One study of the Less is Better Effect presented participants with two dinner set options. Option A included 40 pieces, nine of which were broken. Option B included 24 pieces, all of which were intact. Option A was superior, as it included 31 intact pieces.
When evaluated separately, individuals were willing to pay a higher price for set B. In a joint evaluation of both options, on the other hand, Option A resulted in higher willingness to pay (Hsee, 1998). To avoid the changing mindsets of shoppers, abide by the Less is Better Effect and reduce options.
In-store, it is important to understand the context in which shoppers evaluate your brand:
- Choice management – quite simply, shoppers have too much choice. As studies have shown, reducing choice often increases sales - Google the Sheena Iyengar Jam study.
- Bricks not walls – in large, hard to browse categories, split information into more manageable chunks. The Less is Better Effect means that Food to Go as a category should become separate displays of savoury, sweet and drink items.
- The default option – where Less is Better isn't a viable approach, a good way to help shoppers choose which option to buy is to have a clearly labelled ‘default’ option (a safe bet and all-round answer to the needs the category fulfils).
Choice can no longer be used to justify a marketing strategy in and of itself. Less is Better for the customer and for the retailer.