With so many choices available to consumers, many of them find it difficult to make any choice at all.
Fact: The choices we give people define how we interact with them, what they buy, how they align with brands. Question? Are we giving our customers too many choices?
Psychology professor and bestselling author Barry Schwartz provides ample evidence that customers are faced with far too many choices on a daily basis, providing an illusion of a multitude of options when few honestly different ones actually exist. The conclusions Schwartz draws will be familiar to anyone who has flipped through 900 eerily similar channels of cable television only to find that nothing good is on. Whether you sell a healthcare plan, consumer electronics device or jeans, Schwartz, drawing extensively on his own work in the social sciences, shows that a bewildering array of choices floods consumers’ exhausted brains, ultimately restricting them instead of freeing them to buy something.
We normally assume in America that more options ("easy fit" or "relaxed fit"?) will make consumers more likely to buy, but Schwartz shows the opposite is true, arguing that offering customers too many choices actually goes so far as to erode purchase intent and brand affinity. Part research summary, part introductory social sciences tutorial, part self-help guide, this Master Class offers concrete steps on how to understand the art and science of choice—in your personal life and at work.
Synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counterintuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of your life—and your customers’ lives. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, he offers practical steps for how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on the important ones and ignore the rest, and, ultimately, derive greater satisfaction from the choices you do make.
- Barry Schwartz, Swarthmore College professor and author, “The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less”