Limiting Choice in Consumerism: Why Less Is Sometimes More

2 years ago

In 2022, the world differs greatly from the one we knew even 10 years ago. The move online has driven much of this change, which has affected every aspect of our day-to-day lives. It isn’t only that we spend more time online, with internet content consumption more than doubling in 2020. It’s also how we use it. Increasingly, the online world is becoming a means not only of communicating and sourcing information but a portal through which we shop.

As a result, eCommerce is booming, experiencing a jump of 10 percent in 2021 alone. There are now estimated to be around 3.8 billion online shoppers, with this number growing every day. Whatever we want to buy can be found online and at competitive prices.

But there’s one downside nobody warned us about: the limitless choices we’d be presented with. With eCommerce being accessible to both established brands and startups, everyone is trying to break into the market and become the most competitive retailer in their niche. For shoppers, this presents a problem. We become overwhelmed with options, wasting hours at a time researching and agonizing between one item and another. Most times, we go away buying nothing, giving up on the endeavor entirely.

It’s an issue most of us can sympathize with, for even business owners and marketing professionals are occasional consumers too. So, the question to be asking yourself is this: how can you resolve this problem and stop it from resulting in cart abandonment?

Let’s look at some solutions.

Why is too much choice a problem?

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Did you know that in 1949, the average grocery store stocked 3,700 products? While this may sound like a lot, compare it to today, where your typical supermarket has over 45,000 options on offer – all easily purchased not just in-store but online. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin, especially if they’re wanting a quick and pain-free shopping experience. While choice is good, it also takes time, and that’s something modern consumers are typically short of.

If something becomes too difficult, chances are we’ll abandon it. Most of us are time-poor, so while we like competitive prices, there’s something we value even more: a quick and easy online experience. It’s down to businesses to deliver this. Here’s how you can help.

1. Use product recommendations

In our modern world, we’re always collecting data. This is easily accessible to any business that wants to use it to improve, and it makes it easier than you’d imagine to correctly guess what your customers might want.

Make sure you’re tracking any useful data on consumer behavior, from the pages customers have visited on your site to what they’ve bought from you before. They can then feed this into a product recommendation engine. This is a special type of software that analyzes data on shoppers to discover what types of offerings will most interest them. It saves them from having to evaluate each product themselves and sends them in the right direction with minimal time and effort on their part.

2. Make it easy to find what they’re looking for

We’d also suggest making it easier to navigate your site. There’s nothing wrong with offering lots of options, so long as you avoid making the experience overwhelming. Take the casino online Betway site and ASOS as examples. While these businesses belong to different niches, both make it simple for users to filter down results and find what they’re looking for. This saves them the hassle of having to sift through multiple products – many of no interest to them. Unsurprisingly, both industries have seen a huge growth in the last decade.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re looking for a specific slot title or a little black dress – either way, they can quickly narrow down the results, so they’re only shown the items they want to see.

3. Make sure your products are recommended in the right places

On a more far-reaching note, it pays to make sure your products are being recommended in the right places and by the right people. This means that if you sell multi-line office phone systems, you want your products to be the one browsers stumble across first. One way to ensure this is by partnering with bloggers and getting them to review your products. This approach works for all goods and services, from mini-fridges to mono laser printers. In the absence of doing independent research, most consumers turn to the internet for help, and if you’re not recommended there, you’ll be losing out on a lot of sales.

In this same vein, invest in your SEO. The sooner your website appears in relevant search results, the more likely it is time-poor consumers will purchase from you.

When it comes to understanding the conundrum of choice, it’s less about restricting what you sell and more about making the process of discovery easier. Use our helpful tips to do this, and your online sales will soar.

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