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What is guided conversion and why all eCommerce managers should care

Posted by Michael Tutek on 03. February 2020

What is the eCommerce problem?

eCommerce conversions are broken!

That’s a bold statement that is sure to rub many the wrong way and I don’t say it lightly. Over the past 10 years I have spent my life understanding how consumers make decisions along with the science of conversion.

Did you know that on average 30-40% of consumers that walk into a physical store convert? How can that be when online converts on average at 2%, surely something is broken. Being able to look and feel a product cannot by the sole reason why in-store converts more than 15 times higher. Wanting to understand why, I got to work, learning and understanding consumer behaviour and decision-making processes. I compared and investigated in detail the differences of online and offline customer experiences and businesses processes. What are the reasons causing these huge differences in conversion rate? There are many factors that play a role in conversions, some of the bigger ones are clearly being able to look and feel products, try products on like clothes and delivery options. When you’re at the store you can often get your product now. However, with new technologies shipping is so fast this is becoming a less prominent reason for lower conversion rates and the aspect of look and feel doesn’t account for a 15 times difference in conversion rate. So, what else is different between online and offline? The sales consultant. When walking into a store with 150 TVs on a wall, do you really know which is the right one for you. Speaking from more than 10 years’ experience, 90% of people have no idea which TV is right for them, yet 40% walk out satisfied with their purchase. How? Guided selling through the sales consultant, that’s how.

The sales consultant’s primary role is to understand your personal circumstances and guide you to the right products. That’s why every Good Guys, JB, YD, Cotton On and Shaver Shop employs sales consultants in every single store to help guide you through the decision-making experience. This is called guided selling and it’s the primary reason in-store converts at 40%.

Hmmm… I have an idea, let’s bring that experience online!

This is where “guided conversion” was born.


Scientific understanding of eCommerce?

Have you ever heard of choice paralysis? If not that’s okay, most people haven’t, but it’s part of the reason you’re not hitting your KPIs and missing out on that Christmas bonus.

A famous study carried by Iyengar and Lepper tested the effects of choice paralysis on conversions. In their study they set up a “free sample” table at a grocery store and displayed customers with either 6 or 24 flavors of jam. They found that when shown just 6 options, 30% of the people made a purchase, compared to just 3% when shown 24 options.

This results in a 12% conversion rate for the 6 jams table and 2% conversion rate for 24 jams table. That’s 6 times or 600% increase in conversion rate. This study indicated that more choice often leads consumers into a “choice paralysis” where they cannot decide which product to purchase.

Choice/analysis paralysis in eCommerce

To hit this point home lets, dig deeper. Dan Ariely is brilliant Israeli-American professor of psychology and behavioral economics that published a book called Predictably Irrational. In his book he explains how all people are wired to compare whatever they can and that when we see products or similar without reference or comparison your less likely to convert.

For example, let’s say you run an online women’s clothing eCommerce store. A potential customer comes on your website looking for a light blue above the knee dress. Looking at the below you can see dress that dress “A” is clearly the best option. Its light blue, above the knee and is the cheapest, perfect. However how to do prove and show that to your customers you need to introduce two elements. Firstly dress “B”, “B” is a clearly bad choice, this option is almost immediately disregarded. You then follow on with another option that is close to the best option, option A, however, is slightly less attractive, say “A-”. In this situation consumers are far more likely to choose option “A” as their preferred option after seeing the “A-”, this allows your customers to see a comparable option that clearly isn’t as good.

Behavioral eCommerce, how to sell more online

How that leads to guided conversion and where it came from?

Understanding the problem and the science leads me to talk about the potential solution, guided conversion. Understanding and eliminating the issue revolving around “choice paralysis”, “information overload” and “confusion online”, is an overdue problem that needs resolution in eCommerce.

So, I looked back into the store. Very few people walk out of a local store and say they were completely confused after the sales assistant help them out, I mean it does still happen but its not so common. How often have you done a survey for your local physical store and had responses that consumers didn’t buy because they felt overwhelmed with the choice and didn’t know which was best for them. Typically this doesn’t happen because the sales consultant’s job is to help you choose, make you comfortable that a particular product is perfect for you. Hence the solution seems easy in theory, “bring the sales consultant online”.

This is where “Guided Conversion” comes in. Guided Conversion is just a play on words on “guided selling”, which is what every sales consultant does in-store every single day, only we optimise for online environments, changing selling to conversion.

The idea here is simple; given the rate of in-store purchases compared to online, given the shear volume of choice and information overload leading to “choice paralysis” the fix is often overlooked and simple. Bring the guided selling experience and advice that a in-store sales consultant provides online. That is what Preezie does and our vision is to “help consumers make better choices” which in turn helps businesses increase conversion rates, average order value, reduce returns and provide an overall better customer experience.


What does guided conversion mean?

As stated above “guided conversion” is just “guided selling” only built for online businesses, so let’s remove the selling and put in the conversion. Guided conversion is all about helping your customers find the right product for them quickly and easily, we then support that by helping them understanding why those products best suit their personal circumstances of lives. Essentially, we help guide your customers to convert. We help them remove choice paralysis, confusion, information overload and bring the customer journey back down to basics.


How does guided conversion work?

It’s simple and only requires 4 steps.

  1. We learn how your business sell both online and in-store and we create workflows that reflect and optimize that experience for online.

  2. We then integrate all your product data.

  3. Once we have your business process (customers path to purchase journey) and product data we then create your businesses personalized algorithms to reflect your companies processes, this is a configurable mathematical recommendation engine that takes into account behavioral and consumer psychology to help your customers find the best products quickly and easily.

  4. You plug our technology into your website with a simple JavaScript Widget Code.

From there, measure, test, optimize and watch your conversions and revenue go up.

Example of Preezie guided conversion technology running live on Nicks Wine:

Product Page

Guided Selling in eCommerce for wines

Results Page

Guided Conversion Preezie Results for Wine eCommerce


Why should eCommerce companies care about guided conversion? Where are the case studies and numbers?

Everything written so far is nice “in theory”, but so far that’s all it is theory. So, let’s look at real customers using real systems live and understand if there has been a positive or negative impact from Guided Conversion.

Most of us know Nicks, they are a leading online retailer for alcoholic drinks. Nicks Wine have over 5,000 products in stock at any point in time.

“It’s very common that our younger audiences, want to enjoy something a little more refined and niche, not just your standard off the shelf wine or scotch, so they come to our website. However, they don’t know enough about our products and our range to effectively make a good choice on a product”.

So, they worked with Preezie to solve this problem and the results are:

43.50                                   652%                                                  81%
ROI                                       Increase in CR                               Completion Rate



But one isn’t good enough, lets look at a UK based clothing retailer, Clothes2Order.

The problem as quoted by C2O is:

“We have thousands of products in our range, and on face value many of our products look really similar but are not. We wanted to find a solution that would take away the headache of product selection and make it easy for our customers to find the right products for them.”

They worked with Guided Conversion and saw the following results:

25.35                                   246%                                                  49%
ROI                                      Increase in CR                                  Click Through Rate



If interested to read more about Preezie and their guided conversion case studies click on the below link: https://www.preezie.com/case-studies

So, we have a huge problem online, we have scientific evidence that the problem won’t go away anytime soon as its standard human behavior. We now have a solution and experts working on solving that problem.

eCommerce brands should care, Guided Conversion is going to be the next big bang in eCommerce over the next 5-10 years.  It will help businesses globally improve customer experience, reduce returns, increase conversion rates and average order values.

Other related topics that you might find interesting:


Topics: Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), Guided Conversion

Preezie can help your business significantly increase conversions in a matter of hours

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