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Why B2B companies need Product Selectors

By Mark
Last updated

What is an online product selector?

Product selectors can be called product finders, configurators, quiz wizards, product advisors but they are effectively the same thing. 

B2B website agencies are increasingly recommending them because they help your customers easily find the right product online, without having to spend time browsing categories and lists of products. They're perfect for the customer who is not sure what theyre looking for on your website and need some help. 

Configurators are slightly different. They are often found in ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems and enable creating custom products from various possible configurations. These work well when your products aren’t all “off the shelf” as you don’t know the exact requirements of every possible customer 

Configurators aren’t limited to ERPs though, they can work on your website just like product finders. 

Online product selectors and configurators work like online assistants. They help customers find the right products by asking them step-by-step questions. Using their answers, the product selector recommends or configures the right product for your customer. 

Snap on VCG

Snap-on Diagnostic's Vehicle Coverage Guide is a comprehensive product selector.

What are the benefits?

The benefit of selectors and configurators to your customers is they can quickly find (or create) the right product they need on your website.  
 
The benefit to you, the company, is your website is much more useful to your customers, meaning they’re more likely to choose your product over your competitors. 
 
Product selectors are also very useful for your existing B2B customers. For example, manufacturers often have thousands of products, all suited for different applications. 

NGK Partfinder cars catalogue

NGK’s “Part Finder” is an ‘online product selector’ which has been created for their technician customers to find the right NGK product for any vehicle.

Are product selectors relevant to B2B?

Definitely! They’re not just popular in B2C, product selectors are widely used in B2B sectors such as manufacturing, distribution and B2B services. B2B customers are the same as B2C customers, they want to easily find the product or service that solves their problem. 

Product selector examples

dessert finder

Langtons

Frozen dessert manufacturer, Langtons, use a product selector on their website for customers to easily browse their product range using feature filters. 

Tool Matcher

Tool Matcher

Snap-on Diagnostics'  Tool Matcher product finder uses a quiz wizard to help technicians select the best tool for the job.

boxsite home

Boxsite

The Box Site uses a product configurator for their customers to build custom made storage boxes by choosing from format, design, dimensions and material options.

Think big with B2B product finders.

Product finders can be used as part of a wider customer portal, where you can allow customers to configure and order products online. 
 
A great example of this is from Trox, a ventilation product manufacturer. Their myTrox portal allows customers to do this as well as get vital information such as pricing, delivery and lifecycle costs. 

myTrox

myTrox online customer portal.

How to create a successful B2B product selector 

1. Check out your competitors’ websites and see what they're offering. You want to know what you're up against and how your product selector can be better. 
 
2. Ask your customers what type of product selector they want. List down all the product questions that customers ask. If you’re not sure what these are then ask you sales and customer service teams. 
 
3. Map out the “‘question’ flow” for each product or service. 
 
4. Find out what product databases you have, what format they’re in and the quality of the data. This is important as the amount and quality of data will dictate what can be created. 
 
5. Research solutions. These will be an “off the shelf” product or a custom built product selector. “Off the shelf” is often quicker and cheaper but may not suit what you want compared to a custom solution that will do exactly what you need. 
 
6. Test and evolve. Once your new product selector is live, carry out user testing by monitoring interactions using analytics, heat maps and visitor recordings to see how you can improve the customer experience. 

Your B2B buyers are increasingly expecting suppliers to make ordering easier. Digital portals, product selectors, and product configurators are a great way to help your customers order online. If you can offer them, it will make your company easier to do business with and increase your sales long term. 

 

Book a product selector demo 

 

 

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