Contrary to popular belief, the path to boosting sales is not necessarily to offer greater choice, according to Gary Elphick, co-founder of on-demand manufacturer Disrupt Sports.
“[It’s like] when you enter a restaurant,” he explained while speaking on the My Business Podcast.
“They give you one page of 10 items, and I will pick one out of those. If they give you a booklet, you get this sort of anxiety, like analysis paralysis over everything. That's 100 per cent what we found as well.”
Instead, he said the ultimate method of getting customers to part with their money comes down to how much you can de-risk the purchase for them.
“I think the overall learning is, make it really easy for people. Make it fun and make it really easy for people. Make sure you back it up with quality and [extended] free returns. Everything that de-risks this for them,” said Gary.
“[You want them to] go, ‘Oh, I might as well give it a go’.”
This was a lesson Gary admitted he took on the hard way, having previously believed that unlimited choice was the way to go.
“We spent six months building an engineering platform. We were like: ‘You can now design up your own surfboard as an engineer in full CAD. This is the most technically brilliant thing I’ve ever been part of’,” he recalled.
“We put it there and we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and we had seven people use it. This was over a month. We were like: ‘This doesn't work’. The boards they’d made were terrible. I’ve still got one of them sitting in my room at the moment. It's 10-foot long by about three-and-a-half inches thick – it is a boat. This thing doesn't work; it just does not work.”
Instead, Gary moved to greatly simplify the process, put some design parameters in place and more effectively guide customers through the buying experience.
“People were [telling us]: ‘This is brilliant, but it’s far too technical. I want you to guide me through the process. I want you to tell me what I need as well. I want to be part of it, but I want to be secure in knowing that there is a good shaper behind the scenes [who] knows what they’re doing’,” he said.
Hear more insights from Gary on the My Business Podcast below: