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Why Too Many Ticket Choices Can Hurt Event Ticket Sales (And How to Fix It)

Are you offering too many ticket choices for your event? According to consumer behavior psychology, an abundance of options can lead to choice overload. When potential buyers are faced with too many options, they often delay making a decision or avoid it altogether, resulting in lost sales.

To maximize ticket sales, it’s important to streamline your offerings by limiting the number of ticket types, bundles, and prices to avoid overwhelming customers.

The Psychology of Choice

The psychology of choice explains that having too many options can hinder decision-making. This concept was introduced by psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper in 2000 and has been widely studied since. Iyengar, a professor at Columbia University, demonstrated this in a 1995 study at a California gourmet market.

In her experiment, Iyengar and her team set up a booth offering samples of Wilkin & Sons jams. They alternated between displaying 24 different jams and just six jams. While 60% of customers were attracted to the larger selection, only 3% made a purchase. In contrast, 30% of those who sampled from the smaller selection bought a jar.

This study highlighted that while a large variety might draw initial interest, it often leads to decision paralysis. Subsequent research has reinforced this finding: fewer options generally lead to better decision-making outcomes.

Here’s why too many choices can be detrimental:

  • Fear of Making the Wrong Choice: More options increase the anxiety of potentially making the wrong decision.
  • Complicated Decision-Making: A greater number of choices complicates the decision-making process.
  • Desire for More Options: Abundant choices can trigger the urge to seek even more options.

Simplify Ticket Choices for Better Sales

To boost ticket sales, it’s crucial to offer choices that are easy for consumers to understand, compare, and contrast. Here are some strategies to simplify the decision-making process for your ticket buyers:

1. Eliminate Unnecessary Ticket Options

Review your ticket offerings and identify any that can be removed. Streamlining your options creates a more focused user experience and can increase sales. For example, if you have multiple pricing tests listed on your ticket sales page, limit tests to one type at a time to avoid overwhelming potential buyers.

2. Create Clear Ticket Categories

If you can’t reduce the number of ticket options, organize them into clear and easy to understand categories. Cognitively, it’s easier for humans to process multiple categories rather than numerous individual choices. This helps them narrow down their options more efficiently. They can follow a path to choose that actually makes sense based on their preferences.

3. Limit Choices to Five or Fewer

While studies vary on the ideal number of product choices, a common recommendation is to offer no more than five options at a time. More choices can overwhelm customers, leading to decision paralysis. Keeping the number of options within a manageable range helps maintain clarity and focus.

4. Offer Three Pricing Tiers

For tiered or bundled ticket packages, provide three pricing options. Customers often gravitate towards the middle option, perceiving it as a balanced choice that offers value without being the most expensive.

5. Suggest a Preferred Option

Guide your customers to make a decision by highlighting a suggested ticket option. This small nudge can make customers feel more confident in their choice, knowing that it’s popular or recommended.

People are often influenced by the choices of others. Displaying information about the types of tickets others have purchased can guide customers into making their own decisions so they feel less overwhelmed and more confident.

Key Takeaways

Choice overload can lead to delayed decision-making or avoidance altogether. Giving customers too many options can also decrease satisfaction and increase buyer’s remorse. However, by offering fewer ticket options, categorizing options clearly, and guiding customers with suggestions, you can make the decision-making process easier for your buyers and boost ticket sales.

Bottom-line, even though it may seem like offering a lot of ticket choices will increase sales because the “right” option will be available to every possible buyer, human psychology tells us that’s not true. Instead, reducing the number of choices and simplifying the decision process helps customers feel more confident and satisfied with their purchase.

In other words, by doing the work for your customers and offering a streamlined selection of ticket types and bundles, you’ll enhance their buying experience and increase your event’s ticket sales.