The key steps of the process to develop a sound product guide concept are listed here.

Please use the page "Product Guide Concept Definition" provided in your Confluence Space to document your results. If you have trouble defining your concept, contact excentos.

1Define the target group

Who are the users? What do they know about your products? How much time do they want to spend searching a solution?

It may help to define several "persona" that showcase different types of user needs, search profiles and e.g. web usage patterns.

2Analyze your shop / website

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • can users of the target group find a product / take a buying decision in your current shop or website?
  • can they understand your product names?
  • can they understand the website navigation / category names?
  • can they distinguish your marketing texts? Your product images? Your product data tables?
3Define topics and / or user requirements 

Define topics and / or user requirements that are important to your target group when searching for products.

If you defined different target groups / persona, are there different topics / user requirements?

Group similar topics to define topic groups that could be presented together to the user

4Check dependencies(iterative with "define topics":)
Check if there are dependencies between the topics. Write them down and consider them when defining the question flow and recommendation rules.
Starting from here (or already in step 3), the most effective approach is to directly collect concept ideas into the Workbench
5Define questions and answer options

(iterative with "define topics" and "check dependencies":)
define questions and answer options for each topic.

Carefully define the exact text for each question and answer option.

You should use Action Wording, i.e. where ever appropriate use verbs instead of nouns (especially for Answer Options).

If you have trouble defining precise and understandable content (for your target group!), you probably missed out one of the steps before.

6Group the questions into an order and summarize them into Stages

Think about in which order and context you would like to present the questions. Depending on the user interface, it makes sense to group the questions into separate Stages (each containing one or more questions).

7Make a first checkCheck and refine your questions and answer options with users of your target group and e.g. product experts, your marketing team, your sales team and your customer services team

Choose an appropriate Theme OR

decide if you would like to have a different design

excentos offers a variety of different Themes. Please check our Theme description or test them yourselves in your Workbench account. Each Theme contains a description for intended usecases and features.

Here is what you should pay attention to when choosing the Theme:

  • complexity of your product category and your target group
  • how well does it integrate into your shop / website from a design / user experience perspective
  • how well does it support your Advisor Concept (and especially the desired image & explanation content usage)
9Create engaging and informative Explanation Content

Providing great images and explanation content is crucial for a good conversion rate and upselling of your Product Guide.

Depending on whether you want to create an emotional shopping experience, or show a lot of explanations and product features, you will most probably need different images. 

Please check that our different Themes make different use of decoration images and explanation images.


Configure the desired recommendation behavior

For each question and / or answer option, define the desired impact on the recommendation behavior, i.e. which products or product groups would you like to recommend? See Matching and Reasoning
11Define Reasonings

It helps to define which Reason texts / statements about the products and requirements you would like to present to the user. 

(info) Good Reasonings enhance the result list and its conversion since every positive Reason provides an argument why to buy the product.



Get some users to test your concept. Make the following tests:

  • do users understand what question / answer stands for which of their self-expressed user requirements?
  • do the the questions and answers help them to get to a product that fulfills their needs. Present example products (as defined in the step "Desired Recommendation Behavior") to them to see their smile or dislikes

  • how long did it take to get to a buying decision?
13Refine your Product Guide concept
14create a powerful Onsite Marketing and Linking concept

It is crucial that your users easily find the Product Guide, whenever they are stuck in the buying decision and otherwise risk to abondon your website.

We've created many tips and examples in this Onsite Marketing and Linking documentation on how to successfully link into the Product Guide and at the same time increase traffic and conversion of your shop: 

You now should have a good concept in place that creates a good basis for going live. The best thing now is to go live in order to collect usage data, analyze it in the excentos Web Analytics and optimize it based on the usage data.

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