The Paradox of Choice and Guided Selling solutions

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Why you need to make choosing easier for your shopper and how Guided Selling can help you with that.

It has long been the common perception that there is no such thing as too much choice.

But, as the modern consumer has less “disposable time” to evaluate options and make confident purchase decisions, too much choice can quickly impact customer experience, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, conversion, in a negative way.

It’s just not enough to offer lots of choices: Consumers expect their favorite shopping destinations to help them understand product benefits and differences better, enabling them to make confident and informed purchase decisions.

More than ever before, businesses have to look for strategies and solutions to achieve that.

In this guide, you'll learn:
› What is the Paradox of Choice and why should retailers and brands care?
› A breakdown of the 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
› How Guided Selling supports businesses to make decisions easier for their shoppers
› Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions.

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The Paradox of Choice and Guided Selling solutions

  1. 1. T H E P A R A D O X O F C H O I C E Why you need to make choosing easier for your shopper and how Guided Selling can help you with that.
  2. 2. 2 In this guide you´ll learn: › What is the Paradox of Choice and why should retailers and brands care? › Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions › How Guided Selling supports businesses to make decisions easier for shoppers › A breakdown of the 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience 2 “In a world where we have too many choices and too little time, the obvious thing to do is just ignore stuff.” Seth Godin © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc.
  3. 3. The Consumer Demand for Decision Support Has Never Been Higher It has long been the common perception that there is no such thing as too much choice. But, as the modern consumer has less “disposable time” to evaluate options and make confident purchase decisions, too much choice can quickly impact customer experience, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, conversion, in a negative way. It’s just not enough to offer lots of choices: Consumers expect their favorite shopping destinations to help them understand product benefits and differences better, enabling them to make confident and informed purchase decisions. More than ever before, businesses have to look for strategies and solutions to achieve that. 23© 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 1. What is the Paradox of Choice and why should retailers and brands care?
  4. 4. 24 Did you know that sells 3,769 kinds of tents? © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc.
  5. 5. 5 Could I Have More Options, Please? It's the thrill, the anticipation, and the expectation of falling upon that ideal product or that perfect deal in a large assortment, which is alluring to many shoppers. A massive amount of choice means that consumers have greater decision flexibility and could get exactly what they want – however specific or unusual their requirements may be. At the same time, psychological studies have consistently shown that too much choice leads to indecision, regret, and ultimately lowered satisfaction with both the purchase process and the products. That´s the Paradox of Choice! ... But why is that? © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 1. What is the Paradox of Choice and why should Retailers and brands care?
  6. 6. 6 In a classic experiment, Sheena Iyengar, now a professor at Columbia Business School, set out pots of jam on supermarket tables in groups of either six or 24. About 30% of those who were given six choices bought some jam; only 3% of those confronted with 24 choices did. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 1. What is the Paradox of Choice and why should Retailers and brands care?
  7. 7. 7 Too Much Choice is a “Thing” Being swamped by too many options is counterproductive to any consumer’s shopping process. With too much choice, shoppers tend to worry more about making the wrong choice, missing something important, overthinking and second-guessing every decision. The result? Consumers may abscond from making a decision all together, postpone an intended purchase indefinitely or end up going with a less suitable option, simply because it's the easier way to go. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 1. What is the Paradox of Choice and why should Retailers and brands care?
  8. 8. 8 “When consumers say they want more choice, more often than not, they actually want a better choosing experience. They want to feel confident of their preferences and competent during the choosing process; they want to trust and enjoy their choices, not question them”. (Iyengar) Businesses need to be sensitive to these expectations and help their shoppers make better and more informed choices. Shoppers do not only want choice, but better choice! © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 2. How Guided Selling supports businesses to make decisions easier for shoppers
  9. 9. 9 So how can this be accomplished? Whenever businesses provide their shoppers with the right support and the right tools that turn choosing into more positive and less mind-numbing experiences, it helps them gain a competitive edge in the market, increase sales, and become the #1 Point of Decision. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 2. How Guided Selling supports businesses to make decisions easier for shoppers
  10. 10. 1. Offer the Right Choosing Experience Firstly, there are at least 4 basic shopper types to consider.: The Expert I know exactly what I want! The Lister I know what features I want! The Browser I know you´ll inspire me! Depending on the product domain, their intentions, preferences and product knowledge, they show different product discovery and decision patterns. Online stores have to make sure to create the right choosing experience for each shopper type. The Novice I need your help! 210© 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
  11. 11. 11 The Expert I know exactly what I want! Expert shoppers actually do not have much choosing to do anymore. They have educated themselves and already know exactly what they want and will go directly to the product search bar. When strategically placed, your customers will easily find what they are looking for. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
  12. 12. 2 The Browser I know you’ll inspire me! Browsers choose to spend time on your site to get inspired for their next purchase. Create lean-back experiences tied to each visitors behavior, purchase history, real-time activity and more such signals to let them discover products they’ll like and ensure that these are easily discovered. 12© 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
  13. 13. 13 Listers are shoppers who have specific criteria in mind, but don’t generally know what they want. Offer them the option to filter and sort products by product features they know and are able to associate benefits with. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience The Lister I know which features I want!
  14. 14. 14 Novice shoppers are those unfamiliar with the product category and without articulated preferences. They are most likely to experience choice overload and are easily overwhelmed by large assortments. Provide expert help or advice, offer a recommended option and explain why you've recommended it. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. The Novice I need your advice! 3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
  15. 15. 15 2. Sell with Simplicity © 2015 Smart Information Systems Inc. 20% increase in decision simplicity results in a 96% increase in customer loyalty, 86% increase in likelihood to purchase, and 115% increase in likelihood to recommend. - Corporate Executive Board (CEB) Decision Simplicity in the purchase process is the #1 reason why consumers are likely to buy your product, do so repeatedly, and recommend it to others. - Forbes KEEP CALM MAKE IT SIMPLE AND “Decision simplicity is the number one driver of likelihood to buy” © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
  16. 16. These are the 3 major factors that simplify consumer decisions 16 › EASY NAVIGATION Create more efficient decision paths and minimize the number of (external) information sources consumers must touch while they move toward a purchase. Be their source of information and become their #1 Point of Decision. › INFORMATION Include commentary from other consum- ers in the form of ratings and reviews as well as descriptions of recommended use and individual product benefits. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. › EASE OF WEIGHING OPTIONS Let consumers identify, compare and weigh differentiating features that are most relevant to them. 3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
  17. 17. 17 Simplify choosing with Guided Selling › TRUSTWORTHY INFORMATION GUIDED SELLING INFORMS Explains features and benefits of products in a way that relates to the shopper › EASE OF WEIGHING OPTIONS GUIDED SELLING ADVISES Presents a list of suitable products, explains why they were suggested a good fit, and offers an easy way of comparing products. Guided Selling Solutions (or “Interactive Product advisors”) are the most effective approach for retailers, brands and service providers to simplify decision making for their customers. Similar to sales associates in physical stores, Guided Selling Solutions focus on the shoppers (not the products), engage them and educate them to then advise them on the most suitable product based on their individual expectations. › EASY NAVIGATION GUIDED SELLING ENGAGES Asks a series of need-oriented thus, easy-to-answer questions to identify needs, wants and expectations © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 3. the 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
  18. 18. 18 3. Finally, always ask yourself:. © 2015 Smart Information Systems Inc. What am I doing right now that is helping my customer to make a purchase decision? © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 3. The 4 basic shopper types and how to improve their choosing experience
  19. 19. 19 Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions How retailers, brands, and service providers help their customers choose. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc.
  20. 20. 20 Try the advisor ∠∠ Canon is a world-leading innovator, offering expertise and solutions from image capture through to digital output. Guided Selling helps brands to navigate consumers through their assortment while communicating brand-specific benefits and educating them on new features and functions. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 4. Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions
  21. 21. 21 Swisscom AG is Switzerland’s leading telecommu- nications provider. The telco industry is known for large, unwieldy, and increasingly complex cata- logues of products and services. Telco businesses are even more required to put customers’ needs at the forefront to compete. This means engaging customers and communicat- ing offerings in a way that values and benefits can be understood easily. This is what Swisscom does with their product advi- sors in multiple categories such as mobile plans, mobile phone, and broadband tariffs. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. Try the advisor ∠∠ 4. Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions
  22. 22. 22 To help their shoppers choose, US-based West Marine, the world’s largest boating equipment outfitter, made the strategic decision to integrate SMARTASSISTANT Product Finders in categories such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, or VHF radios in their online store. The solutions ask easy-to-understand questions that even newbies to water sports can understand answer easily. Based on the user's selection, the finder generate a personalized list of suitable products and explains why each of them would be a good fit. © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. Try the advisor ∠∠ 4. Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions
  23. 23. 23 Komplett Group is the Nordic countries' largest e-commerce player. In a highly competitive environment, retailers have to differentiate and position themselves as the #1 Point of Decision. Integrating Guided Selling solutions in multiple categories allows Komplett to pick up their shoppers whenever they have a hard time making a choice and to guide them through to a purchase. A strong message and a significant USP that Komplett communicates through TV and online ads: © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. Watch the commercial ∠∠ 4. Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions
  24. 24. 24 6 QUICK TIPS FOR BUILDING INTERACTIVE PRODUCT ADVISORS © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 4. Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions
  25. 25. 25 PRODUCT DATA Your product data is just like a sales associate’s product knowledge. If there is no structured information and knowledge about the products you sell, it makes deciding much harder and there can’t be good expert advice. Make sure to have sound and structured product data before you start building your advisor. CONCEPT Think about how you would advise your mother, grand father, aunt etc. basically anybody who is not familiar with your category. Focus on their needs and product expectations, the problems they want to solve, their usage intentions etc. Don’t get too technical. And remember, you’re not your buyer! Start sketching and designing potential questions, answers, and decision paths and ask other people. BUILD SMARTASSISTANT Technology features everything you need to transform your concept into an actual interactive product advisor. The easy to use WYSIWYG editor and the sophisticated rule engine allow you to quickly create questions and answers, rearrange elements via drag ‘n drop, and “tell” the engine how dynamic product recommendations should be generated – all without programming skills. DESIGN Design with the customer in mind ("Don't make me think"). Does the interface make sense, are the interactions and effects tasteful and quick, is it overall appealing to my customers, does it comply with my branding guidelines? SMARTASSISTANT's design editor gives business users full control to customize every aspect of their advisors such as colors, element positioning as well as interaction and transition effects. INTEGRATE Make your interactive product advisor available on your storefront where shoppers who are in the process of making a decision and in need of your advice can find them easily. Examples: Banner, Category page, Start page, Dedicated Buying guide pages… TEST, TEST, OPTIMIZE, AND YES, Consumer behavior is never static and your advisors shouldn’t be either. Make sure to evaluate your advisor performance data regularly. It contains valuable information about consumer behav- ior, shopping motivations and market trends. The analytical data and A/B tests help you to optimize your advisors and ensure that you always share the best possible advice. 6 Quick Tips for Building Interactive Product Advisors © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. 1 2 3 4 5 6 4. Examples and Best practices for Guided Selling solutions
  26. 26. 26 Learn More About SMARTASSISTANT’s All-in-One Guided Selling Platform © 2016 Smart Information Systems Inc. Try the advisor ∠∠ SMARTASSISTANT Platform is the first cloud-based, enterprise-class Guided Selling technology that brings together all elements you need to build interactive product advisors. See our solution, learn more about Guided Selling, or talk to a specialist today. Talk to a Specialist ∠∠ Learn more about Guided Selling ∠∠ WYSIWYG Editor Dynamic Rule Engine Advisor Localization A/B Testing Design Editor Multichannel- optimized Performance Analytics Advisor and Data Monitoring
  27. 27. Helping shoppers choose products they’ll love! Visit www.smartassistant.com Contact us: info@smartassistant.com © 2016 Smart Information Systems. All right reserved. All descriptions, specifications and prices are intended for general information only and are subject to change without notice. Some mentioned features are optional. All names, products, services, trademarks are used for identification purposes only and are the property of their respective organizations.

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