Use Wizards to Achieve Up to 3-5x Higher Ecom Conversion Rates
It can be a difficult task for users to find the appropriate product when they land on a website. If they’re not familiar with the brand, they may struggle with its category names, page layouts, and item features. And if the process is too confusing and/or overwhelming, it’s very likely that they will leave the store and never come back.
Making your website as clear as possible to facilitate the buyer’s journey will nip many potential problems in the bud, but there are other tools you can use to help customers find what they’re looking for.
One of these tools is called a wizard. If implemented well, wizards can increase your conversion rate by several times when visitors use them. That’s what happened to one of our clients: their website’s overall conversion rate was typically between four and six percent, while the conversion rate of users who interacted with their wizard was three to five times higher than that.
In this article, we’re going to cover the principles of good wizard implementation, when wizards should be used, and why this tool worked so well for our client, so you can decide if and how wizards should be applied to your ecommerce store.
When to Use a Wizard
Here are some good examples of when to add a wizard to your website:
- Whenever you offer a large number of products that could make the process confusing and cause paradox of choice. That way, the wizard will help narrow down the user’s choices, saving a lot of time and avoiding frustration.
- When the product is new or relatively new. If users are not familiar with it yet, they won’t know whether the item will work for them. The wizard works well in this case because it will show the recommended product(s) based on their needs, regardless of their previous awareness of the product’s existence.
- When the features are unknown. The logic on this one is similar to that for new products. In this case, a wizard can be useful when a new functionality is released (e.g., something new on a model people already know).
- When you offer products with very similar features. Even if you don’t offer a large number of items, wizards can be beneficial if you have both a “regular” and “pro” version of a product. For example, it’s very likely that users will choose the regular option (because why would they pay extra for something they don’t even think they need?), but the pro version might be exactly what they were expecting from the simplest product and they just don’t realize it yet.
Things to Consider When Setting a Wizard
Make sure the language is clear, that every step works properly, and that the results are relevant to your audience. Remember that the main goal of a wizard is to facilitate navigation, so you should build it based on the questions your visitors typically have in order to actually help them. You can determine which questions to ask by consulting with your customer support team, running user tests, and conducting polls or post-purchase surveys. What are the main concerns users have when they see your site? What do they struggle with? What are the main questions they have when trying to choose a product? Those are the types of things you want to address.
In our client example case, the main problem was the large number of products offered, which made customers unsure if they’d gotten the right item. Their wizard focused on the issue they wanted to solve, as it wasn’t very clear what each product did at first sight, and the age of the person who would use it, as there were alternatives for every age range.
When it comes to setting a wizard, you should also ensure that every result is accurate, otherwise, providing the tool will be pointless. On our client’s website, the results were collections, and every product inside the collection solved the same problem. However, we still offered filters on these collections to allow users to narrow down their choices even more if needed. You can also have a single product as a result; it will be contextual and depend on your niche, the number of products you offer, what matches the answers provided, and the goal of that wizard.
How to Increase Interaction with Your Wizard
If you want something to be seen, you need to make it prominent. Your wizard can be a visible permanent link or button and added to multiple pages and places, like the main navigation and footer menu. You can also promote and incorporate the first step to the homepage, as people are typically still deciding what their navigational strategy will be at this step (especially in the case of explorative shopping, where they don’t know precisely what they want).
This means that if you only show the wizard on the product page, for example, it’s very likely that they will have already chosen a strategy and won’t change it to start using the wizard. You can also embed the entire wizard on the homepage if that strategy makes sense to your audience and doesn’t contribute to cognitive load.
The wizard can also be on the landing page of an ad so users will be forced to interact with it. For example, “Find the perfect pillow that will help you with your back pain.” You can also use it to highlight specific products you need.
Why Wizards Work So Well
When you put users in charge of the process, it gives them pre-purchase confidence because it’s a personalized and interactive experience where they are asked questions. Also, well-built wizards are much more intuitive and user-friendly, not intimidating (like surveys), and can function like an in-person sales associate that would lead you to the correct aisle based on your personal needs.
Wizards can be a very powerful tool when they’re well designed, structured, and strategic. However, they won’t work the same for every ecom store, which means you need to create yours based on your own customers’ behavior. Always make sure you’re providing relevant info to your audience and that the wizard is serving its main purpose—to facilitate the buying journey.
Baymard Institute. (2014-2021). Assist Selection of a Well-Defined Scope. Guideline #248. Baymard Institute.
Baymard Institute. (2014-2021). Consider Promoting and Embedding Wizards Directly on the Homepage. Guideline #247. Baymard Institute.