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How many offers/options is too many/few?



6:40 pm on Apr 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When selling a product/service, how many offers or options is too many?

Example of 3 options: Buy widget for $20, widget with bells for $35, widget with bells & whistles for $50

I'm sure some will argue "one option is always best"
and some will argue that "choice lets the buyer upsell themself"
Some sellers will say 1 is best, 2 is next best, 3 if necessary is ok, and anything after that is too many
Some etailers use lesser offers as a decoy to what they "want" the user to buy.
Some package everything they can offer into one product offering.
For services, some offer a basic service, some offer a more intensive (financially or physically) service
Of course we'll see a site like dell offer 8 different but similar models on the same page, which i'd expect the novice user to freeze and exit upon seeing so many choices...


6:58 pm on Apr 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Dell makes my head spin with all their options, but I'm sure that's required to satisfy all their large corporate buyers.

There's always the venerable 'good' 'better' 'best' theory. I think Sears championed that approach years ago.

On ecommerce questions like this I always look at the Amazon or Walmart sites.

We don't let our customers get lost in too many options on things like payment and shipping. If we get TWO requests for an option, then we *consider* adding it. Options are good, but reducing screen clutter is a virtue too.


7:00 pm on Apr 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

i think it depends on the product ...

with a luxury product i'd say one option is best, offers can dilute the luxury feel.

with lowest common denominator stuff, eg macdonalds takeaway, then one offer is enough, more is confusing - do you want a the meal deal?

with an informed and sophisticated crowd, then lots of options/offers is ok, but not too many, i'm not sure where the cut off is, however i certainly think you can offer too much, for instance we had around 100 variations on a theme in one category once, cut it down to about 12 and they seemed to sell better.


8:36 pm on Apr 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I think the more the better, as long as they are offered in a way that can be understood. It probably affects the seller more than the buyer. So it comes down to... How much extra effort do you want to go through. Plus, at some point, it's not retail anymore... It's more like a custom service. And unfortunately, most people now days have zero patience. It doesn't matter if you're building something from the ground up to their spec... If they don't get a tracking # in two days, you'll be hearing from them.

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