Reineke Reitsma [Posted by Reineke Reitsma]

After two weeks of holiday, I found the following interesting article in my inbox from Edward Keehnen, a Dutch researcher who did a PhD. on the decision behavior of young and older Dutch consumers.

His results show that both young and older consumers regard themselves as quite experienced buyers (61% and 67% respectively). For older consumers the level of experience has increased in the past ten years, and they also feel they are more experienced than their kids. But despite this level of confidence, when they are buying goods or services they tend to feel lost in the richness of choices: About 40% of Dutch consumers over 50 feel lost when shopping for insurances, and this goes up to a high 51% for consumers between 20 and 26 years old.

Now is insurance in my opinion one of the most complicated products to purchase, so how do young Dutch consumers feel about buying an electronics products? When shopping for a new mobile phone young consumers feel indeed more confident, but still one in three doesn’t really understand all the ins and outs, and for PCs this is around 37%. And it’s not because they don’t inform themselves sufficiently. A high 88% of young consumers say they research the products on the Internet first, and about 78% ask friends and family before they purchase any product. What makes them struggle and feel inexperienced is the number of products to chose from: 59% of young Dutch consumers state that the sheer size of all the different options and features makes them insecure about their purchases.

Bottom line? Keehnen calls it Simplify my life: Marketers should help consumers making choices.

Sometimes less is more (or at least more understandable)