Guided Selling: Helping Customers Find Things They Didn't Know They Wanted

Blog post author
Björn Ström
June 27, 2020

Ombori Grid includes several interactive guided selling tools that allow customers to browse for and purchase products based on their individual preferences and purchase history.

Today's marketplace offers consumers dozens of options, and this can be overwhelming. The vast number of products available both in-store and online can disrupt a consumer's ability to make decisions and, instead, prompt them to disengage from the shopping experience altogether.

Consequently, companies have started turning to digital solutions – such as Ombori Grid Guided Selling – to help customers navigate their shopping journey and enjoy the retail experience.

What are the Ombori Grid Guided Selling Solutions?

The Ombori Grid Store Assistant prompts users to answer a series of questions. Based on their answers, artificial intelligence (AI) identifies which products are best suited for them. These tools can be incorporated into a variety of touchpoints throughout the customer's shopping journey, both in-store and online. The software allows businesses to collect data to improve both their business operations and the overall customer experience.

How Can a Business Integrate Guided Selling?

Businesses can utilize guided selling in a number of ways:

In-store Product Recommendations Via Digital Signage

Businesses can use in-store kiosks to engage customers and offer them an opportunity to use the Ombori Guided Selling features. Interactive, digital signs give customers the option to identify products within the store. Instead of conducting research on their own, shoppers are offered a simple in-store solution to find the products they want.

Furthermore, guided selling can be integrated with Wayfinder to help customers locate products within the store. Wayfinder is an Ombori solution that maps the shopper's journey from kiosk to product. If the product is not immediately available in the store, the guided selling feature integrates with Endless Aisle, an Ombori solution that includes self-payment and permits customers to purchase items via their smartphone. 

Online Product Recommendations

Many consumers have transitioned to online shopping and no longer rely solely on traditional in-store shopping methods. They have found that the simplicity of shopping from their digital device outweighs the benefits of visiting a brick-and-mortar store. For e-commerce platforms, guided selling can help consumers identify the products they want or need. Customers are prompted to answer a series of questions during their interaction with a website, guiding them to products that fit their criteria. 

Point-of-Sale Product Recommendations

During the checkout process, businesses often have the opportunity to upsell – or try to convince a customer to purchase something additional or at a higher cost. The employee is prompted to ask additional questions or questions appear on the screen at a self-checkout station. Examples of upselling include offering shoppers extended warranties or additional products. 

In addition, companies have found creative solutions for integrating guided selling into their business platforms, especially those outside traditional retail methods. Dufry and H&M are two companies that are paving the way.

Dufry Store Assistant Case Study

Recently, Dufry took on the challenge of creating a way for customers to shop without the fear of missing a boarding call by installing voice- and touch-controlled kiosks. The Guided Selling Store Assistant was co-developed by Ombori and Microsoft.

The kiosks are located at Dufry duty-free outlets at the Madrid Airport and offer customers guided selling options. 

The Azure-powered chatbot guides customers through the purchasing process. Shoppers tap an on-screen button for the product category they are interested in, such as skincare or fragrance, and the chatbot asks the shopper [if] they would like to use the AI-powered shopping advisor to pick the perfect product.

Customers can choose to use the assistant and are then presented with a range of categories. For [Dufry] fragrances, customers can choose [from] floral, oriental, woody, and fresh. Other categories Dufry uses are gifts for men, women, and [children], as well as gin and whisky. For shoppers interested in whisky, the chatbot asks what characteristics of the drink they like and guides them to the ideal choice.

After [identifying] the desired item, shoppers are then given the [option] to buy it online from their smartphone and scan a QR code on the display, which takes them to the online checkout.

Customers can also make an immediate purchase in-store, using the Ombori Wayfinder – an in-store mapping service that helps customers locate products.

The Ombori-Microsoft solution exemplifies how the cloud and retail display technology can boost sales by putting customers at ease, simply by providing timely travel information where they are. It's a win-win solution that helps store sales and duty-free shoppers to manage times between the store and the departure gate.

H&M Selfie Mirror Case Study

Additionally, H&M recently introduced the Selfie Mirror, a unique digital sign that integrates guided selling. 

The Selfie Mirror, or Magic Mirror, was created in collaboration with Ombori, Microsoft, and Visual Art. Customers who walk by the mirror are prompted by a Microsoft Azure-powered voice assistant to select one of two options: discuss fashion tips or take a selfie. 

If a customer opts to discuss fashion tips, the display allows them to browse H&M products on the large in-store screen or their smartphone.

However, if a customer opts to take a selfie, the system renders one on the cover of an H&M magazine. Then, customers can scan a QR code to download the photo and share it with friends via social media. 

"The product showcases the possibility for retailers to combine cloud [technology], edge devices, artificial intelligence, and interactive display technology to engage customers in a way that creates memorable experiences that can be shared on social media."

Benefits of the Ombori Grid Guided Selling Solution

Guided selling offers numerous benefits to both businesses and consumers. Here are the most significant advantages of using the Ombori Grid Guided Selling solution:

Helps Customers Find the Products They Want

By asking questions to personalize the shopping experience, guided selling helps customers find the products they want. Now, instead of spending time browsing the store, they can be directed to the product that best fits their needs. And, as a result, customer satisfaction increases. 

Features Real-Time Inventory

Integrating guided selling with Endless Aisle, a business can show in-store products and options both in and out of stock. Shoppers have the option to purchase items in-store or online if the product is currently out of stock. Now, instead of visiting another store to make the purchase, the customer can complete their transaction through eCommerce availability.

Makes Repeat Purchases More Manageable

Once a business knows what a customer likes to buy and how often, it can be simpler for shoppers to purchase the same item again. Businesses can remind customers when it is time to make a repeat purchase of an item, such as pet food. They can also incentivize them with a discount or similar offer.

Helps to Build Long-Term Personalized Relationships

As a business collects data on customers, both those who prefer to shop online and those who visit the store in person, they can tailor promotional material to reflect their individual needs. Businesses can send shoppers news and offers that match their purchase history and incentivize them to become long-term, loyal customers.

Offers Accurate Pricing

A more significant number of daily transactions can translate into increased sales. However, it is often challenging to convert visitors into customers, especially when stores cannot clearly market the price of their products. Signs may fall, or customers may be confused by specific displays. Guided selling, however, offers customers the ability to find products and know their prices in real-time.

Increases Sales

Guided selling tools can increase sales by helping customers in two ways. For customers trying to make a specific purchase, these tools help them find the right product by understanding the consumer's needs and providing them with appropriate information. For customers who are just browsing, the tools suggest products they may not be aware of and encourage them to make a purchase. Impulse purchases account for significant revenue for businesses, and guided selling tools can increase the prevalence of this trend.

Increases Conversion Rates

Conversion rates refer to the number of purchases completed in relation to the number of individuals who enter a store. The conversion rate baseline varies from one industry to the next, but retailers are typically between 20 and 40 percent. Low conversion rates are often the result of poor inventory management, lack of staff assistance, or inadequate store structure. Guided selling helps businesses overcome these difficulties by offering shoppers an interactive solution to finding products within their store. 

As the marketplace changes, so do customers' shopping experiences. Guided selling helps potential customers choose the products that best meet their needs. It also helps businesses actively guide customers to making relevant buying decisions, thereby increasing conversion rates. Guided selling has the potential to add significant value and build brand loyalty. It has become abundantly clear that as more and more people choose to shop online, retailers need to use any advantage they can, including guided selling techniques, to create the best possible shopping experience for consumers.

Let us help

Improving your Omnichannel journeys, Visitor Management or Customer Experiences?

Looking to deploy IoT, Digital Signage or Mobile apps?

Reach out by e-mail or use the form here and we'll be happy to help!

Email* Message*