Choice and eCommerce

Why you can’t commit to a Netflix series

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Choice eCommerce and why you can’t commit to a Netflix series.
Hi and welcome to reiterate. I’m Clint Griffin, and each week we will be going through a different aspect of digital media. Today we take a look at eCommerce and how the massive choices that they can paralyze us into taking no action at all.

You know, when you go to a restaurant and you get presented with a big menu, it’s a massive menu. There are so many things to choose from. And invariably as the waiter comes up for the 17th time, everyone sees, just give me a minute. There’s too much to choose from. Well, that’s kind of how a lot of eCommerce websites work, and that’s kind of why you don’t know what you want.

The entire point of eCommerce is to make life easier, isn’t it? It takes you away from having to go to a store, checking things out, touching them, smelling in, standing in a queue, paying for parking. The general harassment of people and noise, especially if it’s a Friday and all you want to do is go home, have a nice glass of wine and relax.

But does your experience of eCommerce actually work like that? I find often it doesn’t. There’s too much to choose from. Too many things for me to know about, and I’m not an expert on this stuff. I just want whatever I want. Give me three choices. Uh, let me go. I think in general, there are too many choices around.

Um, Netflix is a prime example. We have so many conversations around people that get onto Netflix and just skim through. They don’t actually know what they want to watch. There are 72,000 different series, different genres. Um, what am I into? I have no idea. Sometimes it’s easier to watch linear television where the choice is simply given to you.

We don’t have a choice. You just do whatever is in front of you. That’s why I stream a lot of news, a lot of sport. I feel connected to the world. When I get onto a platform that is not linear, I feel disconnected. I don’t feel like I’m part of what’s going on. Becomes very, very, um, cellular.

Like we’re living in a money tribe of one. And the same can be said for eCommerce when there’s too much choice. Who do you believe? Do you believe the reviews? Do you believe the website? Do you believe that the other website, um, how many choices are bottled? What did you need when you can choose from all of the bottle of water, what’s the best tennis rackets or buy when I can choose from all of the tennis rackets, what are the base pair of shoes and a style?
Um, what about something like a microwave oven? Which one do I choose? Which brand? Which model? How big do I need it? How long do I need it for? What’s its role in life? Give me three choices. Give me an expensive one. Give me a middle of the road one and give me a cheap one. I can kind of make a quick decision and move on.

What’s really important to remember when you putting these things together is think of yourself as the customer and then you become the expert and you don’t need a thousand different items. Think about how you handle the world and how you navigate through it. You want simple choices left or right, straight ahead, small, medium, and large.

Expensive middle of the road, cheap, gray, black, and whites. The more choice you give, the more difficult it becomes, and it also becomes a psychological issue. We get paralyzed in to thinking we need to make the right choice. In a world where there are so many choices to be made every day, don’t do that to the customer because you don’t want it to be done to yourself.

Use the same agility that you use when building a website. Think about a minimum viable product. What is the smallest amount of information you need to get to market? That was your first step. You know how that kind of works. You know what you needed. You needed some returns, policies. You needed a way to shop.

You needed some ways to pay. You didn’t need all of the ways to pay and you didn’t need it to be perfect. You needed to get it up. Think about your products in the same way. When you’re looking at the eCommerce, what are the least number of items you need to make the store viable? What will give you the returns to keep the business going.

To make a profit, to iterate, to try things again, to take things out. To start again. If you’re going into a new category, how many items do you need in that category to make it work? Probably three because you can always extend it to four and five and 10 and 20. If you start with 20 you go back to paralysis.

What are people actually looking for? How do you know what to buy? How do you know what to source? How do you know what to keep in stock? Keep it simple for you. Keep it simple for them. Think about it as an MVS, minimum viable shop. Same as an MVP, minimum viable product. Great communication has always been built on.

Keep it simple, stupid. Great design is as little design as possible. Think about the same when you making your shops the minimum that I need to make the shop functional, the minimum that I need to make the customers have an appearance of choice. Keep it simple like that. Let them make a choice if they make a purchase and move on.

If the line isn’t selling, stop deadline and try another line. Don’t add another line and make it more complicated. Keep it simple. As we look into this a bit further, we might discover that it’s not the products that are important. It’s the ways for people to check out quickly and move on with their lives.

Concentrate on that. Concentrate on letting them get out of the store as quickly as possible. Within, find things quickly within checkout. Let them move on. Focus on other things like delivery and service, and the products themselves will come as customers will tell you what they want.

So simple things, minimum viable shop, minimum viable product, ease of checkout, ease of navigation that the client move on. If you want to focus on something really, really important, focus on customer service. That is the difference between a good eCommerce solution and a bad one. Thanks for your time and have an awesome week.

Next week, we’re going to be looking at payments, pain, and how we can make the checkout experience as easy and as frictionless as possible.

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