The age-old adage ‘less is more’ really rings true in today’s economic society. According to a Huffington Post article, millennials regularly suffer from FOMO, and choice raises fear. What if there is a better price? What if another movie is better? What if I don’t like it when it gets here? As the number of options increase the level of certainty people have about their decisions decreases. With this, comes anxiety and a reduction in happiness.
Amazon is a perfect example of too much choice. There are hundreds of thousands of options for ‘everyday objects’: phone chargers, water bottles, flat-panel televisions, etc. And the majority of the options don’t vary that much. For example, when you have 300,000 options for an item as simple as hangers, how on earth do you feel content with your decision?
So, how can we as marketers help?
Another age-old adage to the rescue - K.I.S.S (keep it simple silly)! Customers will be more inclined to buy from a brand that helps simplify choice.
If you are not building a brand from scratch, and already have a huge, complicated product portfolio, simplifying choice for your customer can seem daunting. But it’s possible.
- Group similar offerings into clear product lines or families that have distinct differentiators and benefits. The customer then doesn’t have to decide between 100 products, but only has to choose the benefit most relevant, immediately narrowing the 100 products to maybe 10.
- Create a more efficient path to purchase, minimizing the number of information sources needed to understand the benefits. Cater to the lazy brain and be obvious in the pros & cons.
- Tap into and create positive emotions in your marketing to counteract the energy depletion from having to make a choice. Position the choice as no choice at all.
The paradox of choice is not a new phenomenon, research has repetitively shown that people who are presented with a few options make better, easier decisions than those presented with many. So make the choice easy and safe.
Contemporary internet shopping conjures a perfect storm of choice anxiety.