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The “paradox of choice” is a phenomenon where too many options can overwhelm consumers, not delight them. By that logic, an ecommerce product listing with 12 products featured should convert better than one with 24 or 48 products, right? The answer might surprise you.

Watch this episode of The Cro Show, a game show for conversion rate optimization and marketing experimentation fans, and see if you can guess which test variation performed better during a recent Cro Metrics client experiment.

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Full Transcript:

Leila Meidam: Alright, so this test is for a natural cosmetics brand. Dare I say iconic brand – may be recognizable.

They recently started collecting SMS – started SMS marketing, collecting phone numbers to text people. And on the 1st text you receive from them as an opt-in you get a link to this popular now page with the discount promo code.

The default, the control popular now page has 48 products. Tons of scrolling on mobile and desktop.

So we thought we would address by paradox of choice, reduced the amount of choices and see if we can get people moving through the purchase funnel.

So we tried a variant with 12 products, and a variant with 24 products.

Cristi Alvarez: Was this desktop only, Leila?

Leila Meidam: No, it was on desktop and mobile.

Cristi Alvarez: OK.

Chris Neumann: Is there pagination?

Leila Meidam: Nope, just giant scrolling.

Cristi Alvarez: And V1 had how many?

Leila Meidam: It had 12 products.

Cristi Alvarez: 12, OK.

Leila Meidam: So V0 had 48. V1 had just 12. And V2 had 24.

Cristi Alvarez: I’m gonna go with V1 just because when you give people too much choice, sometimes it can create friction. So I’ll just put a 1 out here for that one.

Paul Swinand: I was going to pipe in with the V1 just in a past life of mutual fund research and fund options research, the less you put on, the more people opt in.

Cristi Alvarez: Awesome.

Chris Neumann: I’m going with 2 – we’ve seen paginated work before but I feel like 2 is sort of in the middle of like too much and too little.

Leila Meidam: Yeah, and again, this was the popular now curated page so across all categories, which is meant to take you to the most popular items sold. We definitely thought more choices would improve purchase.

Paul Swinand: So just a clarification, then V2 had a better curation, maybe? Or it’s a similar curation?

Leila Meidam: It was very similar list.

Paul Swinand: But they’re both – they’re all curated in general.

Leila Meidam: Provided by the client.

Cristi Alvarez: Alrighty, let’s go ahead and go ahead and open up for voting. So, since this is a multiple variants test, if you think control won, you’ll put up a 0, if you think V1, put up a 1, and if you think V2 put up a 2.

So everyone go ahead and cast your vote.

Healthy mix here of 1s and 2s. I see one 0.

Alrighty, Leila, go ahead and show us the results.

Leila Meidam: So V0 won, the exception to the rule, people wanted to scroll.

Who voted for 0?

Cristi Alvarez: Good job, Emily.

Dave Albert: I voted for 0.

Cristi Alvarez: Good job, Dave.

Leila Meidam: There’s the stats.

Dave Albert: I think it’s the first time I’ve been right on a test in weeks.

Paul Swinand: Why did you vote for 0? Any intuition or…

Dave Albert: Because I think with a low consideration product like that, people like the option to scroll and explore, versus more high consideration categories.

Emily Schreiber: Yeah, I would agree with that. If it was like if it was a specific category, and you’re limiting the focus on the top product or something specific product line maybe, but you know this feels like people just kind of browsing around and so, they just keep scrolling till they find what they’re looking for.

Cristi Alvarez: It’s a good call out about the consideration of like for the price point. I like that.

Ryan Lucht: Can I add one metric to this too?

Leila Meidam: Please.

Ryan Lucht: That was, I think the most interesting we have those like the PJS scroll depth metrics for this client.

So we looked at the rate at which people scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the page, or to like 75% of the page length and it didn’t increase at all when we made the page significantly shorter.

So there’s a huge chunk of people that are just going to scroll through the entire page no matter how long it is, which is kind of crazy.