The first time I bought a bag of apples, it took me about fifteen minutes to decide which type to purchase. Before this, my mom had always bought our bag, snatching it up with the assurance of a seasoned shopper. But now, moved out and a freshman in college, I had to choose.
And there were so many choices. Gala and Honeycrisp, Red Delicious and Fuji. McIntosh, Jazz, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith. Golden Delicious, Opal, Envy, SweeTango. Green, red, pink, gold, speckled, solid, rosy, matte, shiny, small, big, fat, skinny...
Though I did finally pick a bag and plunk it in my cart, I didn’t feel particularly good about my decision. You've probably felt this way too. Trying to make some decisions can feel particularly dizzying and tiring. Modern psychology even has a name for it: Choice paralysis. This psychological phenomena theorizes that an overabundance of choice can make a person feel “paralyzed,” or stuck, unable to make a decision.
Many times, choice paralysis makes people fail to act. Others find a way to work through it. But even if a person manages to overcome choice paralysis, the extended amount of time it took to come to a decision makes it feel like suffering. And the final decision is often tinged with regret or what if's.
A quick, easy decision is a happy one.
Everyday, we are bombarded with choices both large and small:
What should I wear today?
Is this vehicle right for me?
Should I eat the thing that sounds good or the thing that’s healthy?
With constant decisions and endless inputs, our brains spend much of the time tired. This overabundance of questions produces what is called decision fatigue and is the leading cause of choice paralysis.
So what does this have to do with selling on Amazon and e-commerce?
Well, research finds that fewer and clearer choices result in greater participation and purchases. In other words, combatting choice paralysis can help you sell more to more people.
A famous study involving a Columbia University professor and her research assistants perfectly illustrates what happens to conversions when choices are reduced. In their experiment, the researchers set up a booth of Wilkin & Sons jam samples. Every few hours, they switched from offering a selection of 24 jams or 6 jams.
The results? Though 60% of people were drawn to the table with 24 jams, this display produced only a 4% conversion rate.
The table with only 6 types of jam, though attracting only 40% of the bystanders, achieved a 31% conversion rate.
Reducing choice works. Unfortunately, Amazon, with its plethora of nearly identical products, is a prime place for choice paralysis to set in. Not only are Amazon search pages overflowing with results, but sponsored products as well. This busyness can quickly overwhelm customers and trigger decision fatigue.
But take heart, Amazon seller. You are far from powerless. There are ways you can actively reduce choice paralysis, promote your products and brand, and spur your Amazon success.
Learn how to boost sales on Amazon and make your products the clearest choice from the marketing experts that have helped over 700 businesses spark customer action.
4 Ways to Overcome Choice Paralysis and Make Choosing Your Product Effortless
1. Set Yourself Apart
There’s no one like you. While this is true on a personal level, it’s also true of your brand. So show it off. Make your brand and products appear so unique that the choice to purchase is simple. Here are some ways you can set yourself apart from the competition:
Express your brand’s voice and story.
Even if your brand story is short as a two-line poem, it’s still important to your customer. A unique story and voice gives your brand a personal touch which is naturally lacking in e-commerce transactions. Do you have an interesting founding? Tell us. A passion for education? Please explain. A mission statement? Slip in the essence.
Highlight your unique selling points (USPs).
Say you’re selling a water bottle. Pretty simple, right? Perhaps, but you don’t want your customers to think so. You want them to think that your water bottle is the one for the job, without fabricating or exaggerating features.
Maybe your bottle has a strap for easy carrying, a secure stopper for keeping out dust, or comes in neat colors. Maybe it features a special design to encourage your customers to reach their daily hydration goals. Whatever your products’ USPs, make sure to flaunt them.
Don't just save the good stuff for customers to see when they click into your Amazon listing. You need to stand out from all of the other search results, so be sure to clearly communicate your differentiators in your title and main image (if possible).
Make comparisons easy.
Since Amazon is home to many products that appears to be (or are) exactly the same, creating a way for customers to compare products is crucial to reducing choice paralysis.
If you’re brand registered, explore your EBC/A+ Content capabilities. Amazon’s new batch of modules include a comparison chart which proves especially valuable for brands that have similar products that aren’t easy to distinguish between.
Not brand registered? Create infographics that visually communicate key differences among your top products.
Create compelling listings
A product with a sky high Amazon ranking is the clearest choice for confused customers. But how do you get there? Start by making your listings speak to your superiority. Answer all your customers’ questions, polish your grammar, articulate your perks, and add a dash of cleverness!
2. Ramp Up Your SEO Game
The more pertinent keywords your listing possesses, the more successful your SEO on Amazon, AND the more likely your customer will find you before becoming paralyzed.
Think of it this way: if you were looking for a pair of athletic ankle socks for men, you wouldn’t search for “socks” and wade through pages of baby socks, ankle socks, and fuzzy socks. No, you would funnel your search and type in “athletic ankle socks for men.”
To enhance your chances that yours will be the perfect listing to show up in your customers' search results, you must incorporate the keywords your customers are using.
Want your products to pop up and fulfill your customers’ needs? Conduct thorough keyword research and then weave in an abundance of those keywords, without stuffing.
3. Group Your Similar Products
Like a freezer full of ice cream flavors, too many similar products can feel overwhelming. So you divide them and place them in easy-to-digest sections.
Create a single page for each size, each theme (as seen in the above example), or each design.* This will lessen the chance that choice paralysis will make your customers flee.
*Just be sure to ALWAYS follow proper "parent" and "child" listing requirements. Violations of Amazon's policy can cause problems any Amazon seller would prefer to avoid.
4. Include One, Clear Call to Action
Listen! Your call of action (CTA) is so important. It’s one last direction you give your customer. To optimize its full effect, make sure to include only one, clear, benefit-forward CTA.
A Last Word
Ready to make your products the straightforward choice?
At Marketing by Emma, we know selling on Amazon can be tricky. Rather than stress, reach out! Let us make the difficult parts easy. From our free listing analysis, to our five-star Amazon listing optimization services, we’re here to help you, every step of the way.