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How An eCommerce Quiz Can Drive Customer Engagement & Satisfaction

A quiz may be the missing piece of your marketing strategy. 

Here’s why: in the day of automation and personalization, a quiz is the differentiating tool that will help eCommerce brands stand out and build lasting customer relationships. 

Perhaps you’ve seen quizzes in your own shopping experiences– some websites require shoppers to go through a quiz to even start the checkout process. The likes of Stitch Fix, Winc, and The Farmer’s Dog customer input before you can even buy a product.   

And it makes sense, considering the macro factors of today’s eCommerce space: increasing customer acquisition costs, intensifying competitive landscape, and customers having more choices than ever before. 

How can brands differentiate themselves? 

One (timeless) approach is to create an unmatched customer experience: personalized exactly to the desires of the shopper. 

The key factor here is the data inputs. The adage “garbage in garbage out” is true for personalized marketing campaigns. The effectiveness of a personalization strategy is only as good as the customer data that the personalization is built around. 

And the best way to get this customer data is the most intuitive and simple solution: ask your customers.

Today’s shoppers want a personalized experience, and 71% are frustrated when they do not receive a personalized experience. 91% of shoppers are more likely to shop with brands that personalize their marketing, and in fact, they are more than willing to provide the relevant data to make this possible.

The only problem is that brands are not taking advantage of this willingness. 

This is the customer experience gap: shoppers are simply not getting the shopping experience that they want (and deserve). 

And there are real dollars at stake–driven by higher conversion rates, higher average order value, and more repeat purchases. 

In this post, we will examine three ways that a quiz can create a better customer experience, and how you can get started on executing your own personalization and quiz funnel strategy. 

Quiz Benefit #1 Recommend The Right Product 

One of the most intuitive use-cases of a quiz is a product recommendation quiz. 

This is the most direct stand-in for the in-person retail experience, something that many of us have not been able to enjoy due to the pandemic. 

Imagine stepping into a store interacting with a sales associate. The associate would greet you politely, ask a few open-ended questions to gauge your interests, your preferences are, and get an idea of what you’re looking for. From there the associate might make a quick mental calculation of what products in their inventory might fit your interest, and guide you to that product with a brief explanation and overview of the product. 

As a shopper, the more informed you are about the process of buying the product is far easier and you have a greater likelihood of purchasing additional products that the sales associate might recommend–an upsell based on relevancy. 

What you’ve gone through is the in-person equivalent of the product recommendation quiz.

A product recommendation quiz makes sense for a variety of niches and use cases. 

Skin care brands and cosmetic brands often use quizzes because the nuance of skin tone and product features is very precise. Imagine walking into a retail store like Sephora… You might want to know what skin tone or what lipstick or Foundation best matches your skin tone. And there are infinite numbers of skin tone. Thus you see a product recommendation quiz like Fenty’s Foundation Finder.

There are many SKU and variations, making it harder for the shopper to know exactly what the right product will be. Thus the quiz can take a few basic inputs and process that against the inventory to make a relevant recommendation. This is exactly what an in-person sales associate would do!

Every data point helps guide the shopper to the right product. And of course an email is captured so that the merchants can send subsequent messaging.

Impacted KPI: The product recommendation quiz directly impacts a site’s Conversion Rate, or ability to convert a shopper into a paying customer. 

Quiz Benefit #2. Ensure Customer Satisfaction

As mentioned earlier, ad costs and competition have increased the money required to drive and convert traffic. Thus, it’s more important to drive repeat purchases to offset the increased acquisition costs. 

Some brands do not realize a profit until the second purchase or thereafter. These repeat purchases are where subscription e-commerce businesses generate a bulk of their profits. 

And in order to continue getting repeat purchases it is imperative to understand as much as possible about the shoppers’ interest, preferences and likes. 

If there is so much as one poor customer experience, the customer may cancel the subscription and churn out. This can be devastating in terms of undermining profits.

Thus, a quiz is an important tool to capture key data customer insights at the very beginning of the customer journey, before a purchase has even been made. 

One great example of a quiz that gathers key customer data points is Trade Coffee

In a simple seven question quiz, Trade uncovers the basics of what a customer is looking for with their coffee: do they like light, medium, or dark roast? Are they willing to try different flavor profiles? Do they like sugar or not with your coffee? All of these questions and preferences are captured in the quiz.

This is very important because Trade relies on every single order pleasing the customer and creating a positive experience. 

If Trade did not have this quiz then they would be at risk of either a) sending repetitive orders (and thus a customer who becomes bored) or b) a customer who receives coffee that is not aligned with their taste preferences. 

Therefore the quiz acts as guardrails to know exactly what would increase the likelihood of a happy customer. 

Stitch Fix is another example of a company that heavily relies on the data gathered in the quiz before sending anything out to a customer. 

Stitch Fix has an extensive quiz, nearly eighty questions that asks everything from the basics (like the fit and sizing of shirts, pants, shoes, etc) but also more nuanced and subjective information like style preferences and willingness to try new trendy styles. 

Stitch Fix has grown into a multibillion-dollar business by leveraging the data on this quiz to also ensure that the customer has a higher likelihood of purchase and a greater chance of sticking around as a paying customer.

Impacted KPI: For subscription ecommerce brands that must ensure a happy customer with every purchase, a quiz is used to drive a higher Customer Lifetime Value by increasing the likelihood of a happy customer who will continue their subscription orders. 

Quiz Benefit #3: Capture More Leads

A quiz works well because it is a fun and engaging way for a shopper to share information that would benefit them and their experience as a customer. 

When capturing leads, the common default is for brands to offer free shipping or a discount in exchange for an email address. Here is an example from DTC drink brand Recess

The challenge with this is that there is not much context or detail to this captured email–in the example above, Recess captures a name and email. But what is the shopper looking for specifically, what would they likely purchase, what messaging would keep them engaged? 

Now imagine if you were to ask just a few simple questions and attach that to the email address in the CRM. 

For example if you are selling dog food, knowing the breed, the size, the age, the general health of the dog this would help immensely in knowing what marketing campaigns emails offers and messages would resonate with a customer.

Even moreso, what if you were able to understand where in the funnel the shopper is in terms of receptivity to the offer? 

For example, if you were to ask are you willing to spend money in order to get higher-quality food. This would be really valuable information, because you be able to essentially share top of the funnel content (education about the benefits of healthy food close?

Or you could alternatively know that you are dealing with a customer at the bottom of the funnel who may be comparing your offering with other similar competitors. 

A quiz can allow you to gauge the temperature of a customer’s willingness to purchase and alter your marketing as a result 
Impacted KPI: by gathering more leads, and leads that have better data, a quiz can impact the upside of an email marketing campaign to generate a higher ROI from email marketing.

How To Get Started With A Quiz

The upside of a quiz is straightforward — get a better understanding of what your customers are looking for so that you can create a better customer experience. 

Will a quiz be effective for your brand? 

One simple way to assess this is to imagine what a salesperson would do if you had the luxury of engaging with each person who visits your website. 

What are the types of questions that you would get most frequently? What are the common objections? 

Are there some products that match a particular type of customer? 

A quiz can be an effective tool to help facilitate the customer experience and easily guide shoppers to the right product. The outcomes can be a higher conversion rate, average order value, and customer lifetime value. 

So where can you get more of this important data to understand what you need to do?

Questions that come up repeatedly with support tickets or live chat transcripts are one simple way to start.

Another good way is to work backwards from how you built your email marketing strategy and segmentation: what are the types of segments have you created, and based on what attributes?  How does the messaging differ based on this segmentation? 

For example Stitch Fix may have different marketing personas for the conservative professional dresser, the clubgoer, the casual athleisure type. 

Each of these can be identified like crafting the quiz questions in a certain way as to identify what is most important to the shopper.

You may have heard personalization a lot, and you may hear it more and more as a marketing strategy. But it is important to acknowledge that an effective personalization campaign is only as good as the data that is fed into it. 

The most direct and certain way of understanding what those what your shoppers are looking for is to ask them directly. 

This is why a quiz is such a critical tool in your marketing strategy, and can be a path towards differentiating your brand with a stellar customer experience. 

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Gen is Co-Founder of Prehook, an interactive quiz builder for Shopify merchants. He can be found on Twitter and Linked In.