What would happen if you walked into Baskin Robbins and you saw rows of ice cream buckets? Now I’m not talking about a mere 31 flavors, but let’s just say for the sake of this illustration that you were greeted with 200 flavors to choose from.
I’d be willing to be that like me, you might stare in awe, perhaps the same way a deer does in headlights. You might even panic, and feel anxiety of the fact that you have OVER 200 CHOICES of ice cream to work with.
In extreme cases, you can’t even handle it, so you just walk out.
No Psychology Degree Needed
You don’t have to have be a psychologist to understand that too many choices can be a bad thing, and possibly even kill your business. If you don’t believe me that often times less is more, go ahead and… read all of these articles.
And if those don’t convince you, then check out what American Psychologist Barry Schwartz has to say in his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, where he writes convincing points like this:
When people are faced with having to choose one option out of many desirable choices, they will begin to consider hypothetical trade-offs. Their options are evaluated in terms of missed opportunities instead of the opportunity’s potential. One of the downsides of making trade-offs is it alters how we feel about the decisions we face; afterwards, it affects the level of satisfaction we experience from our decision.
I’m not a business major, but I can tell you that these are not emotions that I want those shopping for my products to experience.
How This Applies to My Business
Over at StudioPress, we currently have 41 child themes that are available for the Genesis Framework. We maintain a quality vs. quantity approach, and I personally make sure that our themes are the highest quality they can be for our users.
In fact, often times I relate the quality of our WordPress themes to the military concept of None Left Behind – where I fail to move forward on development of a new theme if I feel that I need to go back and update an older one.
It sounds corny, but there’s a lot of truth in making sure your themes are top notch, or that ice cream flavors aren’t mass produced and taste as good as possible.
Choice Can Be a Good Thing
Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not bashing choice and having a wide variety of selection for your buyers. There are times when it’s perfectly ok to offer up 20 or 30 (or sometimes even more) choices for them.
As much as you think mass-production will correlate to sales, there’s a chance that over-production (or too many choices) can kill your business.
If you’re uncertain about the variety you have, perhaps post a poll for your users to see if your selection is too few, too many or just enough.
With that said, let’s take an imprompt poll down in the comments of this post about the amount of themes we have over at StudioPress.
Too few, too many, or just enough?