The problem of plenty.

Have you tried doing ‘more’ with ‘less’

Do you know what I love the most in this menu? “Artisan Snacks $4”. You don’t see that a lot, do you? Most of the times, you will come across a whole page just for snacks. (image)

If all this information is overwhelming me, how do you think your customer feels when you barrage him with it all.

More isn’t always better.

THE RESTAURANT MENU

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and boggled by a long — and I mean really long — restaurant menu? One that goes on for pages and pages. I have. And every time, I have secretly wished they would come up with a much smaller menu. One that would have just a few items on it. Just their specialties. Just the things that they know they can do exceptionally well. More often than not, they would not lose their customers, rather earn some extremely loyal ones.

  1. More time spent in deciding what to eat = more time spent per customer on the table = Lower table turnover rate → Bad for business. Real bad.
  2. More time spent in confusion on what to order = High likelihood of ordering the safer bet; something that I know of as my go-to meal = Reduced probability of me trying something new = Lost opportunity to dazzle the diner with a dish he/she may not have had before → Bad bad for business.
  3. Lots of items on the menu = Lost chances of being known for a few signature dishes → Lost opportunity to have top of the mind brand recall when the customer has a ‘craving’

DO ONE THING, AND DO IT REALLY WELL

A consumer isn’t expecting you to cater to his whims and fancies, solve the middle-east crisis and world hunger, all at the same time. I mean, it would be phenomenally great if you could, but odds are you can’t, so why? Why are you trying to do that? Why not focus on one problem for now, and be the best at solving that one problem — be the de facto go-to option for that one problem before you venture out into doing something else.

IT HELPS WHEN YOU ARE DOING JUST ONE THING

I am not sure if I have talked about it before or not, but a friend of mine wanted to start a clothing e-commerce brand. And there was not a single differentiation he had from the countless other names that exist. Now, I am not saying you need to necessarily be different in order to build a brand or a business. But it does help. It helps because if done well, it would enable you into carving a niche space in the minds of your consumers; empowering you in jumping to the top of the queue when they are contemplating a purchase in your category.

WHY AM I TALKING ABOUT IT TODAY?

Because I came across a landing page. I met a startup founder today and checked their website briefly to get a better sense of what they are doing and how they are doing it. Now, I was Google’s bitch, and I started seeing their ads everywhere. After a few times, I actually decided to at least have a look. And that is where the topic is coming from.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Keep things as simple as possible. Don’t have multiple options out there, especially if your options have extremely minute and subtle differences. Let us take the example that led to the origins of this post. It is a complete servicing business for your cars, and as such from servicing to paint jobs to car detailing, it does all of that.

  1. You do not need to ask the consumers for the make and model of the car for most of the services that you provide. Take car service for example. I understand that the servicing costs will be different for different cars, but I don’t think there would be a difference in costs based on the model variant. And even if there is, it won’t be much.
  2. I don’t think there would be much of a difference in the servicing costs of a hatchback based on which make the car is. So why have all that?
  3. Make educated guesses. Look at your business data and see which services customers are opting for the most. Which pricepoints are these services in. Let us start designing your landing pages for the most popular order types.
  4. Look at your long and extensive price chart. And see if you can’t narrow it down. Looking at the “detailing” example I earlier talked about, I am assuming for different categories, there would be more such occurences. So start clubbing things that can be clubbed together. If there is a minor price difference somewhere, maybe you could find a middle ground. A price-point that will fit both those segments. If service for one brand costs the consumer $A + $2, and for the second it is $A — $2, maybe you could have one simple price point that is in the neighborhood of $A. Makes your overall ‘menu’ simpler.

BUT WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE ZERO PAST DATA

Yes. It is quite possible. If you are a business that is just starting up, or have ventured into a new segment altogether, you are starting from scratch. As such, zero data exists. So what do you do then?

  1. You already know the demography you are operating in. As such you would be able to find crucial data that can tell you about consumer expectations and make an educated guess on what you can expect.
  2. What kind of cars get sold in your geography the most? With what frequency do they go to the service center? Which localities have the highest density of your competition? There is a ton of data that you have all around you that can help you narrow down your menu options.

That’s it for today; see you tomorrow….hopefully!

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Abhishek Anand

Helping businesses grow 10x faster, and scale efficiently. Top Writer — Quora, Medium. Drop in a line if you’d like help with yours. mail@abyshake.com