Proof that “offer less and sell more” works

15 06 2006

I knew it. For years I thought I was the only one who suffered from anxiety, stress and indecision when faced with hundreds of choices when I went to the store. I never felt great about my decision, always wondering if I made an error….should I have bought the other one(s)?

Barry Schwartz, in the June 2006 issue of the Harvard Business Review has an article that finally verifies that I am not alone.

More Isn't Always Better, Harvard Business Review June 2006, Barry Schwartz

A quotation from Barry's article "Marketers assume that the more choices they offer, the more likely customers will be able to find just the right thing. They assume, for instance, that offering 50 styles of jeans instead of two increases the chances that shoppers will find a pair they really like. Nevertheless, research now shows that there can be too much choice; when there is, consumers are less likely to buy anything at all, and if they do buy, they are less satisfied with their selection."
If this is true (and I have no reason to doubt it), what impact would it have on your product development and your marketing efforts?

How modern and insightful the established Sears Roebuck idea of "Good – Better – Best" marketing. Limiting product choices to three clearly distinct products, differentiated by price and quality. Simple, effective, retro-revolutionary.
Is it time to focus on creating sharp distinctions between your products or services, reducing choices and making it easier for the customer to buy and feel good about the purchase?


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