Design the decision process

From John Sviokla:

“In our world of information overload, every new choice is an effort — so companies need to give as much thought to the process of choice as to those choices and options themselves. For instance, Dan noticed that the Economist, at one time, showed three options for their potential subscribers: online-only for $59.00, print-only for $125.00, or online and print for $125.00. He designed an experiment, using his students, in which 84% chose the $125.00 for print and online, 0% chose print-only, and only 16% chose online-only. Any rational manager would say the $125.00 offer print-only offer was useless. But when Dan removed the $125.00 print-only offer, 68% of people bought the online product for $59.00 while only 32% shelled out for the $125.00 bundle! In other words, the higher-priced option was chosen less than half as often. By having the decoy of $125.00 for print-only, the customer could make an easy comparison to the other $125.00 offer in which they got online for “free.” Even something as simple as choosing a magazine has enough complexity in it that a decoy choice can radically change buyer behavior…Every manager should remember that in a world of excess choice, an easy place to differentiate is in the careful design of the decision process itself.”

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