Numbers Don't Lie

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Do we really like (many) choices ?

When facing too many choices, people actually could feel miserable. Here is interesting number from Jonathan Mendez's blog:
"A U.K. jam maker did a supermarket tasting. The first day they had 23 different flavors of jams available for tasting and purchase at their table. The second day they had they exact same display and amount of bottles on the table but with only six flavors. Result? Sales day one were 1/10th of day two".

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12 Comments:

Blogger Forty_Two said...

There's a generally accepted term for this, but I couldn't find it:

When an invading force temporarily creates a target rich environment during a beach assault, a curious form of behavior is precipitated in many of the defenders. Each man sees so many targets at once that he often attempts to hit all of them without devoting sufficient time to aim at any one of them. Whether or not this results in lower casualties for the invaders is not known, but the tendency to acquire a second target before one has hit the first target is well known.

1:05 PM

 
Blogger Angel Feathers Tickle Me said...

I am not a thinker.

I am a dreamer........

9:11 PM

 
Blogger A Girl From Texas said...

I know that as a salesperson, it is much easier to close a customer if I offer my customers fewer choices.

Interesting post.

7:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting post.
But you should enable post pages. I can then e-mail the URL of this post to many friends.

8:33 PM

 
Anonymous Jonathan Mendez said...

Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to checking back regularly. I don't see and RSS feed though?

2:53 PM

 
Anonymous alphasun said...

Very interesting -- maybe a contributory factor was throughput for the most preferred flavours.
My reasoning: One or more flavours almost certainly proved the most successful. On the second day, more bottles of this/these must have been available. Therefore, in the time available, more customers were exposed to the preferable flavour(s), so more of these were sold.
Another factor might have been word-of-mouth publicity about the demonstration, leading to a greater number of jam-oriented customers seeking out the display.

4:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a Customer/Buyer point of view this is applicable. Untill the buyer narrows down to a subset, he wont be able to decide.

But sometimes in life, I feel, "I wish I had a choice"

12:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a Customer/Buyer point of view this is applicable. Untill the buyer narrows down to a subset, he wont be able to decide.

But sometimes in life, I feel, "I wish I had a choice"

12:40 AM

 
Blogger juniper pearl said...

you might want to check out barry schwartz's the paradox of choice. it includes an example almost identical to this, and it expands on the psychological reasons for both wanting too many choices and avoiding them. i think malcolm gladwell discussed the jam sampling at some point, too, but i can't remember the precise context now.

10:08 AM

 
Blogger Divinefool said...

Well choices are good. Americans are happy to make choice..feel like they are in command. Starbucks is a hit because they let u choose..let u command

10:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just thinking what the result will be if they switch the first day and the second day. I don't think this survey is persuasive, because people for the first day may not be familiar with the jam but the next day, they get better.

8:33 PM

 
Blogger Robert Urbanek said...

That could also explain dissatisfaction with cable TV. People were happier with the viewing experience back in the 1970s when there were only a dozen or fewer stations to choose from.

10:18 PM

 

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