BUSINESS

Why Simplicity Is the Key to a Great Customer Experience

We often assume giving people more information is better. But to customers, more options can be paralyzing.

Jennifer Clinehens
Jun 28, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Too many choices will overwhelm, but just enough will drive sales

In a famous study conducted at Columbia University, a research team set up a booth of jam samples. Every few hours they would switch from a selection of 24 jams to a group of six jams.

Image via Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Are you losing sales by giving customers too much choice?

The negative effects of choice can be more severe than a missed sale. Research shows that when there are too many options, customers feel anxious, will disengage, and can even become depressed.

How people choose — the Paradox of Choice

In his book “The Paradox of Choice,” Schwartz outlines the steps of decision making:

  1. Evaluate the importance of each goal
  2. Array the options according to how well they meet each goal
  3. Evaluate how likely each of the options is to meet your goals
  4. Pick the winning option
Image via Doist.com

The curse of too many options

  1. Anxiety: Too much choice is the cause of mental anguish for some people. Economist Herman Simon theorized that decision-making styles fall into two types:

Combat Choice Overload with these strategies

  1. Offer fewer options: It may seem counterintuitive in the age of personalization, options need to be limited to maximize sales. For example, Procter & Gamble found that a decrease in the number of Head & Shoulders varieties resulted in a 10% increase in revenue.
  2. Make it easy to compare features across products: If you want to make it easy for customers to choose between non-equal options, frame the use of each. For example, Calendly uses Basic, Premium, and Pro options to reduce the number of choices. Then, they compare features across products in a table that’s clear and easy to digest.
Image via Calendly

The bottom line

There’s no silver bullet in marketing, but it’s common to see brands undermining their efforts with good intentions.

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Storius Magazine

STORIUS is an online magazine about the art, craft, and…

Jennifer Clinehens

Written by

Behavior change strategist. Use science and psychology to improve design, CX, UX, marketing, habits — subscribe at https://choicehacking.com/freenewsletter/

Storius Magazine

STORIUS is an online magazine about the art, craft, and business of storytelling. Featuring perspectives of professional and emerging authors, filmmakers, and other creators, it delivers a rich mix of storytelling facts, news, and techniques to its readers.

Jennifer Clinehens

Written by

Behavior change strategist. Use science and psychology to improve design, CX, UX, marketing, habits — subscribe at https://choicehacking.com/freenewsletter/

Storius Magazine

STORIUS is an online magazine about the art, craft, and business of storytelling. Featuring perspectives of professional and emerging authors, filmmakers, and other creators, it delivers a rich mix of storytelling facts, news, and techniques to its readers.

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