You have to choose a niche before you can open a shop. The sheer number of choices is overwhelming. You then had to select specific products. Then, you decide how to market these products. You know what happens next.
It’s easy to convince oneself that whichever decision you make will be wrong.
Dropshippers are not the only ones who feel this way. These feelings are caused by a phenomenon known as choice overload.
This post will explore the idea of choice overload and the factors that lead to it. I will also provide you with a list of six things you should consider to keep your store from becoming too overwhelming. This includes recommendations from successful dropshipping merchants.
What happens when we have too many choices?
Choice overload can lead to various effects, including anxiety and stress. It can also cause a condition called choice paralysis. When someone overthinks something or makes a choice, they may not choose at all. Does this sound familiar? You’ve probably felt this when selecting the right restaurant or phone.
The choice overload and paralysis are fascinating because, in general, we would all agree that options are plentiful. These two processes show that there can be too many good things.
While both choice overload and choice paralysis may occur in many areas of our lives, it is essential to consider whether you own an online store.
In a 2000 Columbia University study, researchers explored this concept by setting up a stand that offered jam samples. The researchers alternated between 24 and 6 types of jam. While 60 percent stopped to taste jam when 24 different varieties were offered, only three percent bought a jar. When there were only six types of backup, 40 percent of the people stopped, but 30% bought a jar. It turned out that less was more.
It’s possible to have too many or too few options. So, it’s vital to consider whether your store is overwhelming customers and driving them away.
What is Choice overload?
After briefly describing choice overload, let’s dig deeper into when it happens. Researchers from Kellogg School of Management discovered that four factors can influence when choice overload occurs.
Complexity of the choice set: What are your options? Does one option dominate the others, and is there enough information provided to make a choice? Choice overload is more likely to happen when the decision is complex. Complexity is not just about the number of options. It’s also about how difficult it is for you to choose one. If you have 50 pieces of data per option, it is more complicated than having only 50 votes.
Decisiveness: What is the difficulty of deciding? The time pressure of a decision that must be made quickly can cause a choice overload.
Uncertainty about preference: What do you know already about your options? It is harder to make a choice when you have no selections.
Goal of the decision: Why is this decision being made? It could be overwhelming if it is a final choice, such as a phone. You will have to analyze and consider it more carefully since only a few options exist.
It’s good to know that choice overload does not always lead to unhappy customers. It can make the decision process stressful, which is not what you would want your customers to feel when they come into your store.
It’s not ideal when the choice overload has a negative impact. Adverse effects could include people regretting their decision, changing their minds, or not making a final choice. Choice paralysis.
Don’t be worried if the thought of your customer being stressed makes you anxious. Dropshipping merchants have given us their advice on how to avoid choice overload.
Consider Mobile Users
Please do me a favor the next time you are on Shopify. Scroll down to “Online store sessions” to see the box. You’ll be able to see how many store visits are coming from mobile devices once you find it.
52.2 percent of website traffic in 2018 came from mobile devices. But when you edit and view your store constantly on a computer, it’s easy to forget that mobile shopping is huge. It is more important now than ever to have a mobile-first design. This includes how many products your store has and how they are displayed.
A mobile screen can become cluttered if you have too much information. Conduct an audit of your store to ensure it looks the best possible.
By right-clicking on your desktop and selecting “inspect,” you can view the mobile site. From there, use the dropdown menu to select specific devices. Consider implementing filters, shortening titles, and reducing clutter. People will stay longer in your store if it is easy to navigate.
Start small and then cross-sell
Emma Reid has some excellent advice for those who are just starting or want to consider the size of their product range seriously.
Emma has been a successful drop shipper for over five years. She has sold more than $500,000 worth of products. She sells online now and mentors other entrepreneurs. She has strong opinions about the number of products a shop should carry.
She says that all her Shopify stores have less than ten items. A smaller selection will allow you to create a more compelling story, design, and branding for your customers. It helps you to sell better, increases conversion rates, and is less distracting (even for your customers).
Emma’s method is unique. She usually starts with a winning product and then adds other products as cross-sells. This technique is effective, as the customer has already decided to buy her winning product. She is then presented with complementary products that are attractive and enticing.
Emma suggests that niche stores can be an excellent way to test out products flexibly if you are unsure which product to sell. You could have multiple successful products and sell to the same audience.
Use the power of collections.
What if you have many products in your store but want to keep them that way? Successful dropshippers Chris Wane and Harry Coleman are well-versed in this.
Chris has been using dropshipping for the last few months and has seen great success in his general store. Although he agrees it is best to begin with a limited number of items, he thinks collections are essential for stores that have grown.
He says having clear and concise collections is essential so customers can easily navigate the menus in all store areas. “I’d make a few broad collections that fit the product category.”
Harry, whose stores generated over $5 million in revenue in 2018, also advocates splitting products into collections in a general shop but suggests starting with a manageable amount of items before expanding.
He says, “I would recommend sticking with just three or four niches.” “That’s more than enough money to make.” You can start with four to eight items in each of these niches. You should arrange them in collections to make it easier for visitors to navigate your store.
Harry advises that once you have succeeded in a specific dropshipping niche, store owners should expand the collection and build on their initial success. This will help to increase sales.