You don’t need to be an ecommerce expert to know that related products helps you sell more stuff online.
Amazon are often hailed as the trailblazers for related products, at least, the customers who come in and brief us on their ecommerce websites always ask for ‘the “Customers who bought this also liked…” like Amazon have’ widget! And below you’ll see it in all it’s glory…
I have to be honest. I’d always seen this as a very neat upselling tool that was much more useful to the etailer than it was to the customer. I would generally always encourage my ecommerce clients to include this sort of upsell tool unless completely inappropriate, but it wasn’t until I was shopping online this week that I realised that related product functions can actually be really useful to the customer.
When related product functions are useful: the flooring case study
If you’ve been following me on twitter or reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m in the middle of a complete house renovation that is consuming most of my time and energy. I’m delighted to say that light is nearing the end of the tunnel, the builders should be out next week and normal blog service will very soon resume… But I digress. Throughout the process of the build I have ordered all manner of things online that I’m just not used to buying, and it’s been a real eye opener. The flooring was a really good example of this that I’d like to share with you.
My husband is amazing at DIY – he fits kitchens, tiles bathrooms, plumbs stuff in and is generally brilliant around the house. I am not so practical, but for whatever reason I was the one to source and order the flooring (it’s probably down to my impatience). We ordered our oak flooring from a website which shall nameless (for reasons which will become apparent) that unfortunately appeared to be set up with a real disregard for the customer in mind. To say the site was frustrating to use was an understatement.
However, I persevered and ordered the flooring. Not being an expert at fitting floors (and not having an expert to hand that could tell me what to do) I felt like a fish out of water.
I wanted someone to tell me what extras I needed. Did I need underlay? I don’t know! I don’t know how to fit a floor. Do I need adhesive? Again, I’m not sure!
There was a real opportunity for this company to think carefully about the experience they wanted to give the customer, to provide a really high level of service online and win significant business because of it. It would have also meant that they wouldn’t have needed to compete quite so heavily on price.
Taking the customer on a journey
Think about it. I suspect that most people that order flooring through that site are in my shoes. They’re probably (and forgive me because I’m generalising here) ordering on behalf of their installer, and therefore need some guidance around what they need. Imagine how powerful it would have been if the website took you on a bit of a journey once you’ve added the wood to your basket.
Imagine something like Welcome Fiona, we see you’ve added 50sq m of oak flooring to your basket. How will you be fitting your floor (2 options to tick then move on to next screen)
If you’re floating your floor we recommend buying 50sqm of 2mm underlay and 3x pots of adhesive. Would you like to add these to your basket?
This could have all been done through the checkout journey for a seamless, fun and recommendable experience. The actual experience was anything but seamless, although to the company’s immense credit, they were interested in feedback. It’ll be interesting to see how much of it they take on board!
How can you use related products to improve your customer journey?