Boost Online Sales, With One Step

Imagine that your daughter asks for a Size 4, pink, soccer ball for her birthday. You think to yourself: “This should be easy!”

To get this soccer ball, you have 1 of 2 options.

Option 1: You head to Soccer World, which has everything you could possibly need to play soccer… and lots of it! You pull into a parking spot, and head into the store. You head right because a royal blue sign says ‘Soccer Balls This Way’.

Excitement brews; you know that your daughter will love the soccer ball you get her.

The soccer ball section low-and-behold has hundreds of different soccer balls. You see at least 45 pink soccer balls. ‘Which one will she like best?’ ‘Should I go with pink and yellow or pink and white?’ So many choices!

You spend 30 minutes at the soccer ball wall, juggling 4 pink-ish soccer balls. You are tempted to purchase all 4 soccer balls just to make sure you get the right one for your little princess.

You end up walking to the checkout line with 2 soccer balls; one of them pink and light blue, the other one pink and red… You can’t remember whether your daughter’s second favorite color is light blue or red. $80 out, you feel a bit of buyer’s remorse, and you know you’re going to end up with an extra soccer ball.

Option 2: You head to the local soccer shop, owned by your next door neighbor, Ted. Ted knows you’re coming in, so you walk 2 blocks to Futbol Mundo, and Ted has 2 pink, soccer balls waiting for you when you arrive. You choose the pink and white soccer ball, since your daughter thinks black is ‘sad’.

Ted gives you a 10% discount on the soccer ball, because you give him great business, and you leave the store with a $30 receipt.

Which option would you prefer?

When it comes to your website, bigger is NOT better. At least, not in terms of the number of products.

Often, eCommerce business owners believe that the more options they provide their customers, the higher their chances of closing more sales.

But, let’s go back to Option 1, where you head to the ball wall to find the perfect, pink soccer ball for your beautiful daughter. Were the hundreds of options helpful or harmful to your overall customer experience?

Let’s look at the facts:

  • You spent 30 minutes staring at a ball wall, trying to find the perfect soccer ball
  • You end up buying 2 different soccer balls in order to ensure that your daughter would like her birthday present
  • You’re just another ‘customer’ to Soccer World- no one helped you make your decision

Option 2 seems to take the win in this scenario. The facts are as follows:

  • The store is conveniently located right next door
  • Ted knew you were coming, and set aside 2 soccer balls for you to choose from
  • You got a discount because you are a repeat customer, and Ted loves you

Researcher Brian Schwartz writes: “As the number of options increases, the costs, in time and effort, of gathering the information needed to make a good choice also increase. The level of certainty people have about their choice decreases. And the anticipation that they will regret their choice increases.” (Fast Company, Why Having Too Many Choices is Making You Unhappy)

There is a negative correlation between options and satisfaction, as expressed in the diagram below. The more options you have, the less satisfaction.

Negative Correlation Diagram

Your overall experience at Futbol Mundo is significantly better because you had 2 options for soccer balls, which decreased the amount of time spent searching for the perfect soccer ball and decreased the amount of money spent on soccer balls. Hence, the negative correlation.

On most promo website platforms, you have the option of including all suppliers.

The more suppliers you have on your website, the more you muddle your customer’s decision. They now have buckets of choices for a particular product rather than a handful of choices.

According to Schwartz’ research, you are decreasing customer satisfaction with every supplier you add to your product database.

This is not to say that you should neglect suppliers’ business, rather, you should selectively choose the suppliers that work best with your company’s pitch, and work on the relationship with your customer’s instead.

Remember when your parents used to say: “Quality over quantity, young Padawan?”

Kristen Confused

Appalled by all the decisions!

Of course you do, because it has proved true to not only your childhood activities, but your adult endeavors as well.

According to SocialTriggers, an online business that observes customer psychology, “…When people are confronted with several options, they often pick none of them and move on to something else” (How to Increase Online Sales by 600%).

How many times has this happened to you on Amazon? Or eBay? I feel like I am constantly leaving both eCommerce sites completely disheveled, because I could not determine which dark wood dresser to purchase.

You have to put yourself in the mind of your customers… Would you want to sit at your computer for 45 minutes trying to decide between 75 white polo shirts or 150 coffee mugs for your client?

I don’t think so! If you actually enjoy spending 45 minutes sifting through products, then I would love to speak with you and see just how your mind works.

The key takeaway: the sage advice ‘quality over quantity’ applies to more than just your personal life. The less options you provide for your customers, the higher your chances of consumer trust and happiness.


We are here to help you please your customers; so feel free to contact us in the form below with any questions about narrowing down your products, boosting your SEO, prettifying your website, or just simply how we are different from ASI or PPAI, or CommonSku, and we will be happy to help!

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