Sometimes on-site search can be tricky. What’s the best way to describe a type of shoes you like? You just know you like them when you see them. On the flip side, browsing across products doesn’t necessarily mean you like them, yet most personalization tools optimize based on browsing behavior. What if, instead, you gave a simple thumbs up/thumbs down feedback button for your products and started to optimize the products you show based on “zero-party” data (feedback from the user)?
Skafos is an interactive product discovery and personalization platform that helps merchants increase conversion rate and average order value by collecting feedback and getting engagement from users about which products they like, and which products they don’t.
They have created an algorithm they call “weighted similarity” which analyzes your entire product catalog, all of your tags, weight, descriptions, etc., to create a weighted system that understands which products are similar to each other, so that when someone upvotes a product, it will show them more products that are related to that product, as well as some discoverable products that are dissimilar to that product.
Users can always upvote or downvote products, or the merchant can create an experience where the user gives a few points of feedback and the Skafos algorithm pumps out the X (3 or 5 or however many you want) best matches to that user's preferences, with their match rate.
Fun fact: Disliking products is a higher value per click, meaning that it is more telling of a users preferences than when they like something.
You can create category/collection based recommendations, multi-collection, or site-wide. So if you have drastically different categories like pants and shoes, you are not conflating recommendations between them... let the user hone in on their favorite pants, and then separately they will hone in on their favorite shoes. But if you have various types of rings, diamonds and jewel based, and you want the recommendations to be blended together, since not everyone has to have a diamond ring, you can let them choose their preferences from a broader product set.
If you’re a qualified merchant (high-SKU, high visual discovery, and 20k+ monthly visitors) they will meet with you to walk you through the platform, onboard you, get the widgets in place, and monitor the results.
What’s a Rich Text element?
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
Static and dynamic content editing
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
How to customize formatting for each rich text
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
It’s the engagement and voting preferences that makes Skafos fundamentally different. They are getting the user to give feedback, which engages them into the site and sort of gamifies the user experience, while also improving it.
They also have really unique merchandising insights through their product strength indexing reports. This can be even more powerful than sales data, as you can see which products are commonly downvoted and “hated” by consumers, and which ones are overly popular, thus giving insights into what products you merchandise next, which to stop keeping in inventory, and even what’s going out of style.
Skafos is going to help increase on-site engagement, which tends to increase time on page and pages viewed, and more importantly they increase conversion rate by a lot (up to 165%), and average order value of around 16%. These are big gains for merchants.
When one ceiling fan and lighting company switched from a static category page to the Skafos discovery platform, they increased conversion rate by 130%.
You can launch Skafos out of the box with less than an hour of setup. If you want to do some advanced stylings, it’s fairly basic stylesheets/CSS that you can modify to fit your needs. Once setup, you hit “deploy” and get a copy/paste code that you input to your homepage or collection page. In the near future it will be even easier with a drag and drop functionality to make sure it gets into the right place on the page without having you go into the backend of your store.
Skafos is best for high-traffic stores with a relatively large SKU set, maybe as low as 30 SKUs, but they will be even more powerful with 100s or 1000s of SKUs. They work well across multiple categories and work better any time a written description of a product is not really a great way to find or discover products. For example, “red shoes” is not really going to describe what I like, so I need a strong discovery engine to help me.
They are really great for home goods, apparel, jewelry, art, and other high visual discovery sites.
If you’re a starting store, low SKU store, or a store with low “visual discovery” (like dog food, face cream, or other products that you simply don’t need to see to understand if you like them) then you don’t need a tool like Skafos.