Less is more in retail

By Blackdog - 6 years ago


Reducing Analysis Paralysis: why less is more in retail

Royalists and Hello! readers (plus anyone on social media) will have recently seen how Meghan Markle introduced a new denim brand to the world on a Cardiff meet-and-greet.

The £175 high-waisted style jeans weren’t Levi or even Topshop, as you might expect, but from Hiut Denim, a small Welsh brand based in Cardigan.

The brand, outside of its royal clientele, has two unique selling points: they make just four types of jeans, in three different materials (stretch, non-stretch and active) and every pair of jeans is made by hand, not machine.

How many other retailers can you say that for today?

Personalisation is big business in buzzword-land right now and, as a result, many brands have tried to personalise their products to each individual. Leading to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of products that all effectively do the same thing.

Yet when you know shoppers, you realise we’re living in a world that’s bound by its analysis paralysis. Each adult is said to make about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day, 226.7 of which are about food alone, according to researchers at Cornell University.

This poses a problem when we look at any part of the retail landscape. While retailers must offer some choice for different uses, budgets and preferences, it is essential to also be scaling back on choices to stave off this type of self-induced inability to make decisions.

The FMCG industry has long thrived on offering as many products as possible, but retailers want to scale back. When Dave Lewis first stepped in as CEO of Tesco, the first thing he did was cut out 30% of products in order to make the weekly shop simpler.

Truth is, there’s just too much noise. As we know and hold true to at Blackdog, shoppers are searching for simplicity. When we can help to make their lives and decisions easier, our clients, the retailers, are much more successful.

People want to buy stuff, it’s why they’re there after all, and too many products get in the way. To make shoppers successful, you need to enable them to make the purchase. If they can’t make a decision because they’re lost in the benefits of one type of ketchup over another, you’re more likely to lose the sale.

The answer is twofold: firstly, reduce product choice. Champion over choice will ensure that shoppers are guided but not overwhelmed. Secondly, provide clarity. Both online and in-store material should provide clear guidance and signposting on what products are and why they’re useful.

When it comes to shopping experience, less is more.

Less products show more intelligent choices; less types, more consideration.

Everyone’s been so focused on giving more, more, more that they’ve forgotten the secret sauce is in providing less.

Will you try it?