Whatever you want, whenever you want it. Choice is abundant — AWESOME (#not).
Is an abundance of choice creating more anxiety than freedom?
This may be low level choice anxiety as to what to do today or picking a meal at a restaurant, or a show as part of a large Arts festival. Or, potentially higher level choice anxiety when considering a large purchase such as a home, car, starting a business, picking a university or school or changing career direction.
Unless absolutely necessary, people stick to their habitual defaults — “I like this style of music.” “When I get a pizza I get …” “I don’t like …” “I do like …”
People do not typically want more choice, they just want the right choice. And, in the absence of a clear choice, the default is either the old choice or nothing. This is much more than choice modelling, and is more about empathetic customer pathway modelling and enhancement.
How does business and government make the right choice easy?
The opportunity for innovation is likely not more choice, but using systems, people, processes and technology to improve perceived risk and choice anxiety and allow more to make the right choice.
Word-of-mouth continues to be the most trusted and relied on form of choice anxiety reduction and to this other trusted advisors such as doctors and accountant. However, there is increasing scepticism towards those receiving a commission for recommendations.
More likely the answer is leverage the experiences of trusted family, friends and others, PLUS providing clear defaults and pathways to find the best product, service or experience. To empower the consumer to find the best product, service or experience smoothly, efficiently and with little delay.
The opportunities are mind BLOWING!
Old retail is fading as online makes choice easier. Yet, banking and most other commercial enterprises continue to FAIL, more so adding to mental health issues than playing any part in reducing choice anxiety and depression.
And, think about the wrongness of government moves to allowing greater levels of choice through programs NDIS and My Aged Care which more so create anxiety and even depression from the already vulnerable just wanting that right choice but having to navigate through an overwhelming complex choice system.
This is where the next big innovation should be. The economic benefits of making if easier and less stressful to trust the system and even ‘surprise me’ are absolutely endless — commercial, government, media, arts, products, services, education and experiences.