The Paradox of choice

What is it?

When consumers are presented with too many options, they can become overwhelmed, leading to unrealistic expectations and decision-making paralysis. The likelihood of picking up the ‘most suitable’ choice is reduced and we procrastinate for fear of making a bad decision.

How can I use it in my favour?

In a study researchers sat down in a supermarket with bottles of Jam on display. One group sat with 6 varieties on display, and the other with 24 varieties on display. While more people stopped by in case of the 24-jar display, the number that bought was 10-times less than the 6-jar scenario (3% vs. 30%).

Large in-store assortments work against marketers in at least two ways. First, these choices make consumers work harder to find their preferred option, a potential barrier to purchase. Second, large assortments lead to a heightened awareness that every option requires you to forgo desirable features available in some other product.

Offering an optimum number of options makes people likelier not only to reach a decision but also to feel more satisfied with their choice.