We live in a world of endless possibilities. But when it comes to the consumer, sometimes less is more. Discover how choices affect the buyer’s journey.

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Whether it's microbrew beer, whitening toothpaste, or car insurance, one thing is for certain: the American consumer is bombarded with choices. Research shows that while having choices might be appealing, too much of a good thing can be a problem.

An article in The New York Times explains the choice conundrum through a well-known study of one particular product: jam.1 Researchers studied the power of choice by offering free jam samples at a supermarket. When the researchers offered more sample choices, more people stopped at the table, but fewer of them actually bought anything. When the number of choices was reduced, fewer people came to the table, but they were more likely to buy something.

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Researchers concluded that people are drawn to having lots of choices, but too many choices can induce decision paralysis.

Businesses need to look for ways to draw people in without freezing them up with too many options. One way is through better information. Customers are more likely to feel overloaded by choices when they don't really understand the product. The more information they have, the more comfortable they are making a pick.

The research also shows that too many choices leads people to feeling less satisfied with their choice. Businesses need to identify what sort of product they are offering and attune their choices to the market.

If you're not quite satisfied with a soda flavor and wondering if another might be better, you might try a different flavor from the same company—sparking more sales. But if you're not quite satisfied with your phone carrier plan, you might become frustrated with the phone company and switch carriers altogether.

Sometimes it even helps to take the choice out of the customer's hands with a default option, letting the customers decide if they even want to make a choice. Understanding the process a customer goes through when making a choice can help a business better design its product offerings.

Advance Your Career by Earning Your Master’s Degree in Marketing at Walden University

Employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.2 And as new organizations and agencies develop and existing ones expand, qualified marketing professionals capable of digital marketing management will be needed. Walden’s MS in Marketing can prepare you to be at the forefront of this dynamic field. Featuring innovative coursework grounded in established theory and current best practices, the MS in Marketing program gives you the abilty to position yourself for more employment opportunities as you master the essentials of creating, executing, evaluating, and managing captivating campaigns across traditional and digital channels.

And at Walden, an accredited university, you can study for your online MS in Marketing while you continue to work full time. That means you can better maintain a work-life balance while you develop the tools and competencies to excel in the field. With online education, there’s no need to completely rearrange your schedule or commute to campus—you can take classes at whatever time of day works best for you as you work to earn your degree and further your career.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Marketing degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Source: www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/your-money/27shortcuts.html?_r=0%20
2Source: www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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