A new study has revealed that consumers are less likely to buy a product when it's the only option because isolating an option, even temporarily, may increase how much they search and potentially the likelihood that they make no purchase.
In one study, consumers were asked to purchase a DVD player. One group was presented with a Sony DVD player, a second group was presented with a Philips DVD player, and a third group was presented with both options.
It was found that consumers were more likely to make a selection when they were presented together than when each was presented alone.
Giving consumers only one option increases their desire to search for more options. As a result, they might reject a product they would otherwise purchase.
The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.