Whether you display your goods in a physical retail environment or online, you potentially have many people browsing your products without necessarily buying from you. A smart way to convert browsers into buyers is actually to offer them less choice to make it easier for them to buy.

The first thing to understand is that a browsing customer has an interest in the type of item you sell otherwise they wouldn’t have visited your store. Perhaps they just don’t know what they want to buy – so you have to help them.

Behavioural economics is the study of what influences people in micro decision-making situations, and surprisingly, too much choice can sometimes be a major turn-off that deters people from buying from you.

In a study, 30% of shoppers who sampled different jams in a supermarket made a purchase when there was a choice of only six jams. However, when that choice was increased to 24 different jams, only 3% of the shoppers made a purchase.

So you need to help people make a choice.

One way is to tell them what your top-selling products are. This simple mechanism plays into the fact that people listen to what other people say – or are buying in this case. The human rationale behind it is that if others are buying this then it should be okay for me to buy it too.

The image above is an example I saw at a local garden centre where they highlight the top-selling plants at the moment. In the horticultural world it’s useful that the top-selling items at any point in time are often at their most-visually appealing too…

Your next steps…

Think about creating your own top-five best sellers:

  • Would it be by number of items sold?
  • Would it be in a particular type of product?
  • How about the top-five best-selling red products?

Just do it…

Identify what your top-five list will be and then create a simple display to see the effect it has on sales of those items.