Why too much choice is damaging your conversion rate

For many marketers, offering consumers as much choice as possible seems like a sensible strategy.

After all, it increases the likelihood that the consumer will find the product or offer that they prefer. Right?

Not necessarily…

In reality, too much choice can be overwhelming for the consumer and can end up damaging your conversion rate.

Read on to learn more about the issues that can be caused by too much choice. And what you can do to overcome them.

The problem with too much choice

As mentioned, offering lots of choice may seem like a great idea at first. However, it can result in the following challenges for brands:

Delays the final decision

Those who have studied the psychology of choice have found that whilst consumers want choice, in the end, it discourages them from making a purchase.

That’s because choice is fantastic in the early stages of the purchasing decision. A large selection of products, for instance, can spark interest and inspiration.

However, when it comes to making the final decision, the large selection becomes overwhelming. And discourages the consumer from making the purchase.

Sparks buyer’s remorse

The more choice you have, the more you will question your decision after you buy.

That’s because your expectations and standards have been raised. And you are more likely to focus on what was better about the choices which you didn’t purchase.

This can result in the consumer avoiding a purchase altogether, or returning the item they have bought.

Causes fatigue

And in all honesty, too much decision-making can be exhausting. Weighing up endless pros and cons, researching and envisaging different options.

Because while too much choice may simply require small decisions. These decisions add up. And can all cause mental fatigue and make the purchasing process stressful.

Doesn’t meet high expectations

Today’s consumer expects a lot from retailers. They know that brands can offer a highly tailored and personalised experience. And therefore, offering too much choice which is simply not relevant, is not meeting their expectations.

It can also suggest that the brand isn’t using sophisticated marketing techniques. And isn’t aware of what their audience really wants.

How to reduce choice and improve your conversion rate

But worry not, despite too much choice causing challenges in the conversion and purchase process. There are things that can be done.

Promote the right products

Whether it be via email, social media, or on landing pages, instead of promoting as many products as possible, brands should focus on promoting the right products.

This can be achieved through personalisation tactics.

Brands can start out with personalisation of product promotions by segmenting their audience, and promoting the products and services that are most likely to be of interest to specific segments.

But when brands want to get a little more advanced, they can utilise past browsing and purchase data, alongside dynamic content blocks, to promote the specific items that each individual recipient is most interested in.

This can be achieved via email and on landing pages. And is the perfect tactic for product recommendations, cross-sell opportunities, or simply offers and promotions.

Less is more - Amazon example

Less CTAs

The CTA (call to action) is crucial to the success of any email or landing page.

It is the main element that will prompt consumers to take action in the way you want them to.

However, if an email or landing page is full of CTAs, then the action the consumer should take soon becomes confusing. They won’t understand what the next steps of the conversion process are, which will likely result in them bouncing from your page or closing your email.

Therefore, we always recommend focusing your emails and landing pages on your most important CTA. After all, why distract consumers into taking actions that aren’t as important?

Ensure the CTA is bold, clear, and gives direction.

Email Example from Tails.com

Reduce offers

Offers and promotions are a fantastic way to increase sales and conversions.

However, brands often fall into the trap of bombarding their audiences with offer after offer.

This provides the consumer with too much choice. Will they get a better bargain if they take 10% off? Opt for free delivery? Or buy one get one free?

Instead, brands should focus on the quality of the offer, as opposed to the quantity. One large discount will be much more appealing to the consumer than an overwhelming amount of smaller discounts. And it means the marketer can put all of their energy into this promotion, so it is launched with a bang.

Email example from Protein Works

Add urgency

Another way to decrease the chances of your consumers being overwhelmed by choice is to add a little urgency to your marketing.

Without any time pressure, consumers may spend longer considering their options, or even put off their purchase while they mull it over.

However, by adding a sense of urgency, consumers will be encouraged to make a decision before missing out.

Countdown timers are the perfect way to add urgency to a promotion or offer. They look great, are an interesting visual on a webpage or email, and when used correctly, will automatically update in real-time when a page is refreshed, or an email is opened.

And if countdown timers aren’t your thing, consider adding dynamic stock updates which automatically display when an item is running out. By using email automation, brands can even notify specific recipients that an item they have been browsing, or have added to their basket, is nearly out of stock.

Email example from Cult Beauty

Are your customers suffering from choice overload?

We know it can be tricky to focus landing pages and email communications on the most important and converting elements.

At Pure360, we have helped brands in a variety of industries improve their conversions rates.

So get in touch with our friendly team of experts to find out more.

Meet the author

Komal Helyer

VP Marketing

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