The team at Cumbria-based Catering Appliance Superstore has developed what is said to be an industry-first product finder on its website: www.catering-appliance.com.
Over the past 3 months the dealer has worked with web development company SCK Web Works to create this product finder function. The facility asks a few questions in a conversational manner, and then presents the most suitable product to fit the requirement.
“The finder will help to save customers time by quickly identifying suitable products, without the need to trawl the website comparing products, and check if certain products fit their requirements,” said Graham Sowerby, SCK Web Works’ MD.
“It will also reduce the amount of returns by making customers aware of important things to consider before making a purchase.
“A good example is a commercial glasswasher and the ‘maximum loading height’ specification. Some of these products are only suitable for standard UK pint glasses, so when users try and put taller ‘branded’ glasses into the machine, they do not fit. With the filter questions, we ask ‘What is the height of the tallest glass (or item) that you will want to wash in the glasswasher?’ This will then eliminate any products with a low loading height.”
Any staff member at Catering Appliance Superstore can now login to the management system and set up a series of questions and assign them to a product category. The initial categories were decided based upon advice from the firm’s sales staff as to which products sell the most and technical categories where customers find it difficult to make decisions.
For example, for dishwashers, questions such as ‘Do you live in a hard water area?’ or ‘Do you require a drain pump?’ will show products with or without a water softener and if the drainage is level or above the unit’s position, respectively.
So far filters have been added to categories including oven ranges, microwaves, ice makers, back bar bottle coolers and glasswashers. They will be rolled out to all categories over the next few weeks.