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Choosing easier. How businesses can improve the experience of choosing.


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Less is more. One of the biggest problems in today's world is choice overload. We all want customized experiences and products — but when faced with 700 options, consumers freeze up. Sheena Iyengar demonstrates how businesses (and others) can improve the experience of choosing.

Published in: Marketing, Business

Choosing easier. How businesses can improve the experience of choosing.

  2. 2. ABOUT THE SPEAKER Sheena Iyengar is a psycho-economist. She is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business in the Management Division at Columbia Business School and the Faculty Director of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center and known for her research on choice, culture, and innovation.
  3. 3. •  a typical American makes  about 70 choices a day •  an average grocery store today offers you 45,000 products •  a typical Walmart today offers you 100,000 products
  4. 4. The choice causes overload problem. The more choices available, the more likely people were to completely avoid it.
  5. 5. 3 m a i n n e g a t i v e consequences  to offering people more and more choices: 1.  They are more likely to delay choosing 2.  They are more likely to make worse choices 3.  They are more likely to choose things that make them less satisfied
  6. 6. There are four simple techniques you can apply in your businesses to avoid it. 1.  CUT 2.  CONCRETIZE 3.  CATEGORIZE 4.  CONDITION FOR COMPLEXITY
  7. 7. CUT Get rid of the extraneous alternatives. When Procter&Gamble went from 26 different kinds of Head&Shoulders to 15, they saw an increase in sales by 10 percent.
  8. 8. CONCRETIZE Make it real. In order for people to understand the differences between the choices, they have to be able to understand the consequences associated with each choice, and that the consequences need to be felt in a very concrete way.
  9. 9. CATEGORIZE We can handle more categories than we can handle choices.  400 magazines divided into 20 categories make people believe that they are given more choice and a better choosing experience than when they are given 600 magazines divided into 10 categories.
  10. 10. CONDITION FOR COMPLEXITY We can actually handle a lot more information than we think we can when we gradually increase the complexity. You've got to make 60 different decisions to completely make up a custom made car from a German car manufacturer.
  11. 11. These techniques are designed to help you manage your choices. Better for you - better for the people that you are serving. 
  12. 12. Ted talk: sheena_iyengar_choosing_what_to_choose