published on
6/9/2023

Er zijn nog maar weinig keuzehulpen te vinden in het Nederlanse e-commerce landschap. Laat staan goede keuzehulpen. In deze blogpost analyseren wij vijf keuzehulp voorbeelden.

If you wrote a book about the impact of guided selling you often do some research into good (and bad) examples of this. What stands out? There are still very few product finders in the European e-commerce landscape. Let alone great ones. But we have discovered some gems anyway.

In this blog post, we analyze five examples of great (and not so great) guided selling apps.

The Vacuum Cleaner Selection Guide by Bol.com ★✩✩✩✩

Let's start with a non-gem. Looking for a vacuum cleaner? Bol.com has no less than 802 on offer. Fortunately, at the top of the product list, we see a banner with the button “Help me choose”. Come on, Billie!

The great thing about decision aids is that they can mimic 'the guy in the store' with a conversational interaction. A good store employee creates a dialogue that builds trust and finds out as efficiently as possible which use cases are important to you. That means: the content is served step by step and grows with the user's level of knowledge.

How does our favorite round store assistant do this? Step 1:

We see a header “With or without a dust bag” and two answers with a nice explanation. Based on this content, I can probably decide whether I want to go for a bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner. But it would have been just that little bit nicer if Billie actually had the conversation with me. For example, by asking if I suffer from allergies. Or that I think it's important that a vacuum cleaner doesn't make too much noise (apparently, the bag has something to do with that!). For example, Billie would go beyond “the same filters, but with explanations”. And it will be possible to match the user's personal context with the right vacuum cleaner, which leads to more trust.

Anyway, Billie apparently thought the first step was the pinnacle of engagement, because what follows is a set of filters without any explanation:

But then! In the final step, redemption. We're actually seeing something that looks like use cases:

Touché, Billie. But you really have to do something about your conversational skills. Plus: After completing the decision aid, I still have 13 results left without further explanation, traceability or ranking in the choices. Stress of choice from 🚨 to 🤷‍♀️.

Verdict: 1 star. ★✩✩✩✩

The Plantsome ★★★★✩ Plant Finder

Do you want a plant in your home but you don't know which one? Plantsome has a cool one 'fill in the blank' selection aid. Users see a sentence or statement with empty fields that they can click on. A dropdown will then appear with various options (answers) to complete the sentence. This creates an extensive search that helps the user to filter the product catalog.

Okay, it's more of a monologue than a dialogue, but it's a charming way to show decision aid and help people.

What's also nice: as you complete the text, an increasingly rich visualization (*) appears. Bad at taking care of? Then the plant will already change into a cactus. Fun!

So a playful, accessible interaction that also works very well (visitors who view the result of the completed Plant Finder convert 3 times as often as a regular visitor - a case study from Customers who are unsure don't buy). The biggest disadvantage is that in this form of interaction, you always have a chance of reaching 0 results. For example, there are apparently no medium-sized, air-purifying plants that can do with lots of light, pets and poor caregivers. Oh well, learned something again.

Verdict: 4 stars. ★★★★✩

(*) By the way, I only noticed the visualization after filling in the 3rd time. So, tip for the Plantsome team: check the screen proportions because this is too much fun to let go above the fold!

The Mattress decision aid by Goossens Living and Sleeping ★★★★✩

A self-made example! If you want to ensure a good night's sleep, it's important to lie on a mattress that fits you. But which mattress is right for you? For many consumers, this is a difficult question to answer. Fortunately, there is Goossens' decision aid that takes a customer by the hand step by the way to the right mattress.

The customer gets a few simple questions before they choose. A good question embodies and is based on the user's knowledge, language and situation. Good questions are questions that people not only understand, but they also understand the benefits of. You will certainly comply with the decision aid and additional information is provided to the customer by means of images or “i-tjes” (see the button next to the answer “On my stomach”).

The result is a comprehensive selection of the 3 most suitable mattresses. We clearly see the “best match” and it is indicated which specified preferences this mattress meets (traceability).

Verdict: 4 stars. ★★★★✩

MediaMarkt ★✩✩✩✩'s Bluetooth speaker selection guide

The precursor to the decision aid is the (SEO) content page. A long page with lots of content that answers all your questions about a specific product category. Where more and more companies are choosing to offer decision aids in addition to such pages, MediaMarkt is killing 2 birds with one stone. Their Bluetooth speaker selection guide is integrated into a (rather long) content page:

The tricky part about online (and offline!) consultation is finding the balance between 2 target groups: people with patience and a lot of explanation needs, and people without patience who would rather know quickly what suits them. This MediaMarkt decision aid is great for target group 1, but target group 2 is not going to be happy about it. After all, you have to go through quite a bit of content to answer the question asked properly. Plus point: there is quite a bit of nice copy among them.

I was already ready to give this decision aid a nice 3 stars. But then I came to the advice. Zero results regardless of the combination of answers.

Verdict: 1 star (s) . ★✩✩✩✩

Independer ★★★✩✩ Health Insurance Decision Aid

Since the Dutch run a high risk of being incorrectly insured and often take out their insurances online, a decision aid in the insurance country is a great asset. We wrote it before: health insurance is an excellent product where people need more help deciding the right choice (1 product with 172,800 options). Luckily, there's Sharon from Independer:

Although Sharon does start with a very difficult first question: “Are you considering taking on a higher deductible?” Both in terms of language (B1, anyone?) as far as content is concerned, that is a difficult question to answer. Because you just have to know the implications of a higher deductible. And whether you would like to consider that. There is also no i-tje or tooltip with additional explanations anywhere.

A poor start, but we won't just give up on Sharon:

If we say 'Yes', a number of follow-up questions will follow that result in clear advice about the deductible. Clear explanation and causality, we can do something with that.

But the following questions are often not based on the customer's living situation and way of thinking. “Do you ever go to the physiotherapist?” is not the best question to ask if you want to find out if physical therapy is relevant additional coverage for you. “Do you exercise a lot and do you sometimes have injuries?” or “Are you planning to work out?” are more situational questions.

To really understand the impact of the answers, you already need a level of knowledge. So that could be better. Because Independer does a good job is offering a transparent explanation of the usefulness of insurance. For example, if I indicate that I wear glasses or lenses, I will still be advised not to take out additional insurance for this. Because it's too expensive. This explanation inspires trust and provides persuasive power.

Verdict: 3 stars. ★★★✩✩

Conclusion

In addition to a single gem, there are few really good decision aids on Dutch e-commerce websites. But we are resigned to the fact that these first versions of decision aids will immediately help customers better. This bar is now rather low. In any case, the above companies are taking the step from “not helping people choose at all” to “already helping some people choose”. With those first decision aids, they are already making online choice stress (slightly) better than it is today. And as Barack Obama says, “better is good”. That perfect 5-star decision aid will come soon.

Inspired - and want to know if decision aids are right for you? Then get in touch and we'll show you how to create your own online decision aid within half a day.

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