Millions of shoppers overwhelmed with ‘choice overload’

Millions of shoppers overwhelmed with ‘choice overload’

Millions of shoppers could abandon their carts this Amazon Prime Day, with one in ten UK consumers (10 per cent) deserting purchases when offered an overwhelming level of choice. That’s according to a new study conducted by customer engagement platform, Emarsys.

The research, which explores the impact of “analysis paralysis” on consumer decision-making, also found that when UK shoppers feel overwhelmed with choice 24 per cent admit to ‘defaulting’ to their usual brand of choice, while 17 per cent revert to the cheapest option available.

With so many marketplace sellers and brands competing on Prime Day, Emarsys’ data also provides tips on how consumers would like brands to cut through the noise:

  • 21 per cent want brands to prioritise promotions they are personally interested in
  • 15 per cent want brands to only display products that they have previously bought
  • 14 per cent would like brands to offer less choice and have fewer products on sale

Expanding on this guidance, Kelsey Jones, global director of product marketing at Emarsys said, “Consumer choice is not a bad thing, but in the busiest sales periods it’s important that retailers don’t overwhelm their customers to the point of paralysis. Brands need to empower shoppers with the products, promotions, and information they want and need to make informed decisions. Beyond that point, they risk overloading them.

“While major sales events are a great opportunity to offer customers discounts on a wide range of products, retailers must focus on getting the right products in front of the right people — that requires a targeted, data-driven approach. For brands like Amazon, the mix of online deals and data gathered in-store (via Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go) creates a powerful targeting combination. Other brands should learn from this omnichannel approach, while those who are purely eCommerce must work even harder to anticipate their customer needs and personalise their experiences.

“Whether it’s Amazon Prime Day, the Jubilee, or even the Christmas sales, brands like Puma and Adidas Runtastic need to deliver highly targeted marketing and sales strategies rather than a barrage of potentially irrelevant options. It’s not about less choice. It’s about offering the right options.”


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