Giving customers more choices is thought by many to be good marketing, but it can actually cause the buyer to overthink and delay making a decision.

Research shows that too much choice causes consumers to buy less if anything at all, and even if they buy, they tend to be less satisfied with their purchase, according to an article published in the Harvard Business Review.

The article cites a study in 2000, where psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper found that shoppers were much more likely to buy when presented with fewer choices. In their research, they offered shoppers in a market 24 different kinds of jam and on a different day only six. While the larger choice of jam attracted more attention, the people who saw the small display were 90% more likely to purchase.

Other research has found similar results and that more choice leads to “choice paralysis,” the article notes.

You need to try to find the right balance of how much choice to give customers.


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