Too much choice is bad for you


There is a famous study on how customers make choices. The study focused on consumer behaviour in 2 supermarkets. One had 24 different types of jam and the other only 6. The results were  interesting:

  • 60% of customers stopped at the display of 24 jams, but only 40% stopped at the display of 6 jams. This indicates that having many options can attract potential customers.
  • Yet, only 3% of customers bought from the display of 24 jams.  30% of customers bought from the display of 6 jams
  • Not only that, there were no real differences in the number of jars that each customer bought. 1.5 jars each on average from the extensive range and 1.38 jars each on average from the limited range.

So what does this mean? – we think it shows that it is important to know your customers, what needs they have and how you can meet them.

It needs to be clear on your website, what problems you solve and what the cost is.

This doesn’t mean putting all your products on your homepage. This will only confuse potential customers and drive them away. It’s much more about offering a limited choice. Show examples of products, with clear information about their costs and benefits.

That way, customers will want to learn more about your products and services. They will spend longer on your site. The longer they are there, the more likely they are to become a customer.

So make sure you understand your customer’s needs. Check that your website and marketing material reflects how you meet those needs. You don’t have to advertise all your products or services.

As Publius Terentius Afer (Terry to his friends) said in his local pub in 171 BC: “ne quid nimis” (moderation in all things).


Keep in touch for regular advice and practical examples about customer experience.

Get in touch to see how we can help your business.

Ask an expert if you have a specific question about customer experience.