Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Futures and Options

Aldi is my favorite store. The Batavia, Illinois subsidiary of German grocery chain Aldi Sud sells cheap food. Really cheap. Like, a fraction of Walmart.

I don't like shopping at Aldi simply because of cost or because I like shoddy quality. I like Aldi because they offer so few choices. I can walk in, by the groceries I need, and get out quickly. 

We have been taught that having more options will make us happier. But it actually makes us less happy. 

When we have too many choices, we fret each decision. Of all these many choices, which options will I NOT choose? Sociology professor Barry Schwartz, who calls it the "Paradox of Choice," is one of the the voices verbalizing this principle. 

The marketing lesson from this is clear: don't overwhelm your customers with too many options. The more options offered, the likelihood a choice will be made becomes less. 

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