Guided Selling & Conversational Search To Reduce Choice Overload

Guided Selling and Conversational Search to Reduce Choice Overload

Customers leave your online store because they cannot easily find the right product. Browsing takes too long and traditional keyword searches produce too many results. What’s a store to do?

Not to pick on Newegg, an amazing electronics resource, but the average shopper is bound to be intimidated by all of the options!

Example of a complicated navigation menu.

Brick and mortar stores leverage salespeople to help guide customers to the right product.  

The average conversion rate at a physical store blows away that of an online store.  Per Experian FootFall (now ShopperTrak), “the average conversion rate ranges between 20% and 40% for most retailers. Using that average, that means about 70% of shoppers are leaving the store without buying anything. That means retailers are leaving an awful lot of money on the table.”  

With online conversions in the 2-4% range, it also means that online stores leave even more money on the table!

Gobot has upped its guided selling game…

As detailed in our article about conversational commerce, Gobot has tons of features to improve the online shopping experience – but today we’ve upped our game to another level.  

Our goal: to more closely replicate the in-store experience for your visitors.  

Why? Because ultimately, we believe that a conversation is the best way to understand what your shoppers are truly looking for, and that guided selling, leveraging conversational search, is the most effective way to sell online.

Conversational search…

This approach is sometimes referred to as “conversational search” because the shopper is engaging in a conversation online, e.g., with a website virtual assistant or chatbot, to get search results rather than browsing or typing keywords in a store’s search field.

Take the example of buying a new bicycle. You’d think that buying a new bike would be, well, as easy as riding a bike.  

Not the case, the process is actually rather complex. 

Do you need shocks? 10 or 16 or 24 gears? What’s the real difference between a bike at $300 versus one at $3,000?  Can it be upgraded to add an electric motor? Should I also buy a helmet, a basket, and perhaps some flashing lights for my bike?

If physical stores selling bikes didn’t train their sales staff to ask the right questions and provide them the knowledge to advise customers on the choice that’s relevant to them, they would fail, quickly. 

Your customers don’t want to work…they want to buy. Say hello to guided selling.

Gobot’s guided selling tool helps you understand who your customers are, and helps you make the right product recommendations for them so your customers don’t need to do all of the work

Guided selling chatbot example.

Rather than focusing on technical product attributes leveraging old-school faceted search, guided selling works to ascertain actual needs from the customer’s perspective. What do you need this product for? How frequently do you intend to use the product?

Guided selling links these preferences to the pros and cons and technical attributes of your product inventory behind the scene, resulting in a simpler search experience that is more aligned with the customer’s natural decision-making process.  

This way, even customers who may not have a clear understanding of the products they need are able to rather quickly, and in a stress-free manner, zero in on products that are most relevant and useful to them.

Curated recommendations

Gobot allows you to build a chatbot that asks your visitors basic questions about their needs and goals – this part hasn’t changed.  What’s new is that now Gobot curates product recommendations based on your visitor responses.

Guided selling chatbot example where bot recommends a product.

The questions posed by your bot are akin to what a skilled salesperson might ask a visitor when visiting a brick and mortar store. Each visitor response narrows the list of product recommendations. 

The questions can be conditional and change based on your customers’ responses – so you are only presenting options or questions that are clearly relevant to your customers.

Gobot’s deep integration with Shopify means that your bot will only be recommending products that are actually available. 


By way of example, below is a chatbot we built for Mucinex.

We work hand-in-hand with stores to make sure we optimize store conversion rates leveraging the power of conversational search. 

This is not about a bot for sale. Gobot offers a guided selling platform and professional services to increase your store sales.

Gobot’s approach doesn’t suffer from the same issue as Newegg’s faceted navigation because Gobot is more proactive and can curate recommendations, minimizing the work your shopper needs to do while shopping. 

For example, our chatbots can also be set to appear and offer recommendations even before a shopper becomes frustrated or contemplates leaving your site.

The challenge with most chatbots (or chat bots or bot chats or website virtual assistants, or whatever you want to refer to them as!) historically is tied to the fact that they were largely designed for customer support, not sales, let alone guided sales. Until now!

Gobot’s “sales bot” is designed to appear before a shopper becomes frustrated and leaves.  It can pop up just as your customer is expressing intent to leave (ideally earlier!).

Chatbot that helps prevent abandoned carts.

It can appear proactively just as your shopper adds a product to their cart.

A button to trigger your bot can be included in your store navigation bar.

Navigation Bar Chatbot Trigger

The bot can also be embedded directly in your store’s sales page where it is hard to miss.

Chatbot Embedded In Website

Or all of the above!

Sometimes customers have product related questions holding them back from buying.  Your chatbot is there for them to make sure all concerns are fully addressed (read more here)!

And when your shoppers have questions best addressed by a live sales representative, Gobot can handoff to your existing live chat software. 

The beauty here is that the handoff takes into account everything Gobot has gleaned about your shopper.

For example, if your shopper needs a technical question answered about your Maytag stoves, Gobot can route the conversation directly to your Maytag sales expert!

What’s best of all is that your chatbot can convert shoppers into customers 365 days a year, 24/7, and can guide visitors from their initial interaction all the way through becoming a repeat, loyal customer.

The future

Guided selling leveraging conversational search is the future.  Opus Research’s global survey of corporate decision-makers found that the “rapid recognition of customer intent” is the top reason why they deploy conversational solutions. 

Stores can now engage with shoppers on a personal level, ask questions to find out what each shopper is actually looking for, and get them exactly that. 

Retailers and brands that use these solutions to show consumers what’s relevant typically see double-digit increases in conversion rates.

Above and beyond the immediate increase in conversions you’ll see leveraging Gobot’s new conversational search features, let’s pause here to reflect on the value of the customer data you’ll be collecting!

The amazing power of data

Understanding what your customers are looking for = true gold. 

Gobot delivers actionable data in real-time, right at your fingertips.  You’ll have access to vital information as to customer behavior, interaction patterns, product preferences, and sales data.

Best Performing Product
Worst Performing Product

You can drop products from your offering that no one seems to be interested in.  You can tag customers and add them to relevant email lists based on how they respond to your bot’s questions.

You could just generally better understand who your customers are and what they need so you can cater to them better. 

AI-driven insights tell you what’s working and what you should optimize. Gobot enables all of this!

Guided selling adapts to different shoppers by dynamically changing questions based on previous responses. 

Gobot’s sophisticated guided selling software tool is able to understand context, allowing it to selectively display follow-up questions based on relevance for each shopper.

In other words, Gobot can adapt to the customer’s individual needs and personalize the shopping experience. Moreover, Gobot can leverage information your store already has about each shopper, such as order history and email segmentation, to personalize the experience even further.

Brands that sell to multiple personas can especially benefit from guided selling.

Professional photographers, hobbyists who’ve signed up for a photography course, and parents looking to document their children’s’ birthdays may all visit the same camera-brand site but will have drastically different needs. 

Guided selling excels with different personas. Questions early in the script identify the shopper’s persona and then questions presented vary on a persona-by-persona basis.  

Customer Personas

To stand out in today’s competitive eCommerce environment, retailers need solutions that respect customers’ time and guide customers to the right product.

Focusing on talking to your prospects and customers through guided selling, where personalization is at the core of the relationship, can drive dramatic increases in conversion rate and very real, solid return on investment.

Want to learn more? Contact us here for a demo!

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