The Paradox of Choice in Advertising

Who doesn't enjoy a wide range of selections? Who will complain when there are plenty of options? Will it be enough or perhaps too much?

Most of us enjoy having a multiplicity of options; however, imagine a scenario -

You entered a shop, browsed through every aisle, and discussed different attributes with executives, only to leave empty-handed because you were overwhelmed with the number of choices.



(Source: John Sills)


Sounds familiar?


Barry Schwartz defined this as the Paradox of Choice, a concept where more choices lead to more psychological tension and less happy emotions.


Back in the day, society would follow a linear pattern of choices. Individuals didn't have much autonomy over their lives. Today, however, we have digital media and social networking platforms, and the market is client-centric, where customers have hundreds of choices every day.

As a marketer, it is crucial to focus on fewer products rather than bombarding your audience with endless options. Any digital marketing agency will also ask you to focus on your best sellers for campaigns. Even though ‘the more the merrier’, choices can lead to indecisiveness, and your leads might bounce off without any conversion.


So, where do you draw the line?

How do you remain conscious of your offerings?

What can you do to avoid the Paradox of Choice in your customers?


Offer Limited Options

While options and customisations are vital parts of business today, too many choices will never be beneficial. While marketing your product, don't include every product in your campaign. Focus on one product and its line extensions, don't include everything from your brand extension in one campaign. Your audience will not know where to focus, and they might avoid purchasing anything in spite of being interested in your brand.



(Source: A Coach Called Life)


Avoid Information Overload

Companies often make the mistake of sharing every detail with their audience. Though repetition is critical for recall, your target audience doesn't want to know the excruciating details of your brand. Be it your website, blog or social media, avoid information overload. Keep everything concise and have sections for relevant information. Ensure to share details that will help your audience make a decision.


Beware While Customising

Customisation plays a critical role in marketing. Many companies promote themselves by sharing endless customisation options. Customers enjoy personalised products. However, if you suggest endless options, they will have no clue about what they should choose.




To improve quality decision-making and reduce the hassle of purchase, ensure to avoid the paradox of choice. During mass industrialisation, it is crucial to know where to stop. Choose focal points of your offerings to promote the brand.