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Guided Selling: What is It? Does it Work?

Written by Toonimo



Today, the abundance of choice can make buying the most appropriate product overwhelming to consumers.  Fueled by the hyper stimulation of relevant product options, the consumer often leaves without anything.

What can a company do to prevent customer confusion and increase conversion rates?

Online brands can implement a unique customer experience called guided selling. This process helps potential buyers refine their decisions based on offering the products that best fulfills their needs and guides the buyer towards completing the purchase process.

Guided selling involves asking customers a series of targeted questions about preferences relevant to specific products, like basic needs, usage, and previous experience with the product.

Like a helpful salesperson, the software leads the consumer through the purchase process by assessing their needs and directs them to information and products that best meet the criteria. 

A good example of guided selling would be this women's clothing website which offers simple pictures to get personalized, user data to refine product options.

With a few simple clicks, the user has enabled the site to locate the most suitable products and, at the same time, increase the conversion potential.


With the growing mobile usage, guided selling has gained significant popularity particularly since the smaller screen limits the amount of text that can be placed on a screen. The one-click or swipe gesture is ideal for guided selling since the user can simply click their way towards locating the best products. For companies, mobile guided selling offers an additional benefit of providing the company with rich, valuable data that can easily be used later to create a personalized shopping experience.



Virtual Agent

An alternative guided selling option is to integrate an onsite virtual agent. This agent is able to navigate consumers through the site by responding to various pre-determined triggers. Strategically positioning an agent can help sites increase conversions and reduce consumer confusion during the decision making process. Below is an example of an onsite virtual agent positioned to guide visitors through their online journey.

Sample Onsite Animation Guidance Sample Onsite Animation Guidance[/caption]

The ability to guide users through a site in such a highly targeted manner, provides companies with tremendous conversion potential. Guided selling allows the consumer to control their navigation experience. By shifting control to the consumer, the brand is able to reduce confusion and perhaps even increase conversion rates.

Search tools

A third option of guided selling is using the classic search box filter. The primitive, yet effective, selection process enables the consumer to control their shopping experience but involves a more tedious process. Consumers today are quickly losing their patience with sites that require infinite clicking that still result in unqualified or irrelevant product discovery.

To alleviate this potential problem, guided selling can be more effective if it is merged with consumer-specific data. Together, these two features can create an superior customer experience with the highest conversion potential.

Offering the optimal consumer experience means that a company should focus on responding to the selling preferences of each user. Delivering tailored product offerings will bring about a boost in conversions while relinquishing full control of the sale process to the consumer.

Is guided selling relevant for every site? Are there alternatives that we didn't mention? Let us know below.