Guided Selling: Do You Sell Products or Solutions?

Ecommerce innovators like Crutchfield are upping the ante on guided selling with solutions-based product finders like Outfit My Car.

Using an advanced database of car makes, models and stereo, Outfit My Car suggests compatible gear including GPS, satellite radio, iPod players, speakers, subwoofers and video to match the customer’s needs.

Plus, installation guides, video or articles for each category.

Or, you can use the Digital Drive Thru to find the accessories you need to hook up the iPod you have to your specific car make and model.

Crutchfield shows an installation diagram and accessory cross-sells.

Awesome.

These types of tools and resources can mean a lot of extra work, but they are also engaging, get you word-of-mouth, encourage repeat visits and guide customers to quicker conversion.

Even if you don’t have a big budget, consider product finders based on product usage or purchase situation. An example of a less-sophisticated but useful product finder is CatToys.com’s Shop By Personality section.

Don’t forget, this Thursday from 9am PST / 12pm EST is our webinar on ecommerce innovation. You’ll learn:

- Strategic areas where retailers are changing the game
- Interface advances that radically improve the customer experience
- Technology improvements that reduce effort and increase sales
- New and exciting business models
- Key steps to roll out your own innovations
- Ridiculously cool stuff!

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4 Responses to “Guided Selling: Do You Sell Products or Solutions?”

  1. Crutchfield has always done a marvelous job with customer service and sales support via the web. They really get the experience element and customer engagement process that many websites lack. I firmly believe that the future and growth of personal computing on the internet will be dependent on customer engagement. The ability for multiple users to collaborate within an ecommerce environment and access information in real-time from peers and experts will evolve as another element of customer engagement. It will be interesting to see how quickly ecommerce adapts to this evolving landscape.

  2. [...] to find compatible furniture, can work for any product that is sold for use with another product (car stereo, ink / toner [...]

  3. This approach can really be applied to most sites. It also goes hand-in-hand with goal-based navigation, something we’re working with more and more lately. Most customers come to websites looking to meet their needs, not just read some touchy-feely information about your company. Helping them find a solution to the questions they are asking right now is certainly going to close a sale better than just bragging about your accomplishments. So we’ve been applying this to B2B sites lately. Your article brings up good approaches for applications of these principles to B2C sites.

  4. Even I tried crutchfield.com’s Digital Drive Thru and searched for the following combination for 2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan:

    # iPod: iPod Touch / iPhone
    # Stereo: Factory Stereo Installed

    It’s fabulous. Guided Selling benefits the seller by exploring “cross-selling” opportunities and enhance the customer experience as well.

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