eCommerce Advice: The Value of Variety

At work or home, the Theory of Planned Behavior states that you are more likely to engage in a task if you have a choice within the selection. Do I start the laundry first or make dinner? Given choices, you are more likely to participate. The same holds true in the retail market. One study found that shoppers purchase more jellybeans when provided with an assortment of colors. Even when all the jellybeans taste the same, a consumer will select the variety pack.

There are two situations in which variety can aid in increased sales: 1) those products or services for which you see a dramatic sales increase, and 2) those product categories that are not performing up to your expectations.

For those products or services that are giving you increased sales, your store or site may be acting as a destination location. For example, if you are selling great deal of muffin pans, consider expanding the cookware assortment to draw even more baking enthusiasts.

Some of your product categories may be underperforming in sales, compared to what you had expected. Provided evidence that other retailers are selling more cookbooks than you, with selling space considered, you might benefit from expanding the variety of books within that genre.

A Vehicle for Viewing Variety
You don’t want to load up on variety and have your potential customer overwhelmed and confused at the array of choices presented. Therefore, once you decide to beef up on the choices within a product or service line, you must give your shopper a way to sort through the choices.

A method that can give your client a sense of control is providing sub-categories within the product selection. Think of teas: black, green, red. Or coffee: mild, dark, and decaffeinated. Clothing can be sorted by purpose: sporty, work, casual. The list is endless, and if your creative with words, it can be quite fun!