I will freely admit it – I am a Costco junkie.
Pretty much everything I own comes from Costco, from the pajamas i’m wearing as I type this to the picture on the wall here in my family room. My daughter’s very first outing was a trip to Costco, and we are proud of that! LOL
What’s so great about Costco? I remember having this conversation with a friend a while back, when I was joking about how much I love Costco. And she asked me why I thought it was so great (being a person who didn’t shop there much.) I wasn’t sure of the answer at first, but then it hit me – simplicity!
Rather than carrying a huge selection of everything (like most department stores do) Costco has a very limited selection of everything – usually just one or two options for any given item. Want to buy some new towels? Costco has one brand of towels at any given time, in a variety of colors. A new shed? They carry only one shed each year. A speaker dock for your iPod? They have 2 options for you, one with and one without an FM radio. And most often the item that they choose to carry is of really good quality, even with their discount prices they don’t carry ‘cheap junk’. It’s all good stuff.
If I need something, say a new coffee maker, I know that whatever Costco is carrying at that time is probably a pretty good coffee maker to buy. Compared to going to Walmart and facing a wall of coffee makers, each one with so many bells and whistles that I don’t even know where to start. I find that when I have too many options, I generally end up not buying at all… my brain gets scrambled up.
If I was to do a little personal digging on this I would say that my life has enough complexity as it is, and I don’t want to have to do the research, consider all options and shop around for the best value for every little thing I want to buy. Yes, I will take the time to do that with a big purchase like a car. But a new coffee maker? I don’t think it’s the best use of my time to try and figure out which one is best. I like to let Costco do that for me – I trust that the coffee maker they choose to carry is a good value and high quality.
This seems a great illustration of the saying in business that “a confused mind doesn’t buy”.
And it makes me wonder, how can I simplify what I offer to my clients? Where am I maybe being a bit too much of a Walmart vs. being a Costco?
We see this quite often in the online-based businesses that we coach and support. Especially when it comes to websites – many people default to trying to put everything possible on their website, and in the process end up basically overwhelming people to the point that they don’t buy. Or they may try to be ‘clever’ with an idea or offering and end up confusing people with all the options instead.
A good rule of thumb is this – if you have a hard time explaining something or find it confusing yourself, then so will your potential customers. Regardless of what you have to offer – be it a book or a coaching program – be sure to make the offering as clear and simple as possible.
And I wonder too – how could I get folks to spend at least $200 everytime they visit my site, like I always do when I visit Costco, LOL. 😉