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User choice aid convert better, burden customer service less and are more satisfied. That is why it is important that as many visitors to your webshop as possible make use of a decision aid. Because more use = more impact.
This article explains how to maximize the use, and therefore the impact, of your decision aids.
Step 1 - Enlarge exposure
The most common type of decision aid helps the customer to choose the right product in a specific category. For example, “Which sleeping bag fits me best?” A very logical place for such a decision aid is therefore the category page.
However, there are many customers who never get to the category page (e.g. they land via adwords directly on a PDP) or simply don't see the decision aid there. If you want the selection aid to be used properly, and you want this, you should use the exposure so further enlarge. You want to support customers in all places where a helping hand is logical and relevant. So think about:
For example, check out the different places where Toppy shows their selection guide for patio heaters: the same selection aid, but integrated in multiple locations in the webshop to help customers in the moment that matters.
In addition to pages that are directly related to a product category, there is of course another whole umfeld to opportunities to inform customers of the decision aid. For example, email campaigns, social channels, related category pages or even the homepage or menu bar. All these places together form it potential range of a decision aid.
So place your decision aid on as many relevant pages as possible so that doubting customers encounter it.
But where on the page do you place the decision aid so that as many customers as possible see and use it? That's what step 2 is about.
Step 2 - Increase usage
We're starting with an open door: if you put the decision aid four-by-the-back on the right pages, no one will see it, let alone use it. Customers are eager to be helped, so place your decision aid where assistance can be expected.
A logical place on the category page is direct after the category text and pre your product list. The category text is therefore, of course, also the place to introduce the decision aid. As in this Kamera Express example:
An alternative (or additional) placement on the category page is to make the selection aid part of the product list. When customers first scroll and only then realize that there is a lot to choose from, it's nice if the decision aid is available there. For example, place a horizontal banner between the products (as in Toppy's example above), or replace one of the product tiles with a CTA to the selection aid, as in this example by Kees Smit Garden Furniture:
⚠ Please note: Thinking about using a banner as a CTA? Do you know that banner blindness - systematically and automatically ignoring content that looks like ads - is lurking among customers. Instead of drawing extra attention to the decision aid, customers just look over it. So make banners as neutral as possible (in other words: make sure they don't look like banners) and do an A/B test to measure the effect on usage. Switching from a busy banner to a simple “Start decision help” button led one of our customers to 3 times more decision aid users.
Finally, you can even think of a full-page integration from the selection guide on your category page. This is definitely recommended for some products in need of advice, where the majority of visitors could use some help. So does Ski Webshop it therefore:
Depending on the chosen form, it is realistic that between 10-15% (in the case of a “Start Choice Help” button and/or mid-page placement) to even 40% (with a full-page integration at the top) of the visitors to the category page use your selection aid.
Then the product detail page. We mentioned it before: products get a lot of direct traffic, but these are certainly not always people who already know whether they should actually buy that product. On the PDP, you therefore have to find the right balance between operating the “man with mission” and the doubter. You don't want to get in the way of the first one with a decision aid, while the second one should be easy to find and use.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all advice on where to place the decision aid on the PDP. Category pages vary very little between web shops, but there is quite a bit of variation in the layout and content of PDPs, so our advice is to A/B test the placement of the Choice Help CTA on the PDP. Do this also on different devices, because the right place on the desktop can be quite different than the one on mobile.
Content pages (” Which e-bike is best for you?”) are an essential part of the acquisition and inspiration strategy of web shops. A decision aid is often an interactive version of the same article. Therefore, please place the decision aid immediately after the opening paragraph and offer customers that short cut. Here's how Bax Music does it:
The advantage for the customer: they don't have to consume pieces of textual content to understand which product is relevant to them. The advantage for you: you lure the customer as usual with good SEO content (because Google likes that) and then significantly increase the chance that they will actually buy from you (instead of just reading, learning and leaving).
Our benchmark is that around 30% to 80% of content page visitors use the decision tool. The big one range it's in the chosen form of integration: show you the decision aid full-page here (like here in our Fake Shop), then even more customers will click on it than if you use a button.