Less Is more - The Paradox Of Choice (NPD Research)
Getting more and more choices to choose from for a product or a service feels very empowering, Doesn’t it?
It feels great to have the freedom to pick what’s best for you. However, the reality is not as rosy as it seems.
If you are looking to undertake NPD Research (New product development research) to help launch a new product development or refine your product offering then it is essential to understand how consumers make decisions and how choice can affect their decisions. User and consumer experience is everything and the more options you have the harder the decision and tougher is the leap to make it final. Consumers these days are overloaded with information and led down unnecessarily confusing purchase paths of what is the best version of a product to buy.
Consumers today lead fast-paced and extremely hectic lives. There are too many decisions to be taken and too many aspects to be considered in each purchase. To put this into perspective, many studies report that the average number of conscious decisions made by an adult every day is more than 35,000!
Consumers tend to be perfectionists and need to be assured that every purchase or decision made by them is the best. This creates a psychologically daunting task, which can become even more daunting as the number of options and versions increase which is essential for any brand looking to undertake pricing research or range reviews.
In terms of online shopping, having a full range of colours, sizes and brands to choose from seems great and provides information – extensive information which you would not need to go to the shop to find out, it was seen as a sign of technological superiority. The more, the better. The thirst for knowledge and having this knowledge at one’s disposal with the click of a button is what made a lot of brands click, for example think Wikipedia.
However, even today, any arena that is a fledgling to automation and Internet presence requires an inflow of data. As industries and their component companies grow, it becomes extremely important to consider the aspect of decision fatigue. You cannot expect people to skim through thousands of available choices to pick the one most suitable for them. It is not just time-consuming; it is sheer manual labour.
In Summary - Eliminating Choice and NPD Research
Eliminating excessive consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers and improve your likelihood of success. When developing products and conducting NPD Research, it is important to remember that we have too many choices, too many decisions, and too little time to do it all. Shopping is supposed to be a fun and effortless experience, but it ends up becoming gruelling for the customer.
The lesson for new-age entrepreneurs: Excess of options is not the way to give a great user-experience to your consumers and may not increase sales due to cannibalisation. NPD research is the only way to test and optimise range before you launch and make expensive mistakes.