Regardless of your industry, you’ll find that a growing number of companies is offering digital advisors to make the decision process easier for their customers.
If you’ve been thinking about utilizing digital advice in 2017, it’s a good idea to take note of some examples from your industry and understand what makes them successful and useful for customers and what could be improved.
Below is a roundup of some of the best digital advisors of 2016. I’ve gathered and analyzed examples from various industries, so you can get inspiration for creating your own digital advisors.
A. BEAUTY & STYLE
1. Madison Reed – Find your perfect hair color
Madison Reed started with a simple mission – making at-home hair colors with “good” ingredients. Their hair color finder helps anyone who is confused about which dye to buy. Whether shoppers want a touch up or a complete hair color change, the Madison Reed finder helps their website visitors quickly find the right product without feeling overwhelmed.
Design: The design of the site is appealing with a white background and simple layout. It reduces clutter and allows users to stay focused.
Navigation: The finder is responsive and offers between three and four simple answer options for each question. After just eight questions, you’ll quickly be able to find the right hair color. The finder is extremely user-friendly allowing users to scroll to the next question after each answer.
Questions: The questions are very easy to answer and completely need-oriented. For example: “Change your hair color or start coloring your hair?”
Result: Based on the answers, the advisor recommends a color and offers a few alternative suggestions. Users can also compare swatches to decide which hair color suits them best. The result is extremely clear and special features include being able to email the result for later reference.
Conclusion: Finding the right hair color is a serious decision for many shoppers, as choosing a bad color can impact their happiness dramatically. With their advisor, Madison Reed certainly helps indecisive shoppers to choose the shade worth buying.
2. Pond’s skin advisor
The main page of Pond’s website is devoted to skin care products. They offer solutions to many of your skin woes, such as sagging or acne. The company is based in the USA and owned by Unilever.
Design: Simplistic and not showy.
Navigation: The navigation is appealing and easy to use with great graphics. However, if you can’t take a photo, you can’t be assessed or answer any further questions.
Questions: The questions are very simple – they include your age and what you’re looking for. They’re intuitive and can help you realize exactly what it is you need from your make up.
Result: It’s easy to work out what it is you should buy, and if you’re interested you can also make a purchase.
Conclusion: The only problem with Pond Skin advisor is that you are required to take a photo with even lighting which can be tricky if you don’t have a suitable camera. However, this can also be a great function as it allows you to get a proper assessment for your skin, rather than simply answering a few questions.
3. Style advisor
If you’re looking for men’s style tips, you can use the Outfittery site and a style expert will create individual outfits for you. Custom outfits are created by personal style guides who will email you once you’ve completed the finder’s questions. The site is hoping to cut out the need for men to go shopping at all – something which many people are likely to find a huge blessing.
Design: Stylish and sophisticated
Navigation: With large buttons and an easy to use first page, you’ll quickly be working your way around the finder. By clicking on the buttons, you’re led through the questions quickly and easily. The layout of the finder is easy to use and offers you images, rather than just descriptions of your preferred style.
Questions: The questions are need-oriented and very intuitive. With options such as: “How old do you feel?” you’re giving an interesting overview of what you like. However, once you have made your way through the finder, deciding on which outfits you prefer, you’ll need to create an account so that a personal stylist can contact you.
Result: Once you’ve answered all the questions, you’ll be offered the chance to receive a box in the post. Any clothes in this box will be from a range of designers which you have already approved. You will then be able to order and try on items you’re interested in. Everything can be tried on at home and you only need to pay for what you decide to keep – all of this information is supplied to you once you have completed the quiz.
Conclusion: Unless you create an account, you won’t be given any information on the clothes which have been chosen for you. Once you’ve completed this quick quiz, the finder becomes a lot more personal. Overall, the idea is great if you want to spend money on clothes without having to go anywhere near a shop. However, there are no results but as your choices increase, personal assistance is helpful. If it’s anything to go by, the men on the first page are very well dressed.
4. Northface – Jacket Finder
Northface is working with IBM Watson to use artificial intelligence technology to help you find the perfect jacket. The American outdoor company specializes in sleeping bags, tents, shoes, coats and jackets. Their new finder can help you choose the perfect jacket with less hassle than heading into the real world.
Design: The design is likely to inspire your sense of adventure.
Navigation: One simple page is easy for you to navigate. You’re offered a line to answer the question and can easily click through the site.
Questions: You’re asked questions such as when and where will you be using the jacket? Open ended questions will give you more of a chance of finding the right option. You can also offer more detailed responses, rather than simply clicking on the closest choice that suits your needs.
Result: After you’ve answered the questions, usually around four or five, your information is run through with the AI working out the best options. A page of jackets perfect for your needs will appear and it’s easy for you to choose your favorite. They also have a range of prices for you to choose from too.
Conclusion: Information is clearly laid out and you’ll be able to find something which suits you. As well as offering you very useful information, you’ll also be shown a match based on how closely it will suit you – including a medium match. You’ll also be able to answer even more specific questions to narrow your results even further.
5. Wilson – Find your Baseball glove
Wilson offer baseball gloves and can cater to your age and budget. Whether you’re looking for baseball or fast pitch, this company can offer you a huge range of gloves.
Design: Simplistic and modern
Navigation: The questions have a steady flow and as soon as you’re done, simply click next. The navigation is easy to use and remembers your selections.
Questions: Four simple questions are very easy to answer and intuitive including: “What is the player’s primary position?”
Result: Based on your input, you’ll be offered a range of choices. As well as prices and information about the glove. The information is laid out in an easy to read style, however, many of the gloves on the site are unavailable for online purchase. You can share your chosen glove on social media.
Conclusion: Apart from the fact that many gloves are unavailable, the site is easy to use and offers the chance for you to find the perfect glove for your loved one or yourself.
6. Callaway Golf – Golf iron finder
Callaway Golf has a reputation in over 70 countries. With a huge range of stock, it can be difficult to find something from the sporting goods giant. However, if you’re specifically looking for a golf iron – this finder could be of service.
Design: Colorful and modern
Navigation: The questions lead down in a vertical manner, moving on from easier questions to those which are a lot more detailed and specific.
Questions: If you’re unfamiliar with the world of golf and can’t answer specific questions about what it is you need, then it may be better for you to simply head into a store and speak to a specialist.
Result: Your final option will be between whether you are male or female. There are just a few resulting golf irons for you to choose from, making your buying experience easier. You’ll also find a range of specific information and the price all clearly in one place.
Conclusion: If you’re buying for someone else, this finder isn’t particularly helpful. However, for your own iron selection, this is a great help. It’s both easier to use but also very specific.
7. ASICS – Running Shoe finder
Looking for a good running shoe but not sure where to begin? Asics has a good reputation in the footwear world, and simply by answering a few of their questions, they can find you a perfect shoe – or so they claim.
Design: Bright and blue
Navigation: Clicking on an answer will lead you straight into the next question. With very little effort, you will have answered all four questions.
Questions: Asics evaluates what you need simply by asking the distances you run, your gender and the surfaces you run on. With four simple questions, you’ll then be shown a huge range of shoes.
Result: If you’re looking for just one choice, Asics won’t provide you with this. Instead, they’ll show you a huge range of options which you are likely to easily have been able to find yourself.
Conclusion: The finder is redundant when you reach the results page as you will be shown over four pages of shoes. However, it’s still worth using to help you find a range of shoes which are right for your pronation, if nothing else.
8. Evans Cycles – Bike Finder
You’ll find exactly what you might expect from Evans Cycles. They’re able to offer you a huge range of bikes and you can simply answer a few questions to help find what will suit you.
Design: Very angular, orange and green but it definitely has an outdoorsy feel.
Navigation: Questions are placed over pictures and it’s easy to simply click through once you’ve answered. The site is simple to use and the finder has guiding arrows to help you out.
Questions: As you answer questions, results to that specific choice will show up below the questions. This is a great aspect to the finder. As you make your way through nine questions, you’ll be able to check out options specific to that particular answer.
Result: If you’re looking for just one answer, you’ll be disappointed with this finder. There is a huge selection of bikes to make your way through. However, you’ll also be able to view many different prices and specifics.
Conclusion: Evans Cycles has a huge range of bikes to choose from. Their finder can help you pinpoint some of these options, however, you won’t be given just one answer. Deciding on which bike is right for you may be more difficult and still requires time.
C. HOME & TRAVEL
9. Beautyrest – Mattress advisor
Beautyrest can offer you a range of mattresses and technologies to ensure you wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. The American manufacturer of mattresses and related bedding products are based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Design: Cute graphics create an enticing simple site.
Navigation: This site is particularly fun to navigate – as soon as you begin, you choose a character to answer your questions. Moving pictures are used to help answer questions and information is provided. Once you’ve chosen your answer, simply click continue for the next question.
Questions: The questions are simple to answer and provide you with useful tips for which answer is most likely to suit you.
Result: You’re encouraged to print out your mattress profile to take into the store with you. The results are very detailed, offering you a huge range of information to help you make your choice. You’ll also be able to find out where the closest store is for you to purchase your mattress from.
Conclusion: This site is fun to use, whether you need a new mattress or not. It provides you with useful information and is easy to navigate.
10. Very – Mattress assistant
British online retailer, Very, can offer you a vast array of products – it was previously known as Littlewoods Direct.
Design: Integrated in a cluttered page, which draws the attention away from the advisor.
Navigation: By simply selecting your answer and clicking continue, you’ll be led to the next question. It’s extremely easy to use although the design could improve a little.
Questions: Every time you answer a question, you’ll be shown a range of mattresses to choose from. The options are easy to answer and very intuitive. With questions about the firmness of your mattress, you’ll also find extra useful information is available simply from clicking the small icon.
Result: As you go through answering questions, you’ll find results below. This allows you to save interesting options for later. The six questions provide you with a range of different options. You can see how closely they match your answers from the green ticks next to the mattress choice.
Conclusion: Very’s mattress finder offers you a lot of useful information and choices which match your answers.
11. Samsonite – Luggage Buying Guide
Samsonite is a leader in travel bags for all occasions. They offer the latest accessories, technology and bags. To help you find a bag which suits your travelling needs, Samsonite offer you a luggage buying guide.
Design: Classic and stylish
Navigation: Three simple images in the middle of the screen offer you the answers to your question. The navigation is very user-friendly – simply click your answer and press next.
Questions: With the answer of skipping questions and simple intuitive options, you’ll soon find the perfect travel bag for your next holiday. Questions are very easy to answer and you can also read over useful information when hovering over the images on screen.
Result: Depending on how many options you clicked for each question, you may find that you have just one result. Once you get to this, you can also choose which color and fabric you’d like your bag to be made from.
Conclusion: This finder is extremely helpful for anyone who wants to choose a bag from Samsonite. You’ll find that within just a few quick questions, you’ll have one choice which suits your needs perfectly.
12. KELTY – Tent Finder
If you’re looking for a sleeping bag, tent, backpack or any other camping gear, KELTY has you covered. But, if you don’t fancy heading out into town to pick up your equipment, their finder can help you locate exactly what you need.
Design: Plain and simple
Navigation: The site is very easy to use and doesn’t offer you too many questions but keeps everything as simple as possible.
Questions: There are only four questions meaning the site isn’t too technical and can offer you some specific results without having to go into too much detail. You’ll find that just four questions can provide you with some very useful answers.
Result: You’ll find that you’re not bombarded with too many options to choose from, but just a simple range of choices which match your needs.
Conclusion: If you’re looking for a tent, this finder can give you some idea of what you should be looking out for with their easy to answer questions and informative results.
13. OTTO Living Style advisor
Otto has used gamification to jazz up their finder. If you’re into Tinder, you’ll like this living style advisor. The German retailer simplifies their options and make finding your perfect furniture easier than arranging a date. Be warned: this site will encourage you to stay in on the sofa.
Design: Similar to Tinder
Navigation: This site requires you to simply look at a picture and swipe left or right. It’s easy to use and offers you the chance to view many different style options for your home.
Questions: The only question is in German, but it’s easy to figure out what’s going on. Simply click heart or cross to decide which picture you like.
Result: Once you’ve clicked through your favorite pictures, you’ll be offered some of the furniture to buy from the pictures you’ve liked. This is a very easy way to shop and shows you how your choices will look in a room!
Conclusion: Very useful finder, especially if you intend on spending money on OTTO furniture. You’ll soon find pieces which work in your home and might end up spending a little more than expected due to seeing how well certain items work together.
14. Programming Language Finder
The simple mission of this site is in the domain – finding the best programming language for you. Whether you want to be a professional developer, run a startup or build an app, programming is important to learn. The finder aims to help your find the language which is right for you.
Design: Clean and simple
Navigation: Huge buttons help you navigate your way around the site easily.
Questions: You’ll be offered just three or four questions. Cute graphics are also shown to help you make a decision. The questions are simple and easy to answer. However, you can’t choose more than one answer on certain questions, changing your results.
Result: One programming language will be provided with reasoning as to why you should choose it too. You will also receive useful information about how to learn this program and what its uses are.
Conclusion: Very useful site, especially for anyone who has been hoping to learn a programming language but was confused where to begin. Once you’ve chosen your programming language, you can also click through to receive some lessons.
15. Gift Finder
This personality type finder is a great way to begin searching for gifts. The site offers you ideas for host gifts, Christmas presents, wedding anniversary ideas and more. The company prides themselves on being able to help you find a gift with just three simple steps.
Design: Quirky and fun
Navigation: By clicking through the simple questions you’ll find useful last minute presents for your family. The navigation is very user-friendly and simplistic.
Questions: With just three simple questions you’ll be shown a large selection of gifts. The questions are very easy to answer, depending on who you are buying for, and don’t take any effort or thought.
Result: Depending on the type of person you are buying for, you’re likely to find some really interesting presents to buy, or simply take inspiration from.
Conclusion: If you’re stuck for a present idea, there’s a huge range of options here. Personality traits of your loved one can be chosen and with a broad range of options, you’ll be able to find something which can help if you’re stuck for a good idea.
16. ASUS – Laptop Finder
ASUS is a Taiwanese company. They are known worldwide and offer a highly-rated consumer notebook. They also make the world’s best-selling motherboards, according to them that is. If you’re looking for a new laptop it’s worth checking out what they have to offer.
Design: Simple and techy
Navigation: The layout of Asus is very easy to navigate and offers images to liven up the page.
Questions: With four very simple questions, Asus decides which laptop or computer is best for you. However, the questions may be too simplistic to help choose the perfect laptop for your complex computing needs.
Result: The result may not be helpful – with just one option, you’re unlikely to find a laptop. Questions also don’t cover the price range which is right for you so the result is unlikely to be particularly relevant.
Conclusion: This is a good place to start if you’re unsure what you should be looking for in a laptop, but you’re very unlikely to buy the answer offered by Asus.
17. Swisscom – Business solutions advisor
Swisscom has a very varied portfolio. They can offer fixed-line and mobile technology, data and internet services and maintenance and operation of IT infrastructure. If you’re a small or medium-sized enterprise, you can receive compatible connections, secure access, professional services and intelligent networks from Swisscom.
Design: Clean and expensive
Navigation: Auto-scroll is enabled on this page so you can very easily move onto the next question. Moving vertically down the page, you’ll come across a range of different ways to answer a question, all of which are easy to understand.
Questions: The questions work in just four simple steps and are easy to understand.
Result: You’ll be presented with your result in a clear and easy to read manner. If you’re confused then you can very easily click on the link and head to the website where you will find more information or someone to help guide you in the right direction.
Conclusion: This very specific site is very useful if you’re looking for a quick and no-fuss business solutions advisor.
As we see a rise in shopping online, the importance of digital advisors is likely to be huge. As choices increase, more consumers are going to need a little bit of extra help, whether a company has a digital advisor or not could mean the difference between a purchase on their site or the loss of a customer. Some of these options have proven the utility of digital advisors, while others show that there is some way to go yet before finders become invaluable tools.