The combination of today’s choices that online shoppers can have is staggering. From clothing to video games, pet supplies and even food items, customers can personalize their items in virtually hundreds of different combinations. But while the choices we have today are certainly more plentiful than they were twenty or even ten years ago, the seemingly endless sea of decisions comes with its own unique set of market challenges. Let’s explore the research behind having “too much of a good thing” and how to overcome it in the “Customize it Yourself” (CIY) spectrum of your website.

The Science Behind “Personalization Paralysis”

At first blush, it’s easy to think that giving your customers numerous choices will satisfy more of them. Each shopper’s tastes are different, so it makes sense, right? Not necessarily. Consistent research in the psychology field demonstrates that presenting hundreds of different “Design it Yourself” (DIY) choices can freeze people in their tracks and actually compel them to regret their decision. They may not even buy your product at all, leaving you with way too much inventory and too little sales to get them out the door. This is why it’s important to not have excessive DIY decisions for your customers.

How to Prevent Overwhelming Shoppers with Choices

The good news is, there are plenty of strategies you can use to prevent “analysis paralysis” and still take advantage of the benefits of CIY technology for your website. Some of our favorite ways include the following:

  • Recruit a “Choice Architect.” If you don’t have one, hire or direct someone in your staff who is talented in standardizing Customization choices for your online customers. A good choice architect ensures that each combination goes well together is attractive to your target audience, and is practical to execute for your company’s operations with inventory.
  • Give Your Customers a “Photo Finish” as a Head Start, do not start with a completely empty slate. By showing your customers a picture of what their choice will look like when finished, you’re helping them own their decision with confidence and remove the fear of regret for not making the other choices. Plus, showing them what it will look like is fun!

Lastly, it’s important to remind your online shoppers that customization can be fun! By equipping them with information about their decisions, they can focus on the more positive aspects of customization. The “Doogma Designer” program is an excellent solution to do this on any site.

Contact Doogma today to learn more!

For more ideas and inspiration, visit the Doogma Design Gallery or call Doogma at (650) 251 4078.

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