The Secret To Satisfaction
It makes a difference in their ultimate satisfaction if consumers are presented with options sequentially vs. seeing all the options at once. For example, contrast a fancy dress shop presenting clothes or looking for a new home one at a time vs. reading a restaurant menu or seeing all the produce in the store.
Which do you think works better?
Presenting options one at a time creates uncertainty. You know that more choices are coming but you don’t know what they are. The unknowing creates the thought that even more options will become available later on. On the other hand, seeing all the options, like an entire rack of shoes, and choosing from the array, seems to be more satisfying.
Why? In a series of experiments, C. Mogulner, B. Shiv and S. Iyengar concluded that consumers are MORE SATISFIED when all options are presented because people compare one available option to the other rather than imagining choices that might appear in the future. It makes me think about dating – how many times have you heard a man or woman wonder about their present relationship as compared to some imaginary ‘other’ who would be just perfect (sure…). Too bad all the suitable marital candidates can’t be compared at one time – a Zappos for love – or is that what Match.com is trying to do?