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Get More Conversions by Giving Fewer Choices


Web Usability / 28 August, 2009

Too Many Options!I recently came across a fascinating lecture by psychologist Barry Schwartz on the “Paradox of Choice” where he explains how too much choice actually has the reverse effect of what was intended. People actually take less action not more! Ironic isn’t it? But it gets worse! When action is taken, people often experience regret or buyer’s remorse because they can’t help thinking that they chose the wrong option and might have gotten something better if they had made a different choice – even if the choice they made was an excellent one.

So knowing this, when it comes to landing pages why would you want to cram as much choice in there to confuse and paralyze people from taking action? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on one product, service or offer at a time?

Too Many Options on Your Landing Pages Gets You Less Conversions not More

Choice - ExitLet’s take the example of an ecommerce site that sells running shoes. Let’s say the site sells all the major brands and models. Now a great landing page would be one where one specific brand or model is listed and nothing else. But more often than not, we come across landing pages that prominently feature one model while also listing a variety of other models a visitor can choose from – supposedly in case they don’t like the main model shown on the page. If the owners of these landing pages would conduct a path analysis in their web analytics solution, I’m sure they’ll find that a significant amount of visitors will click on the other models and will go on browsing multiple models only to exit the site completely without buying anything. Why you ask?

What to Choose?Because now they have a choice to contemplate before buying. So instead of making it easy for them, landing pages with too many choices will cause them to hold off and “sleep on” their decision before committing to a purchase. They tell themselves “I’ll come back later when I have more time to go over all these options”. And of course most never do.

To make matters worse, among those that do buy, many will not be quite happy with their purchase because they have it at the back of their minds that maybe they didn’t make the right choice.

So now that it’s clear that more choice leads to fewer conversions and more buyer’s remorse, get out there and make your visitors happy by giving them fewer choices on your landing pages!

Your sales team will thank you.

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