How Do You Handle Choice Fatigue?
July 15, 2014
Recently, my 18-year-old son decided that the front door must be swollen—often the case in summer—and therefore just needed a good hard shove to open. Alas, the door was bolted shut, and all that gym work must have paid off, because he burst right in, breaking the interior molding in the process. (Strong as he might believe he is, the lock must have been pretty old and worn.) So, now I’m in the market for a new entry door.
I begin my search online, like most consumers of purchases over $500—81 percent according to Retailing Today—mostly just to get ideas. My search words are “doors for 1948 Cape Cod” or “Craftsman entry door.” Hundreds of websites pop up, and I scroll through dozens of images. I am exhausted after five minutes. (I must confess that I hate shopping—others might last longer.)
Eventually, I make my way to specific company websites. And the search grows wider still. Wood, fiberglass or steel? Modern, Contemporary, Craftsman, Old World, Rustic? If it’s wood or fiberglass, what species? What finish? Glass? Clear? Cubed? Decorative? Caming? Then there’s the hardware.
With customization increasing at every price point, the act of choosing may only grow more difficult.
Research over the last decade has shown that given too many choices, consumers get fatigued. And one study showed that 30 percent of consumers purchased after seeing a limited selection, while only 3 percent purchased when offered an extensive array from which to choose. What’s a seller to do?
How do you help consumers deal with the anxiety of making purchasing choices? Let us know in this week’s poll and post a comment.
Survey Results for 07/16/2014 :
How do you help consumers deal with the anxiety of making purchasing choices?
None of the above
Offer a visualizer app to make the process easier
All of the above
Limit options for each component choice
Have a simple process on our website
Have only standard (i.e., no custom) choices