As consumers, we have become accustomed to choice. A special product seems to exist for every little niche, and we have the liberty to choose which products suit us best. The scope of product availability is evident in any large retailer. Even common grocery stores can carry over 30,000 different items at a time.
Indeed, providing additional choices for consumers has aided retailers in capturing extra sales over the years. However, the latest issue of Consumer Reports gives a warning about providing your customers with too many options.
Think about the following situation. An average customer walks into a store to purchase a bottle of wine, without anything specific in mind. In a liquor or grocery store, the number of choices could be in the hundreds or even thousands…so which bottle do they choose? In some cases, they might not choose anything at all, and leave the store without ever making the intended purchase.
The Consumer Reports study and article detail the downside of too many product choices for consumers. The survey revealed that a generous number of product choices could actually overwhelm shoppers, and occasionally result in a non-purchase:
“… abundance of choice can complicate decision-making, causing shoppers to freeze or postpone a purchase out of uncertainty and frustration. When they do make a choice, they’re more likely to be dissatisfied because they think an unchosen item might have been better. … Five percent of respondents who found too many options said they had walked away empty-handed because the scope of choices made selection too hard.”
It was also revealed that close to 30% of respondents found too many options, and of this 30%, 5% actually walked away from a purchase due to the number of options. Reason would then suggest that for every 100 customers making a purchase, 1.5 of them changed their mind due to an overload of choices.
Although the potential loss may seem relatively small, those extra sales can make a significant difference to the bottom line. Because the profit margins for most retailers are low, usually under 4%, any extra sales should be coveted.
The article continues to say that shoppers often throw out logic and reason when faced with too many options, and end up settling for a product that’s easiest to evaluate. Generally, we cannot make a choice because we do not have enough information to make an informed decision, or perhaps there is too much information and it is hard to concentrate on the right details.
People have the tendency to shy away from a decision, simply due to the fear of making an incorrect decision. Sometimes, it feels like too much effort to compare everything between products, including price, ingredients, specialties, etc. But this is an area where mobile can help consumers connect to the right information, and help them to an easier decision-making process.
Mobile for decision-making
Mobile technology has been at the forefront for marketers and businesses of late, especially retailers. Because many of us already have smartphones and tablets, we already have a medium for accessing information.
A challenge for businesses is providing the right message that will be most helpful, and help consumers in making purchase decisions. A new tool called the Audible Tag is perfect for this situation.
Audible Tags are scannable codes that provide up to 45 seconds of audio information. Although video can also be used, in this instance, audio provides a unique advantage. While video has proven to be extremely effective, in this case, retailers do not want consumers’ eyes and attention to leave the physical product. Doing so may cause distraction and lessen chances of a sale.
Shoppers can keep their eyes and attention on the product, while hearing the important audio information that can help make decisions. By providing the most relevant information in an easy to understand, easy to access medium, shoppers can not only make quick decisions about product choices, but make decisions they are content with and will not second guess.
Audible Tags come with a variety of other features, and are easy to implement and update. Learn more today on the Antvibes website.
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