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Simplifying the buyer’s journey: 5 brands using conversational search to drive sales and increase loyalty

You’ve outfitted your product pages to detail the quality of your products, priced them competitively and created engaging, thumb-stopping content across channels, but those components alone are not going to win over consumers in 2020. The demand for convenience is at an all-time high, and meeting these expectations starts with transforming the customer experience with conversational search. 

More than 90% of consumers use search during different stages of their customer lifecycle, however, the traditional keyword-based search experience is outdated, flawed, and has not been updated since pre-Y2K. Between an overabundance of choice, lack of guidance and selective shoppers, it’s vital for businesses to cater to each individual consumer with best-in-class digital capabilities. 

Consumers reward businesses that deliver the most personalized, conversational experiences; brands and retailers across industries are responding to this shift in consumer expectations. 

Here are 5 brands that are driving sales and increasing loyalty by leveraging conversational search to guide consumers to the right product for them: 

KitchenAid – Mixer Configurator


KitchenAid is taking personalization to the next level with their new custom configurator of its iconic standing mixer. Recognizing the breadth of colors, bowl sizes, attachments–and maybe most importantly, that their stand mixer is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase that is often given as a gift at major life milestones, KitchenAid saw the opportunity for customization. Their configurator lets consumers pick from over 30 colors and as a nod to the iconic wedding gift-the option to engrave the rims of their bowls with a personalized message.

Their search experience positions the brand to easily recommend additional attachments and accessories for the ultimate stand mixer experience. Consumers feel acknowledged while KitchenAid gains new insights into consumer intent and interest in their product. 

Living Proof – Haircare quiz 

living proof

When your hair products are backed by scientific research out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, guiding a consumer to the right products needs to be a thoughtful guided experience. Living Proof, a prestige hair care brand, identified the need to educate consumers on why certain products are better than others for their individual needs. To get to the root of consumers’ hair concerns, they integrated a hair care quiz that builds unique hair profiles for each consumer. Living Proof asks a series of questions as part of the consumer’s exploration process to provide truly personalized recommendations across the full hair care product ranges.

Fitbit – which is right for you?


While Fitbit’s product range may be small, each fitness tracker offers a different range of capabilities. Both activity level and functionality are two components consumers focus on when buying fitness trackers. However, every shopper will have different athletic capacities and diverse feature requirements. Knowing no two consumers are alike, Fitbit integrated a Find your Fit quiz to guide shoppers to their perfect fitness tracker based on their unique needs. Consumers can now rest assured they’re receiving the product that is best for their activity level, and Fitbit delivers an experience competitors do not. 

OBI – Garden project configurator


In the DIY market, product guidance and knowledgeable advice are crucial business drivers. Consumers want to feel confident that they can take the reins and own their projects. Because consumers expect them to receive the same advice online as they would from a trusted neighbor or the sales associate at their local big-box DIY store, OBI launched a garden project configurator on their website to offer comprehensive product guidance to consumers.

OBI didn’t just stop at the garden, they launched conversational search across over 20 different product categories to thoroughly plan their DIY projects or quickly find the right products.

3M – Safety eyewear selector


Purchasing personal protective equipment for potentially dangerous work environments requires buyers to be 100% confident in their purchase decisions. One noncompliant component can put workers at harm’s risk. 3M wanted to provide the same personalized experience online as their buyers would receive from traditional sales reps. By integrating a conversational search solution, 3M is able to provide its buyers with tailored search experiences to each individual consumer through needs-based questions. Now buyers can make sense of different SKUs and find the right products for them based on usage, safety regulations, compliances,  and risk management. 

Whether it’s a fitness tracker or a garden project, all product categories benefit from conversational search as the need for guidance has not disappeared in the digital age. Businesses that recognize this will continue to drive their digital sales and increase brand loyalty because they think customer-first. 

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Lauren Panaswich is a content strategist at zoovu with a background in new media and digital marketing. With a centric focus on AI, she advocates the importance of personalization and humanization in a digital environment. Based in Boston, Lauren enjoys traveling, learning and meeting new people.