Why we must not confuse the market with too much choice

Sales and Marketing Director
The Sales Formula
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There is a great talk on TED by Sheena Iyengar that shows how businesses can improve the experience of choosing and I highly recommend a listen. It is very tempting to offer the world everything – but I hate to say less really is more. I commented in a previous blog how websites that have too much on offer are more likely to turn people off than excite them especially if the website design calls for the prospect to search for the value of them becoming a customer. The example that Sheena gives is a high end grocery store that stocks over 75 different types of olive oil – this amount of choice is not necessarily a good thing - in order for someone to make an informed decision on which olive oil would be best for their needs they would have to study each one using their own individual criteria. I know I would either go to a store that did not give me such a ‘choice’ headache or I would pick a brand that I already know or simply resort to buying by price. I do not have the time to work that hard when shoppng nor am I willing to risk the outcome of making the wrong choice.

Marketing is about attracting interest keeping the message simple but compelling and selling is about helping with the decision to buy. So back to supermarket shopping - also mentioned in my last blog – Waitrose uses Heston Blumenthal and Delia Smith as a marketing tool – attracting interest one amazing dish at a time – and the selling tool they use is putting all the ingredients you would need for that particular recipe in one area of the store making it easy for us to buy. The fact that Waitrose sells many other items is not important at the marketing stage of this campaign it is about getting people through the door but once they are in they will see what else they can buy beyond the ingredients for Heston’s pan seared Cod with leek and potato sauce or Delia’s braised meatballs.

Whatever you are selling attract interest without confusing people by overloading them with choice and make the choosing process one that is easy for the prospective customer to cope with and then the likely hood of them becoming a customer will be much higher.



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