How a Product Finder Tool Transforms the Online Shopping Experience

UX, privacy, and operational efficiencies have officially taken center stage, but the key to mastering your online shopping strategy undoubtedly lies in the prowess of personalization.

Daryll Williams | Feb 28, 2024
How a Product Finder Tool Transforms the Online Shopping Experience

UX, privacy, and operational efficiencies have officially taken center stage, but the key to mastering your online shopping strategy undoubtedly lies in the prowess of personalization.


We’re witnessing a shift in the game. It’s harder than ever to crack the what-makes-my-customers-tick code. But you’re not alone. High cart abandonment, decision fatigue, and low conversion rates are more widespread than you would believe.

These days the stakes are high, the choices are endless, and the search for the perfect product can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. And while your webshop might be prepped to the best of your abilities with highly detailed product descriptions, product images, and reviews, some shoppers still prefer getting direct, tailored guidance about the product that suits them best.

But how do you generate a high-touch, highly personalized, and high-converting experience in the confines of your digital channel? The answer lies in the power of a Product Finder tool.


What is a Product Finder tool?


An eCommerce Product Finder tool helps shoppers find the best products based on their needs. It's a Guided Selling experience founded on ease of use and intuitive guidance. Plus, it simplifies the path to purchase, getting shoppers closer to their “perfect match” as quickly as possible.

It works by showing users a series of questions related to relevant usage scenarios. Through the appropriate responses, the tool narrows down the options and provides tailored recommendations. These tools are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to continuously improve the results shown based on the input.

Product Finder tools can be implemented across retail industries, from sports & outdoor to home & appliances to beauty & intimates – offering the simplest way to assist in navigating extensive (or overly technical) product catalogs.


What are the benefits of a Product Finder tool?




This Guided Selling tech provides several key benefits, but here are some of the most important ones you simply can’t overlook:

1. A powerful form of customer service

The customer is always right, right? So why not start listening to their needs a bit more!

Product Finders serve as a kind of customer service center. They predict what your shoppers need and help them make more informed decisions, emulating the help they'd get from an in-store visit. Automating your reactive customer service function is a progressive strategy, especially if you want to scale your business and reach more people.

2. Higher conversion rates


Customers can narrow down their choices without having to browse extensively. What this means is: As soon as they find the products that link up to their preferences, they make the purchase.


3. Cross-selling and upselling opportunities


A Product Finder can be viewed as a matchmaker. Not only does it help customers spot the perfect item but it also suggests complementary items for cross-selling and upselling.

You can pair your Product Finder with recommendations. This way, when the perfect product is recommended, you can offer complementary products to increase average order values.


4. Deeper knowledge about your customers


When visitors use your tool to find the right product, they share their preferences in a data-compliant way, which can help you better understand your demographic. Gaining market share, after all, starts with collecting as much information about your customer base as you can.


5. Creates rich product data 


Product Finders play a crucial role in enriching product data after the fact by monitoring data like engagement points and campaign insights. This, in turn, helps you identify opportunities for continuous improvement, standardizing attributes, and providing valuable action points to enrich your product data. This enriched product data includes various attributes such as product features, specifications, pricing, availability, and other relevant details.


Why personalization is so important in eCommerce


A personalized shopping experience directly leads to boosted sales. It’s a hill we’re willing to die on.

We believe (and the numbers show) that those who excel at demonstrating customer intimacy generate faster rates of growth than their peers. Read up on some of our greatest successes:

  • Joolz facilitates the buying journey
  • Love Stories invests in a “personal touch” approach
  • Top4Sport links shoppers directly to their perfect fit

What’s most clear is this: the closer businesses can get to their customers, the bigger the gains will be.

"It's quite simple: Tailored interactions that happen often, create more data from which businesses can design even more relevant experiences. This is the power of personalization in eCommerce. It's the key to generating stronger, long-term customer lifetime value" - Patrick Oberstadt, Behavioral Designer


Here are some other reasons why we believe personalization is integral 


  • Relevance builds trust: When customers see personalized recommendations that align with their preferences, it builds trust in the brand. A generic site experience just doesn’t cut it anymore.
  • Understanding customer behavior: The best future-proof tools collect zero-party data on customer preferences and behavior. Analyzing this data provides insights into trends, allowing businesses to refine their offerings.
  • Product personalization: Product Finders facilitate businesses to effectively do product personalization, which is ultimately consent-based and more tailored to the explicit needs of the shopper.
  • Competitive edge: In a crowded eCommerce landscape, personalization, especially through Guided Selling tools, can be a big differentiator.
  • Stay current: Personalization tools can adapt to changing seasons or trends. This flexibility ensures that your product recommendations and Guided Selling strategies remain relevant and appealing over time.


How to pick your personalization partner


While the right partner in personalization is heavily dependent on their capabilities, many important factors impact the decision to opt for one provider over another:

  • Do you share the same vision for success?
  • What is their approach to user privacy?
  • Are there proven use cases available to demonstrate their expertise in your industry?
  • Do they have the resources and infrastructure to support a growing program?

Technology is merely a vehicle through which customer experiences are formed. A true personalization provider has the power to transform entire digital strategies, augment efforts in the development of new ideas and implementations, provide analysis and refinement of campaigns, as well as advance innovative initiatives.

Roughly 45% of customers say they are more likely to shop on an eCommerce site that offers personalization. This is a big deal.

Understanding individual preferences, behavior patterns, and unique needs is what underpins the most effective personalization strategies. However, delving deeper into the psychology behind these personalized experiences unveils a fascinating realm where science intersects with shopping behavior.

At its core, personalization hinges on the ability to anticipate and cater to the desires of each customer. But what drives the effectiveness of personalized recommendations? How do our minds respond to tailored suggestions? And what factors influence our decision-making processes?

Enter the psychology of Product Finders…


The psychology behind Product Finder tools




Product finders harness the power of psychological principles to guide users towards products that align with their preferences and desires.

Selling isn't just about pushing products or services; it's about connecting with people on a deeper level. To truly excel in the world of Product Discovery, it’s more important than ever to grasp the psychology behind what pushes people to buy.


Choice overload is real


Let's talk about choice overload. This phenomenon occurs when people are given too many options to choose from. It can cause them to feel overwhelmed, confused, and even stressed – not a great browsing experience, now is it?

This psychological principle sits at the heart of the product finding experience. Whether it’s online or in-store, it’s important to try and reduce the mental strain that your customers experience.

If you’ve ever been stuck deciding which television to buy because of the complex, technical nature of these products, Coolblue’s TV Finder is a great example of solving this very issue. They ask questions to narrow down the choices, display all the important information you need to buy a TV, and in doing so simplify these TVs to a novice buyer.


7 psychological principles to optimize your Product Finder Tool 


  1. Labor illusion: People trust and value results more when they obtain them after a carefully crafted delay. Ensure you have enough questions in your Finder, and build in a delay before showing results. Making a Finder experience too short will make it seem like there is no thought going into recommendations.
  2. Perceived control: Results should directly reflect what users have answered in the Finder. Ensure user input is reflected in the results, with proper justification as to why the results are tailored accordingly.
  3. Progressive disclosure: Don't start with the hardest questions or all of the content at once. Start slow and keep it simple. People will feel confident that they can take on more if they are guided gradually.
  4. Goal gradient effect: The closer you move to the end of the question phase, the more likely you are to finish it. Showing a progress bar helps ease the journey.
  5. Sunk cost: In relation to the goal gradient effect, the more you've invested in something the less likely you are to abandon it.
  6. Intrinsic motivation: Finders feel like a quiz you know all the answers to – it's a fun experience! Making it joyous for users will pay dividends.
  7. The principle of authority: People naturally follow the advice of authority figures, because we’re taught to respect and obey authority figures from a young age. Companies can leverage this with a Finder experience that showcases their expertise.


Product Finder tool examples to get inspired by

UX/UI can be a hugely underrated part of the product-finding experience. Average-looking finders run the gamut. Here are some of the finest Product Finder examples to inspire you.


1. Osprey’s Pack Finder




Finding the right backpack is incredibly difficult. That difficulty multiplies when you’re after a pack for a very specific reason. And it can be near impossible if there are technical specs at play.

To deal with the inherent complexity of their huge (and very technical) product catalog, Osprey launched their own Pack Finder – taking the guesswork out of deciding which pack is perfect for you.

Whether you’re looking to backpack in the Rockies, mountain bike in Moab, or just run errands around town, their finder reimagines how you gear up for greatness.


2. Ekster’s Wallet Finder




Ekster makes wallets, bags, and accessories that “save (users) time, so (they) can get back to living”. Their ecosystem of B corp-certified sustainable products aims to fulfill very specific needs, and thus the Ekster Wallet Finder was born.

Designed to help users filter through and discover the perfect wallet, this simple quiz only takes a few minutes to complete, but will give shoppers a great starting point for discovering new and unique wallets that best fit their way of life and personality. 


3. Tropic’s Skincare Routine Finder




Tropic prides themselves on offering beauty routines that feed the skin with nutritious ingredients, delivering visible clinical results, protecting the planet, and funding good causes in the process.

Tropic’s Skincare Routine Finder consists of a short questionnaire that asks you about your skin type and conditions. Afterwards, it provides you with a tailored routine that is shaped around the Build Your Own Skincare Selection, with some bonus product recommendations at the end! You can also choose to email your routine to yourself and keep for later. You’re just a few questions away from your dream routine!


4. Stitch Fix’s Style Finder




Stitch Fix’s self-defined mission is to change the way shoppers find clothes they love by combining technology with the personal touch of seasoned style experts. The Stitch Fix experience is based on personalization. Helping their customers save time, look great, and evolve personal style over time.

Offering personalized fashion in return for information about your tastes and needs, Stitch Fix’s Style Finder assists customers in discovering their preferred styles, sizes, and budgets quickly and easily.


5. HEAD’s Padel Finder




HEAD aims to bring high-performance gear to every athlete, professional and amateur, and empower them to be the best they can be in racquet sports.

HEAD’s Padel Finder is a guidance tool to help users find the best selection of Padel racquets for every level and playing style. It’s the key to earning that winning edge.


Get a personalized Product Finder tool implemented on your website


The widening gap between current operations and the demands of tomorrow is clear. Those who are lagging in their digital transformation efforts are finding it increasingly challenging to meet customer expectations and remain competitive.

As the pace of technological advancement accelerates, this gap is expected to widen, emphasizing the critical need for businesses to prioritize and expedite the way they approach setting themselves apart

Customers enjoy getting advice from a salesperson who is familiar with their tastes and buying inclinations. The truth is, they want the same experience online, with individualized recommendations based on their preferences. You should always drive your customers to the desired search results as quickly as possible. This is where a Product Finder shines.

Learn more about how a Product Finder can level you up, or book a demo with us to see what we can do for you.


Learn more about Product Finders