About 70% of consumers wish simple products were available to them. That’s the conclusion of a study conducted by international advertising agency Euro RSCG Worldwide and as reported by online Marketing Daily. Study conclusions were based on responses from 5,700 adults residing in France, the Netherlands, England, the U.S., Brazil, Japan, or China.
The wish for simplicity is good news for retailers, since it relieves a conundrum: During past years, shoppers in developed countries have sought out feature-rich merchandise, but have ended up being less satisfied than if they’d purchased the fundamentals and perhaps added on features later.
In a set of studies conducted a while back at University of Maryland, participants were offered a choice from three versions of an item. More than 60% of the participants selected the most complex of the three. After making their selection, each participant was invited to add more features from a list totaling 25. The average number of additional features selected was 20. But after the study participants had used their chosen product for a while, follow-up data showed that those who selected a simpler version of the product at the start were much happier.
That was then, this is now. When it comes to simplicity versus complexity, the consumer psychology trend is toward being happier with simplicity of functions from the start. Offer your customers fundamentals.
Now please don’t misunderstand. The fact that most consumers wish simpler products were available does not mean all consumers will end up buying those simpler products. Moreover, the trend is not one of going back to basics in product categories. Most shoppers still want their indulgences. And the large majority of shoppers enjoy customizing their products to fit their individual characteristics. The trend here is to want it available in a less complex, more natural format. In the RSCG study, about 60% of the respondents felt consumers should be more connected to nature.