Study: Traverz drives stronger ecommerce and marketplace performance


A new user experience study by Biglight reveals that the Traverz Conversational Recommendation approach to product search significantly outperforms the standard filter-based approach. Traverz proved to unlock the awareness phase, encourage upsell, improve the overall experience, and drive up customer loyalty and purchase intent on e-commerce and marketplace websites.

In October, Biglight, a London-based experience design agency, conducted in-depth user interviews to understand the impact of Conversational Recommendation on user experience while on an e-commerce or marketplace website.

The study captured users’ online sessions as they undertook product search journeys – first using standard filters and then using Traverz Conversational Recommendation.

The results clearly demonstrate the power of Conversational Recommendation to both improve the user experience and provide a material uplift in the performance of the platform that implements it.

The key findings

1. Traverz significantly outperformed filters in terms of purchase intent

In the Traverz experience, users were more likely to progress to the actions ‘Add to Basket’ (for e-commerce) and ‘Contact Seller’ (for marketplaces).

2. Traverz unlocked the awareness phase by capturing customers at an earlier stage of the search

The study identified that Traverz facilitated organic product discovery at the awareness stage when users aren’t entirely sure of what they want. As expressed by a user;

“With the filters, I had to have a general idea of what I was looking for. With Traverz, I didn’t have to know what I wanted yet – I could have discovered it. And I think that’s a lot better because I don’t [..] know what I haven’t seen yet.”

This ensures that instead of bouncing away, users are more likely to complete their discovery phase and move to search and purchase on the same platform.

3. Traverz organically broadened user consideration and encouraged upsell

With a clearer understanding of their own needs, users sought more features and considered a wider range of options – often more expensive options. As quoted by another user;

“[Traverz] throws up things that you might not have thought of, that may not have been on your list or in your mind,….but you think that would actually be quite useful, or that would be quite nice.”

4. Traverz very significantly increased loyalty and word of mouth

The preference-based Conversational Recommendation experience with in-place feedback and a virtual agent generated confidence and was seen as very productive and memorable. Users indicated a strong desire to return to the sites that offered the Traverz experience and recommend the same to their friends and family.

Reflecting on Filters: There is no way back

Prior to exposure to Traverz, users expressed familiarity and acceptance of the Filter experience as the standard benchmark for how to search for products online. Once they experienced Conversational Recommendation, users materially re-evaluated their views on the standard Filter experience and considered them significantly less preferable.

The user shift was further reinforced by the NPS results for the Filter experience, which dropped from 33 pre-Traverz to 17 post-Traverz (see first figure). This is a big win for Traverz – proving that we are truly shifting the paradigm for online product search.

E-commerce and marketplaces: Consistent results

The study explored product search in e-commerce and marketplace (non-transactional) environments, and found that the same uplift in performance was seen in both. A couple of distinct takeaways from each:

  • In marketplace environments like second-hand car sites, users can become easily overwhelmed with options. The study found that Traverz helped users conduct a targeted search and find relevant products effectively. The interactive and iterative nature of the search experience made users feel confident in their decision making and encouraged them to take KPI actions like ‘Contact Seller’.
  • In e-commerce environments, the personalisation and guidance offered by Traverz were found to mirror an in-store experience and users felt like they were in the presence of a helpful shopping assistant. The Conversational Recommendation approach made users shift away from the ‘Amazon Default’ and realize that product search can be different, much better.  As expressed by a user;

“I think if AO [Appliance Online] had that mechanism [Preference Sorting] it would be my go-to site first […] I would go there first, as opposed to the first I go to normally which would be Amazon or those comparison sites […] whereas here I’m tailor-making my prospective purchase and it’s in one place on”


The Biglight report reflects on a paradigm shift towards a more confident and productive product search experience powered by Conversational Recommendation.

Traverz has developed this technology to support the consumer right from the start of their journey – from initial awareness and discovery guidance, through to narrowing the search and the final step of making a confident and satisfactory purchase.

The report demonstrates that platforms that use the Traverz product search technology will see clear top-line benefits through improved purchase intent, higher upselling potential, and greater loyalty.

And once consumers are exposed to this new standard of product search, there is no going back – as evident from the post-Traverz NPS scores, filters are quickly failing to meet the new expectations of the online shopper.

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