Do you like having more choices or do you find it difficult to make decisions when you have an overwhelming amount? We make an average of 35,000 decisions each day. Many of these you do without thinking but let’s take a moment and think about some of the choices you could encounter throughout your day.
On your commute to work, you can choose from multiple channels on your XM satellite radio to help get you motivated for the day. You decide you need some caffeine to wake up so you stop at Starbucks to grab coffee and a snack. Their menu has multiple options and many of which aren’t even on the menu. What size should you order? Do you want hot or iced coffee? Do you add any syrups or will you drink your coffee black?
While at work, you are browse the Internet for something interesting that catches your eye to read. There are hundreds of articles and blogs you can choose from. Do you prefer to read a blog over 700 words or do you enjoy short blogs with images?
You walk into a restaurant for lunch and instead of a single page menu you are staring at one with 4 pages. How do you pick an entrée?
Social media has exploded and it seems that new platforms are added all the time. You have your choice of Pinterest, Facebook. Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, FourSquare, Tsu, Ello, Vine, and many more! Which sites do you decide to use on a daily basis? Where do you spend majority of your time?
You need to run to the store after work to grab some necessities. You’re in the toothpaste isle where you have many brands and choices such as Crest, Colgate, Aquafresh, Arm and Hammer, and Sensodyne. Not all of these toothpastes are the same. We know that some are for sensitive teeth, or protecting enamel while others are for whitening. They come in different flavors and consistency.
After dinner you turn on your television to catch up on the latest House of Cards episode on Netflix. On-demand streaming providers gives you hundreds of TV shows and movies you can choose from. You can always find something to watch.
The list could go on and on, as you know there are thousands of other options you could add! But my question is how does this affect brands? Are too many choices bad for brands and businesses?
Are too many choices bad for business?
While we have always had choices, today there appears to be more choices than ever before. In some cases an abundance of choices for consumers can hurt the decision making process. If you are like me, too many options can make me feel paralyzed to make a decision. I may either walk away or if I do make a purchase it will be an impulsive decision that I later regret. Did I make the right purchase? Would another purchase have been a better choice?
My parents have been attempting to remodel their kitchen for almost three years now. They have met with a handful of different contractors and remodeling companies. Do you know why they have been procrastinating? This is mostly due to the fact that they have too many choices. What kind of cabinets do they want? Would hard wood or ceramic flooring be best? They need assistance with their project. After all, remodeling part of your home isn’t something that should be taken lightly. You want to be happy with all the choices you select because you will be using the room daily.
As consumers we need to learn how to cut down some of our frustrations and trust the experts. But the focus shouldn’t solely be on the consumers. Brands can also help in the buying process by learning to keep things simple. Consumers need simplicity in the buying process.
Ways we can simplify the buying process
Brands can help keep things simple by building trust. One way you can do is offering consumer reviews, ratings or recommendations. Consumers want products from a reputable brand. One of the best places you can add customer reviews is on your website for consumers to easily access. Brands can also offer personal recommendations based on the consumer’s personality to help them make better decisions.
Instead of making the consumers do all the research on your brand you can provide them with information. However, brands need to do more than just offer information about their products and services. You need to offer guidance by presenting important features customers should focus on. Do you have any specialities? The information you provide should be clear and targeted to your audience so that consumers aren’t distracted by anything.
Brands can also put together a comparison of products or even compare their competitors in a buyers guide. You should help consumers weigh their options by explaining why this particular product is the best choice for them.
What brands have been successful in simplifying decisions for consumers?