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TPR #7: How Amazon reduces choice overload

TPR #7: How Amazon reduces choice overload
By Mark Tosczak • Issue #7 • View online
Welcome to issue No. 7 of The Persuasion Report. Up this week:
  1. How Amazon reduces choice overload to make purchasing easier
  2. Three tips from the science of science communications for conveying complex information
  3. Five insights from analyzing 100 million headlines
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1. How Amazon reduces choice overload to make purchasing easier
Amazon sells thousands of products. And although shoppers say they like choices, the evidence shows that when there are too many choices people are less likely to buy. They’re struck by choice overload.
Amazon uses three techniques to reduce this overwhelm:
  1. Providing a “dominant option” — a single choice or a small number of choices that it thinks are clearly better.
  2. Using filters and categories to break decisions down into small chunks. What color do you want? What size? And so forth.
  3. Allowing comparison tables to make it easier to compare features across multiple options.
More details:
Choice Overload And How Amazon Makes Choosing Easier
Choice Overload And How Amazon Makes Choosing Easier
2. Three tips from the science of science communications for conveying complex information
Over the last year, scientists and public health authorities have struggled to communicate complex and fast-changing scientific information about COVID-19 in a persuasive way.
Researchers who study science communications say there are three things communicators can do better:
  1. Be clear, open and consistent to help people understand their own risk.
  2. Focus on good behaviors and how people are adopting these behaviors.
  3. Balance good news with bad.
I’d guess that these techniques might work well in other sectors (maybe personal finance and investing?) where there is high uncertainty and changing information.
3. Five insights from analyzing 100 million headlines
BuzzSumo dug into 100 million headlines to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Their findings suggest there are differences on different platforms (Facebook vs. Twitter, for example) and that the characteristics of top-performing headlines have changed since 2017.
On Facebook, there is 100% difference between the top 20 headline phrases in 2017 vs 2019/20.
Similarly, on Twitter, only two of the most popular headline phrases have remained the same since 2017.
We can attribute this stark change to a few things; algorithmic maturity, audience preference and the publisher landscape.
Whether social media has taught us what to consume, or whether we have taught it, there’s no denying that the production and consumption of content has become more refined over the years.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Mark Tosczak

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