The Pain We Cause to Customers with Choice

Let us do an exercise.

Let me start by giving you 100 identical balls.

Then I show you 10 different boxes,each has a picture of a different celebrity – from Mickey Mouse to J.K.Rowling to Charlie Sheen. I ask you to distribute the 100 balls in any way you want among those boxes.

You will distribute them in one way which is likely much different from I distribute or someone else we pick distribute. The combinatorial possibilities are awesome. If we ask  1 or even 10 million people to do this task, we might might  tens of thousands of popular combinations.

To each his(her) own!

Now consider this.

Let us treat the test subjects we asked to distribute balls into boxes as your target customers.

The 100 balls as 100 points.

10 boxes as 10 different features you offer (at least one of the feature is price tag).We will find that the distribution of points across features is as diverse and combinatorial. To each her(his) own!

Each combination picked by the users represents a version of the product they are willing to pay at a given price. Even with 10 features, the possible versions are numerous.

This is how customer buying process works when they are presented with choices.

Does this mean we should create and offer as many versions? What if it costs nothing to create and offer these combinations?

Presented with 1000s of choices, how are your customers going to evaluate each and decide the one that gives them the most delight?

How long will that buying decision take?

What do you reckon is the cost to customer to evaluate all these options and decide which one gives them the most happiness (consumer surplus)?

How do you think the customer is going to rate your product experience as after this excruciating buying process?

What are you doing about reducing this cost to the customer?