Reason Why Your Conversion Rates Are Low

What does jam have to do with improving your conversion rates? Read on to find out…


Sheena Iyengar is a professor at University of Columbia and teaches a course on Organizational behavior. She once conducted a scientific research experiment to gauge the effect choices have on people.

Iyengar set up a tasting booth with a variety of gourmet jams in the grocery store named Draeger’s in Menlo Park, California.

  • One day, she displayed 6 varieties of jam in the booth.
  • The next day she displayed 24 varieties of jam.

And then she counted the number of sales generated each day.

The Paradoxical Results

Most people would think that the more choices there are, the more people would buy. But Iyengar’s research proved otherwise.

  • 30% of people, who stopped by the 6-jam booth, ended up buying one of the jams.
  • While only 3% of people, who stopped by the 24-jam booth, ended up buying the jam.

Sheena Iyengar


The simplest way to improve your website conversion rates is to reduce the clutter.

  • Don’t give a 101 navigational options
  • Don’t use 3 or 4 column layouts
  • Don’t provide 23 different social media sharing buttons
  • Don’t link to 50 websites from the sidebar

Reduce the options to increase the impact.
Focus. Make sure each page has only one primary call to action.
And ruthlessly remove all the other links and buttons.

Be like Google. Google was a breath of fresh air when it was launched. Because while other search engines had a 1001 links and options on their home pages, Google offered only the search field.

Google vs Yahoo Design
Yahoo’s clutter vs Google’s simplicity. Google won.

Action Summary:

Never try to sell two things at once - Dick Benson

You confuse them, you lose them - Anonymous

Be like the switch. Reduce the options and people will do what you want them to do.

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