Helen Ross 17 May 2017 2 min read

When you KIND OF know what you do want, but DEFINITELY know what you don't want.

Last week, I mentioned in passing one of my favourite little widgets available within BPD. It’s got a lot of bang for buck and is great for user experience (which should pretty much tell you exactly WHY it’s a favourite of mine).


I’m talking about the Product Compare Widget


But rather than treat it incidentally, I thought it deserved its own chance to shine.


So what is it?


It’s a widget that allows users to compare similar products based on their metadata information. Like this:

Why not just put all that info on the product detail page?


Remember how last week we spoke about the buying habits of The Browser vs The Investigator? Well this is all part of that same concept. Always aim to give people enough information to make an informed buying decision, and no more (it’s that pesky analysis paralysis I mentioned over here rearing its head again).


The Product Compare widget allows you to service customers who are explicitly looking to compare your products to one another. Which means you can give them the information they need within exactly the right context, making their shopping experience on your site THAT much easier.


Imagine you’re shopping for a home and you’re trying to decide between one or two stories. At this stage, the question of whether the master bedroom is upstairs or down isn’t relevant. It relies on the context of the first question being answered. Once you’re sure you want to go with two stories, THEN you start thinking about bedroom locations, and it DOES become relevant.


Now that was a little bit of a step sideways, but I promise it has a point. The main reason I’m so infatuated with this widget (and wish I saw it available more often), is because the metadata you display with this widget doesn’t need to be the same as what’s filterable when searching for products.  So if there’s metadata that’s a little too specific for a user who’s browsing, but just specific enough for a user who’s trying to decide between comparable products… you’ve got a winner!


Now I’m not going to lie to you. It does require your metadata to be in decent shape in order to be properly utilised. Data integrity is unfortunately one of those things that’s going to keep popping up, but I firmly believe that eCommerce is, in a lot of ways, a cost/reward system of “you have to spend money (or time) to make money.”


So what do you think of the Product Compare widget?


Have you used it before? Are you using it now?