How the paradox of choice affects consumer decisions

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Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Every morning I go to the store to buy fresh groceries for the day. My trips are typically pretty quick — 4 to 6 minutes in the store — as I grab some protein and vegetables and self-checkout.

At my store, the meat and produce sections are on opposite sides of the building. Today, as I was walking after picking up my chicken, a sign promoting a new brand of potato chips caught my eye.

Now craving chips, I stopped and turned into the aisle. It had been a while since I’d last bought chips, and the number of brands and flavors were mesmerizing. There were probably over 50 different options in all. I was salivating just thinking about my favorites: Cheetos, Cool Ranch Doritos, Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream, Lay’s Classic, Fritos, Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion, Kettle Brand Backyard…


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Photo by Maciej Ruminkiewicz on Unsplash

Launching an e-commerce brand can be one of the most exciting experiences for a founder. The appeal of using a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model is also clear: the barrier to entry is lower, it’s a great way to test your product, and you can start small with a limited product line and pivot relatively easily based on feedback.

But those same characteristics bring risks as well. On average, 40% of all product launches fail; it’s becoming increasingly difficult to win the trust and build loyalty in a crowded market where the competition is so intense.

“It’s never been easier to start a company. It’s never been harder to build one.” …

About

Jerry Feng

Curious human. Head of Marketing @ an education tech startup. Probably wearing joggers + a hoodie. Watches a ton of basketball. More writing: feng.substack.com

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