I get stressed out whenever I eat at the Cheesecake Factory. Don’t get me wrong, the Cheesecake is delicious, but have you seen their ginormous menu?!
It’s too much!
Every time I go there, I don’t know what to order. Should I get the Fettuccine Alfredo? Nah, how about a pizza?
In the end, I play it safe and go with a simple Chinese Chicken Salad or the Cobb Salad. Still, I can’t help but feel annoyed by the time I order because I’m over-whelmed by all of the choices and I don’t know what to get. All I know at the time the waiter comes to take my order is I need a drink and I’d better leave some room for cheesecake.
The Famous Jam Study
Sheena Iyengar, a professor of business at Columbia University and author of “The Art of Choosing,” conducted a study in 1995. Professor Iyengar and her research assistants set up a booth in a gourmet market with several samples of Wilkin & Sons jams. Every couple of hours, they switched from offering a large selection of jams (24) to just offering 6 jams. On average, customers tasted two jams. Then, regardless of the size of the assortment of jams, each one received a coupon for $1 off one of the Wilkin & Sons jam.
Care to take a guess as to which group bought more jam?
60% of customers were drawn in by the large assortment of jam, while only 40% stopped by the smaller selection. But 30% of people who sampled from the smaller selection decided to actually buy the jam. Only 3% of those individuals who stopped by and sampled the larger selection purchased a jar.
What does this tells us? In the words of Professor Iyengar:
The presence of choice might be appealing as a theory, but in reality, people might find more and more choice to actually be debilitating.
Thus explaining how I feel every time I eat at the Cheesecake Factory. I’m more annoyed at ordering from their 30-page menu than excited to eat a good meal.
What does this mean for your business?
Think about it from two perspectives here:
- How easy is it to navigate your website? Is it clear, upon landing on your home page, what action you want site visitors to take next?
- How easy is it to understand your product/service offering? Is your pricing structure clearly defined? Are you clearly explaining the benefits?
If you’re failing on the first point, then you’re not keeping site visitors engaged on your site long enough to consider your offer. You need to do some tweaking to fix that. If you’re failing on the second point, you just need to be a little more clear in your service offering. Ditch the big menu, keep it simple, and tell what it is exactly that I’m getting from your product/service. Make it easy for me to make a decision, don’t over-whelm me.
What do you think? What changes could you make to your marketing to make you the obvious choice for doing business with?