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Why You Should Offer Your Customers Fewer Options?

Don’t let them get decision fatigue

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BY Daniel Wallock - 02 Jan 2018

Why You Should Offer Your Customers Fewer Options?

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

You probably have heard how Steve Jobs and other famous figures wear similar clothes everyday to reduce decision-making.

And you might be somewhat familiar with the concept of decision fatigue but might not see how reducing the number of products or services you offer can help your sales.

The biggest brands in the world offer customers limited options

If you look across the board at businesses that scale quickly, they usually only have a few products or services they deliver systematically. Some of the biggest companies in the world, which have tens of thousands of employees, have less than fifty main products.

Apple has only a few key products, but they are the single most profitable company in the world. While Apple does have a good number of products, their key products make up most of the company's revenue. As seen on Statista, about 69.4% of Apple's revenue came from iPhone sales in 2017.

Take Tesla or Starbucks, for example. These companies understand that people don’t like having too many choices but don’t want it to be too limited either.

Software as a service companies, like Hootsuite or Brand24, offer just one core product, but users have the option to increase the level of access they get to that product. By having just one main product, these software companies are able to scale quickly because they don’t have to waste time customizing services and packages for different customers.

More choices can overwhelm people and cause them to not buy at all

For businesses, it’s important to think about offering less. People’s lives are already filled with choices, and by offering them ten different options or variations of a product, they become overwhelmed and, in turn, not choose any of the options.

What I’m referring to is “Choice Paralysis.” The idea of Choice Paralysis has been around for a long time, but Barry Schwartz made this concept famous. Barry Schwartz wrote an article directed towards marketers in 2006 that was published in the Harvard Business Review entitled, “More Isn’t Always Best,” where he argued that more choices could actually leave the consumer worse off.

Having less allows you to focus more and create ultra efficient processes

Overall, businesses that offer a few packaged services or a limited line of products can have greater efficiency delivering what they offer because they have more time to focus on creating an incredible product, streamlining processes, and building a good customer support team.

Being focused only on a few products will keep other aspects of the business from falling through the cracks or processes becoming undocumented and loosely defined.

In conclusion, not only does offering customers fewer options keep them from becoming overwhelmed, it also helps you focus on creating the best products possible.

 

Daniel Wallock is a marketer who has done projects with over 50 companies including BMW i Ventures, The American Heart Association, Amazon Studios, Girl’s Inc, and Sarah Lawrence College.