Product Finder Awards: Vodafone

In our recent webinar Optimizing the Customer Journey for the Complex Sale, I covered 5 keys to keeping a customer on-site and engaged in the mobile phone and service plan selection process. One of the sites highlighted in the webinar is Vodafone, whose Phone Selector tool is the most impressive product finder I’ve ever come across.

We’re all aware of the paradox of choice, that the more choice we throw at customers, the harder it is to make a decision and the less satisfied customers are with their decisions.

When it comes to selecting a device as useful and personal as a mobile phone, guided selling matters. Allowing the user to refine category and search results by features, brand, price and tech specs is great, but the user is left to dig through product details to come up with a “best match” choice.

Vodafone’s tool allows customers to drag and drop features and prioritize them (or delete them).

You can also add additional features:

Each feature has its own set of refinements:

Matches are updated real-time (without page reloads) to give customers confidence in their choices.

It’s easy to launch a product comparison matrix from the top results:

If there were a “Guided Selling Awards,” Vodafone would by my top nomination. Have you come across an innovative approach to tackling the “paradox of choice?” Share your nomination in the comments.

Optimizing the Customer Journey for the Complex Sale is the first in a series of 3 webinars for the telecom industry. Stay tuned for future installments…


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7 Responses to “Product Finder Awards: Vodafone”

  1. John says:

    I have two favorite finders that come from radically different industries. First, CDW does a great job helping small business owners filter through the complex decision making criteria that comes with buying a server. Since most small business owners are not overly text savvy, this tools simplifies the process while giving accurate recommendations.

    http://cdw.igodigital.com/

    Secondly, StyleUnited.com provides a full website experience that allows a female to enter an entire profile. This tool takes all different data points and then recommends both beauty articles and products of interest. This Guided Selling Tool helps create a community, enticing customers back to the tool while also keeping highly relevant products in front of the shopper.

    Both of these tools help take complex online buying processes and make them simple. Everything is dynamic and fluid for a great customer experience that shows accurate merchandise (always important).

    Thanks!

  2. paul baldovin says:

    Linda you said, “If there were a “Guided Selling Awards,” Vodafone would by my top nomination.” On this video Prismastar goes out of its way to dismiss ‘Guided Selling’ and merchandising in general.. “We don’t believe in it” was comment that struck me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhhw3cmdgz8

  3. Paul Baldovin says:

    eCommerce merchandising solutions like Product Finders should be about keeping shoppers on the site, engaged and ready to buy.

    There have been many interactive product finders over the years. These guided selling solutions are called, product selectors, buying guides, brand stores, configurators etc. and can be seen on countless manufacturer and retailer websites.

    The best of these tools (with conversion lift, engagement time, clicks to buy etc.) optimize the customer journey by simply answering customers’ questions.Simple is better in the guidance part and worry more about creating engaging content and the UX.

    If you are going to use solutions like this it also has to work perfectly on the traditional web, phones and tablets and used in-store, inprint with QR codes.

    Paul Baldovin at Easy2 Technologies

  4. It’s not a product finder, although it is ajax and very sophisticated – my favourite finder is Telegraph.co.uk’s UK Political Database advanced search

    http://ukpolitics.telegraph.co.uk/advancedSearch/mp#s=s;

    Using this advanced ajax search it is possible to find out answers to questions like ‘who is the youngest, female, public educated lawyer in the UK Parliament?’

    I have found it an invaluable tool to get to know the backgrounds of our elected representatives better.

    It is possible to filter by region, date elected, majority, how they voted and many other data points that the Telegraph have gathered – all very interesting – take a look!

  5. I have to add that my favourite actual ajax product finder is from LG Electronics in Sweden.
    Yes, it is in Swedish, but Google Translate can translate it into English as it is not Flash.
    The User Experience is great, especially in the Laptops category where clicking ‘add to compare’ and ‘more ‘detail’ show some nice ajax animation tricks.

    http://www.lgproductguide.com/se/#s=s

    I would be interested to know if anyone has found similar, or is this unique?

  6. Great article although as the company behind this technology we are rather bias :)

    Interpretation as to what exactly ‘is a product finder’ is interesting and probably one many people and companies could comment on. However the overriding ethos behind our technology that sets us apart, is our ability to translate and match what the user wants to product specification data and then re-present that as something they understand and relate too, thus maximising conversion and user experience.

    This is even more relevant to the latest version of our tool that will be launched shortly, watch this space!

  7. The PrismaStar Product Finder is attribute based so very much like what you would find in the left hand navigation on a retailers site. More advanced for sure but the UX is the same and I wonder is the paradox of choice really solved that the author mentions?

    Personally, I liked John’s igodigital example (above) using lifestyle questions to get you to the results. I bet conversions and engagement time are superb by using a simple Q&A approach. The LG Selector Simon linked to paginated nicely using sliders (very slick) and really easy.

    Maybe someone will try some kind of interconnected sliders to help in the needs / choice iteration?

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