Striking the Right Balance in E-commerce Product Offerings


Linas Balke, CEO of Adapt Lithuania, provides insight into the challenges and possibilities faced by online businesses in the e-commerce customization process.

The E-commerce Dilemma

Statistical data within the e-commerce sector shows that, while highly customizable products can lead to a 20% increase in average order value, they also result in a 15% higher cart abandonment rate due to the complexity of customization interfaces. Prepackaged products, however, tend to have a 10% higher conversion rate and lower cart abandonment rates. The choice between these approaches frequently depends on the nature of the e-commerce niche. In industries like fashion and electronics, where personalization is valued, highly customizable products may excel.

Conversely, in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, prepackaged products tend to work better, with a 12% increase in sales and a 10% reduction in cart abandonment rates. 

To no surprise, this topic has been discussed for decades. One of the most famous studies in this area is the "Jam Study" by Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper, published in 2000. They found that when consumers were offered fewer choices of jam, they were more likely to make a purchase than when offered a wide variety.
Linas Balke, CEO of Adapt Lithuania

Reducing options from 24 to 6 increased sales tenfold, highlighting how too many options can lead to decision paralysis and negatively impact sales. This study has been influential in understanding how choice overload can affect consumer behavior and has implications for e-commerce strategies focused on streamlining product offerings.


Customization Conundrum

The balance between increasing and reducing choice through customization is becoming intriguingly ambiguous in light of today's context. While customization inevitably offers more choices by allowing for personal tailoring, advancements in personalization techniques and AI can serve as a mechanism for reducing choice. These technologies are getting exponentially better at presenting only the most relevant options and attributes to each customer, effectively narrowing the field of choice. This nuanced approach has the potential to bridge the gap between the abundance of choice and its limitation, ensuring that customers are only engaged with options that hold genuine relevance and value to them, thereby enhancing the decision-making process.

Mass Customization has emerged as a significant trend in certain niches, blending the personalization of products with the efficiency of mass production. This approach allows customers to specify their preferences for a wide range of product features, from design elements to functional specifications, without significantly increasing production costs or lead times. Companies like Unruh Furniture and Nove25 have successfully integrated mass customization into their eCommerce strategies, leveraging 3D configurators to offer a personalized purchasing experience that significantly enhances customer engagement and satisfaction. 


Finding the Optimal Mix

At Adapt, we prioritize the user perspective: analysing consumer psychology and their personas. Ultimately, the key is understanding your target audience to determine the right mix of customization and simplicity. This balanced approach ensures a seamless, satisfying user experience, maximizing sales and customer retention in the diverse world of e-commerce.

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Linas Balke

Linas Balke

CEO of Adapt Lithuania