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Couldn’t find my Barbie: why guided search is essential for retail ecommerce

All girls have the right to find their true selves and comfort and pride in who they are. This is what Greta Gerwig’s movie Barbie tries to communicate in what has been one of the most successful marketing campaigns for a film. We have all been swallowed by the pink wave.

However, just as every girl has the right to love herself, every child has the right to find their own Barbie. I went to Mattel’s website to find out how they linked the movie with their ecommerce and stumbled upon a surprise: Barbie dolls are pretty hard to find!

I typed a classic: “Dentist Barbie” with no success. Then I went into “Barbies with careers,” and found out there is no longer a “Dentist Barbie” (I guess the Dentist Barbie was a 90s thing, and it has been discontinued). And yet, I couldn’t help wondering, why didn’t it recommend any other doll? They had a Pediatrician Barbie, Doctor Barbie, and Scientist Barbie. Wouldn’t these dolls be quite close to a Dentist Barbie? How many clients are they losing by not having easy navigation and product recommendations on their ecommerce?

If you leave the shoppers to themselves, they can get lost in your website pretty fast, and you can lose a lot of sales (just as I experienced with the Barbie example). A study made by Google reveals that three out of four buyers will not purchase anything after an unsuccessful search and one in every two consumers will buy from the competition.

With that in mind, here are a couple of functionalities and tools you can use to  optimize your ecommerce and ensure every customer finds what they need in your online store.

1. Product recommendations 

Product recommendations are a great way to avoid users leaving without a paid order. Product recommendation tools can come in various forms: products that resemble what the client bought before, related accessories, products that other clients purchased after buying what the current user did, and the list goes on. Many product recommendation tools use AI to learn from the users’ behaviors and offer the best product based on that.

The value of product recommendations is huge: 54% of retailers claimed that product recommendations are the key driver of customer purchases’ average order value (AOV). Research from Salesforce shows that shoppers that click on recommendations are 4.5x more likely to add items to their cart and complete the purchase. And it’s not only good for the first purchase; recommendations grow overall shopping behaviors: 49% of consumers said they had purchased a product they did not initially intend to buy after receiving a personalized recommendation.

2. Guided search

    When discussing an ecommerce conversion rate optimization, you can’t leave out the concept of guided search. Guided search is how you guide, advise, and support your customers through their shopping journeys. An ecommerce with a properly designed guided search functionality will help buyers find what they want fast and easily. Guided search will take every child to the Barbie of their dreams!

    Some types of specialized guided search tools such as Sellesta Quiz Widget use conversational intelligence to help potential buyers find products they need. This is a popup in your online store that recreates the in-store experience by asking shoppers questions about their goals and preferences and then recommending products that are a good fit. 

    For example:

    • Say you want to buy a new game, and have a general idea of what type of game you want but aren’t really sure of any specific names. The tool asks a series of questions about your tastes and preferences, and gives you a range of options that meet your criteria. 
    • A clothing retailer might ask shoppers questions about the occasion they are buying for, the impression they want to make, and their budget, and then recommend specific clothing items that would be a good fit.
    • The Barbie shop could make a fun series of questions for their shoppers, asking about their hobbies, favorite artists, clothing styles, favorite vacation spots, and other information pointing them in the right direction toward their dream Barbie. They could even use the characters in the Barbie movie to have some common references with their audience.

    Guided selling and product recommendation can help shoppers get faster to what they want and help brands learn more about their customers’ needs.

    Retailers such as El Duende and Eurojuegos are reporting accelerating sales growth even as more and more customers use the product. Besides increasing your sales, you can gather information about potential customers and align your product offerings and marketing strategies.

    Want to improve your conversion rate and provide a fantastic guided search experience in your webshop?

    Visit now.

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