The Paradox of Choice

Millions of Brands, Billions of Products … This is available to us all inside a nicely packaged app in our mobile in our pocket. The consumer can virtually buy anything now from his mobile and is more and more aware of the immense set of products that are available in the market. Even if he is not aware, marketers do their job to ensure that the consumer sees the right Ads in the form of banner Ads or text or Video Ads so that no one will miss out on their brand. But is that clutter manageable by the minds of a consumer. Can he actually remember all the brands and products and their features and their reviews and what distinguishes one set from the other, or he just gets lost in the sea of brands?


The answer is pretty obvious and no matter how hard the brands and products try, they will still always be part of the clutter. If you go to any e-commerce site and want to buy a simple office Shirt, you will get tens of thousands of options and this is “Paradox of Choice” and this is what confuses a customer into lack of decision making. The resources (money) with the consumer is limited, but the ways he can spend it are unlimited and thus more options create a sense of loss of control amongst many consumers and they eventually end up not buying anything.

So what does a brand and a marketer to do address this?

This is known as Guided purchase where the brand helps in distinguishing products by

  • Editor’s picks
  • Best Selling
  • Most Popular
  • Cheapest
  • Best rating
  • Fresh / New arrivals
  • etc

Segmenting the products helps the buyer overcome the Paradox of Choice and is on of the key elements in helping a consumer cross the hurdle.

Advit Sahdev

Advit Sahdev

Advit Sahdev is a pioneer in Digital Marketing who jumped into the field of Marketing after a 10 year career with companies like Intel and Infosys and brand customers like Unilever and P&G.

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