Search for:
Grow Sales

Less is More: The Guiding Principle for Modern Commerce

In attempts to manage the unwieldy amount of data that we are bombarded with nowadays, people are constantly adapting their coping strategies.

The study, entitled, “Tracking the Flow of Information into the Home: 1960-2005” concluded that the challenge of dealing with this new level of information overload is “in our view… not a human-scale cognitive challenge. It’s a challenge we can’t ignore, since information has become such a central part of our personal and professional lives. And because overload leads to performance degradation, stress, and depression, it is imperative we find effective ways to cope.”

Most online shops, however, are still charging people to pay an inordinate amount of attention to decide between products that only differ insignificantly in the eyes of the shopper. How many types of tomato sauce or toothpaste can a supermarket offer before the options become ultimately redundant?

The idea of “too much” not benefiting us overall grabs people with its seeming contradiction as most of us enjoy the availability of choice.

A study review by the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne showed that too much choice can, in fact, be a negative factor in choosing and purchasing items. Whilst a vast array of choices may initially seem desirable, they often have an eventual detrimental effect on human motivation. This is particularly true for Maximizers, shoppers who aim for the best possible option, because finding the best option gets harder as the set size increases.

Therefore, “Less is more” is a guiding principle retailers should take to heart in order to deliver a better online shopping experience.

“Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something.”
– Nicholas Burroughs

Using fewer elements and reducing distracting clutter and clumsy navigation can help craft an awe-inducing and effective shopping experience. Expert graphic designers have always been emphasizing the importance of minimalistic design and why it should be the first, most important design style to master.

Understanding what the customer needs and selling the right solution for those needs is becoming an increasingly important principle to follow. Much too often, online stores focus on selling what they want to sell instead of what the customer needs.

Besides, what’s the point in trying to convince shoppers to purchase Product “A”, when they’re looking to buy Product “B”? Today’s customers are more knowledgeable and sophisticated. They’re not looking for product pushers but problem-solvers. They’re looking for stores that make the path from A to B quick, convenient and not a painful, confusing experience.

Guided Selling (or Digital Advice) is a simple, no-nonsense method of an effective navigation by understanding what your customers need, and serving exactly that. Each step drives them to the conclusion, which in the end, is “their” conclusion.  It will save you from the guess work and unnecessary experiments, and you can stick to the simple methods that work.

These interactive solutions are

  • user-friendly, easy to navigate, and visually appealing
  • needs-oriented with questions that are straight and simple
  • personal to help you really understand what your customers need and suggest the best possible options
  • able to make the choice process seem quick, fun and easy without seeming complex and overwhelming

Here you can find some tips on how to create digital advisors that work and see live examples of how several companies are using digital advisors in different product categories.

If you are viewed as a valued problem-solver, you will actually help your customers make their decision, which is what many customers want and need today. You’ll be able to build your image of an expert and trustworthy seller who cares and is worth doing business with.

Join our community of 70,000+ marketing professionals, sales reps, business leaders, and executives.

Tim has spent the last decade working with brands to improve customer experience through data-driven marketing, modern service channels, and making decisions easier. He currently resides in NYC.