06 Oct 2015
Curated shopping

Curated shopping: Narrowing buyer choices: Why we all need to become personal shop assistants

Trying to shop for anything these days is like entering into a time-sucking black hole, where hours later you emerge, after reading endless customer reviews, watched demos, perused specs and calculated price comparisons, still undecided as to which one to choose.

This overload of information and product-types leads to indecisiveness and that’s is bad for your brand as it can leave potential customer’s wavering between you and ten others. Of course, we all try to differentiate our product from others with our marketing messages, but that’s not enough.

Brands need to step up and start helping customer’s make these judgement calls, in effect, we all need to try to become that friendly personal shop assistant who shows the customer a few products based on their needs and then influences them from a maybe, to a solid yes.

We can do this best by becoming better curators of online products, customers have so much choice that it’s time that we helped them narrow it down. For example, a parent is looking for the perfect laptop for their kid to take away to university, don’t send them off to your online store or retail partner to be confronted with an overwhelming choice. Narrow the selection down to a relevant few and help them understand their options better before they are directed to purchase.

And it’s not only your website that can get involved in curating, you can also utilise your online shopping apps too, so that when they look for products you come up with a few other choices – curating the decision by giving them just a handful of options based on product configuration.

Community curation is also getting really big; people like to have their peers, celebrities, or independent experts help make up their minds. It makes their choice feel more authentic than having a marketer tell them what to buy, so having a great marketing strategy that gets your products noticed and used by social influencers can make your job a whole lot easier.

Remember to get your social strategy lining up with your curation efforts, brands are currently analysing Facebook ‘like’ data to develop personalised curated content and developing Pinterest boards based on what a person searches and pins. It’s all about whittling products down into a small manageable collection based on their individual (but also their shared community) tastes.

When it comes to curation, it’s important that you still make it feel that the customer has come to his or her own decision, it’s about being subtle, not forcing them to make up their minds. Helpful marketing copy that educates the buyer is a start, but also focus on digital experiences to make their choices line up with their own needs. For example, a personality test can help determine a set of choices (or one option) for someone based on their requirements. These kinds of things can be fun, entertaining, educational, but can also end up giving your audience a choice based on their own reasoning.

Curated shopping is something that’s becoming bigger, and it’s actually nothing new, it’s the same as the special offer catalogue offering a handful of products, or a shop window promoting a few things available in store. It’s just that online, you can create digital strategies that help your customer come to a decision, through gamification of the choosing process, social interactions and personalised emails.

For the digital shopping curation that really works, talk to us, we’ll help create experiences that will stay with your customer and help them with that all important purchase decision.