Businessman standing in front of the choise

The Paralysis of Choice – Cutting Down Customer Options

Imagine you’re in the mood to buy some jam. You have no particular preference regarding the flavour. You arrive at the jam section of the supermarket and instead of a few brands and varieties you find a hundred different kinds of jam. Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc. all with additional added flavours. Which do you choose? According to studies, when presented with options such as these, most people will choose to buy nothing. This is the paralysis of choice.

The amount of knowledge necessary to make the ‘right’ choice in the mind of your customer is simply not easily obtainable and instead of making the ‘wrong’ choice and buying something they might not enjoy they will choose to make no choice at all. In a culture where more choice is considered a universal positive this is counter-intuitive but it’s very likely you have come across a situation very much like this in your own life when it came to electronics, or cellphones, or something else for which you had no pre-existing knowledge. The good news is that a properly prepared business can sidestep this paralysis entirely with a few simple directives.

  • Train Your Staff. A knowledgeable staff can cut through paralysis by homing in on what a buyer might be looking for. Offering the right cut of jeans or talking up their favourite menu item will relax your customers and let the choice come more easily even if it’s one contrary to your staff’s recommendation.
  • Pare Down Similar Options. If you have items on offer that are too similar to each other you can cut it down to your best offering. For things like clothes that can be harder since each style won’t fit everyone but if you’re a dessert shop and you offer five kinds of chocolate pie it might be smart to cut it down to two.
  • Highlight and Separate. Pick out items that you think should be a customer’s first choice either because you think it’s the better pick or because you need to clear inventory. Place it higher and more prominently than similar products and your customers should gravitate towards it.

Helping a customer cut through the paralysis of choice is both simple and potentially difficult because in many ways you’re making choices for them. Don’t let the paralysis affect you. If your business needs other assistance in ways only an infusion of cash can help with contact Capify today for details on a merchant cash advance that might be right for you.

Disclaimer: A merchant cash advance is the purchase of future credit card or debit card sales and is not a loan product.