How Customer Research Helped to Validate Traverz’ Conversational Recommendation Technology – a Disruptive Product Search Proposition for Online Retail

When Traverz developed its innovative ‘Conversational Recommendation Technology’, the team believed it would drive a “paradigm change in product search” by enabling a more personalised experience than traditional on/off filters.

However, launching a disruptive ecommerce technology with the promise of vastly improved performance compared with traditional approaches brings something of a challenge – how do you prove it?

That is the challenge that brought Traverz to Biglight. It needed to build an evidence-based go-to-market proposition by benchmarking the performance of Conversational Recommendation against standard filters, but without the ability to draw on live implementations as the source of quantitative data.

The Answer…? Customer Research

Given that Traverz product is essentially business to business, using consumer research to validate its proposition for online retail might seem counter intuitive. It had, after all, already built fully functioning demo sites designed to enable potential buyers to see the solution in action.

However, convincing retailers of the merits of a radically new approach to product search requires more than a demo – they want to understand the likely commercial impact which, in turn, means understanding the impact on customer behaviour – from purchase intent to loyalty. 

To deliver that insight we worked with Traverz to design a customer research approach combining one to one moderated sessions and surveys across two days. Users were asked to complete task-based journeys on two of Traverz’ demo sites – first with standard filters and then again with Conversational Recommendation experience in place.

The aim was to deliver credible independent verification of Traverz’ claimed benefits by gathering user feedback on the experience and through benchmark polling to capture net promoter scores, experience and intent ratings on:

  • The standard filter and search experience prior to exposure to Traverz
  • The Traverz experience
  • The standard filter and search experience after exposure to Traverz.

The Impact: A Validated Proposition

It was not our role to endorse the Traverz proposition or otherwise, but to provide the independent research expertise required to test the efficacy of its Conversational Recommendation approach - to let the findings speak for themselves. 

That said, it is not a stretch to conclude that our research revealed a significant consumer preference for the Traverz experience - a powerful validation of its proposition for retailers and is now at the heart of Traverz go-to-market strategy and messaging:

  • Net Promoter Scores highlighted a clear positive distinction and likelihood to recommend Traverz (see chart).
  • Eleven out of 12 users identified a clear agreement that the Traverz search experience-led website would be top of their list to come back to again.
  • An average score of 6.8 on a 7-point scale suggested a strong likelihood that users exposed to Traverz will Add to Basket (eCommerce) or Contact Seller (Marketplace).
  • In total, across all aspects rated out of 7, Traverz achieved an average of 6.5 vs. 5.9 for filters before using Traverz, and 5.6 for filters after using Traverz. 

“Biglight delivered an awesome piece of work, which was incredibly valuable for Traverz. It validated our proposition in the most powerful way possible, by clearly demonstrating a customer preference for an online search experience powered by Traverz Conversational Recommendation. 

“The Biglight team’s reputation and expertise was crucial in delivering a credible, independent research that looked beyond the efficacy of the solution, to focus on the issues that really matter to our future clients – the wider impact of Traverz Conversational Recommendation on the customer experience and, in turn, purchase intent, brand perception and loyalty.

“The outputs from that work are now at the heart of our go to market strategy, giving us a vital springboard as we seek to drive a paradigm shift in the online product search experience.”

Twan Vollebregt, Co-founder, CEO, Traverz


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