Why are you looking at this website?
Odds are that you’re looking for a service we offer, be it a new website for your business, AdWords, or printed material.
But what if you were spoilt for choice? Which product is going to be worth your time and hard-earned?
When customers are presented with an long list of options to choose from, it’s going to be difficult to make a decision. Psychologists refer to this condition as choice overload.
We are then prompted with an additional question: how do we decide to do anything at all and, out of the myriad choices we face each day, what makes one option more preferable over another?
To answer that question, let’s step back and take a look at how we at Image Direct got here.
Rubbing shoulders with Giants
Early in December of last year, Image Direct was lucky enough to attend the exclusive Google Partners Sales Masterclass. Two days were spent in Melbourne under the auspices of Alex Langshur from data analytics firm Cardinal Path, where we networked with fellow agencies while being forced out of our relative comfort zones. It was a transformative two days, to say the least.
This wasn’t some rah-rah Tony Robbins-style motivational seminar full of buzzwords and self-help homilies. What impressed those in attendance was that Alex spoke from personal experience about his career to date, and the lessons he had learned which had shaped his philosophies.
Less friction in the buying cycle is the key
One important lesson Image Direct took on board as a result of the Masterclass was in order to influence potential online customers towards becoming converted sales, it’s counter-productive to offer a multitude of buying options. The fewer choices that customers have to make, and the less steps they have to traverse through, will result in a higher probability of a purchase.
When it comes to online sales, the old adage is true: less is more. Offering fewer options increases the perceived value of each option, while maintaining the illusion of exclusivity/scarcity. We all make decisions based on emotion or ‘gut instinct’, because there is a need to be fulfilled by the purchase that goes beyond the tangible. As such, by narrowing the field in terms of choice, a temporary ‘tunnel vision’ is generated in the customer, forcing them to focus on what they need or desire most.
Think about Facebook: initially (as dramatised in The Social Network), it was invite only. The exclusive nature of the service made it all the more desirable to join. Now, all you need is a valid email account to create a Facebook profile.
Social psychologist Sheena Iyengar describes making choices in the modern age as: “(It) can turn what ought to be a simple decision into an ordeal. With so much to think about, is it any wonder that we get confused?”
Her solution? “Be more choosy about choosing.”
By empowering the potential customer to make the appropriate choice from a narrow selection, they are more likely to make a choice that converts into a sale. And that can only be of benefit to your business.