Fewer Options Please!

We’ve known this all along.

If you give your customers too many options, they’d be overwhelmed and wouldn’t know how to make a buying decision. In the worst case scenario, they’d leave.

Make it easy for your customers to choose.

This is for business owners who often think that the more choices they give their customers, the better.

More Choices? Bah!

A personal case in point: Nic hates dining at Kim Gary in Queensbay Mall because the moment you sit down, the waitress hands over a folder of menus.

A menu that runs into probably a hundred items or more to boggle the hungry customer! (Not to mention that you have to tick your own orders on the order sheet.)

How does one decide when one has so many things to choose from?

It’s a myth that the more choices you offer, the better. Most likely consumers are turned off by the options they have to decide upon. (Now do you wonder why McDonalds’ Value Meals are so popular? Just pick a package and there’s not much to decide over. You either want chicken, fish or beef.)

Here’s what happens when you present too many options to your customers:

“When options are very similar or the options are difficult to compare, people are likely to leave the store without making a choice. If there isn’t enough time to acquire the necessary information for making a choice, then the individual may leave without choosing anything.” (From the article “Consumers Stop Buying When Number of Options Increase”.)

When you present your offerings to your customers (especially in your website), how are you helping them make a decision to buy from you and no one else? Are you confusing them because each product seems similar? Or worse, are you giving them TOO MANY CHOICES?

Which leads me to a pet peeve about websites.

Scrutinize the Contact Form on your website like right now.

Are you asking far too many details from your prospects? I see this happen all the time with corporate websites. Their Contact Form looks like a survey form and asks prospects to fill in too many boxes, so much so that it deters prospects from contacting them.

Does the marketing department need all the information (i.e. Home Phone, Address, Sex, Age etc) at the initial stage when all you want is for a lead to talk to you? Once the lead gets to the discussion stage, you can ask all the personal info you want. But not before.

Just like dating. Do you ask everything of a girl when you go on a first date? Of course not. That’ll be incredibly rude.

So while too many options confuse buyers, too much info asked of leads also keep the leads away.

Think about that.

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