Opinion: Stores can beat online by avoiding the tyranny of choice

Michael Jary

The gloomy Danish philosopher Kierkegaard found much of life to be painful, but it can be assumed he would have harboured a particular ennui for online shopping.

Too many options, especially when combined with the stress of information acquisition, create what he called the “tyranny of choice”. Hesitation leads to worry and even a good decision can be plagued by angst over the alternatives not taken. It’s the reason Kierkegaard broke off his engagement – and then regretted it when the young lady married another.

Type “men’s trousers” into Amazon and over 70,000 results are available. The limited filter buttons are of little use in finding the item which might suit your style or fit. This is not a good customer experience.

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