Beware Of Choice Overload!
It started out as a routine trip to my local Office Depot to pick up some notebook subject dividers. After navigating my way to the correct aisle, I found them – thousands of them lined up and stacked in an array of every conceivable style and color. Just looking at those shelves made my head spin.
According to Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of “The Paradox Of Choice,” I was suffering from a form of “analysis paralysis,” when too much overthinking or seemingly endless choices can cause confusion, anxiety, and even serious depression.
This is not the way you want your customers to feel. In this case, more is most definitely less, and that’s the essence of the paradox of choice. Presented with too many choices, people are actually far less likely to make a purchase.
In 2000, Columbia and Stanford Universities teamed on a study that became known as “the jam experiment.” In the study, a local supermarket displayed 24 different kinds of jam. Then, on another day, the same store displayed only six. The result? People were ten times more likely to buy from the table with fewer choices.
Take a look at your brand messaging. Maybe you’re proud of the wide range of services you provide or the variety of products available from your company. But be careful. With the above study in mind, beware of choice overload. Keep your homepage clean and spacious, and choose – wisely – to keep your customers’ choices to a minimum.