The multiplication of available options helps neither consumers nor brands. This contradicts a widespread belief among Marketing gurus, who strive to come up with additional options.

Several behavioural studies support the intriguing theory according to which a competitive advantage will compound over time into a cumulative advantage.

Reiteration and automation are considered as the essential ingredients of the “cumulative advantage”: the level of performance can be maintained over time by offering clients the option which is not only the best but also the easiest.

In other words, choosing the market leader is the easy thing to do. A repeat purchase is one of the easiest actions to take.

A very good illustration of the challenges Brands are facing is given by Lennard Pal – Head of Online Sales Vehicles at BMW – who has led an exercise of extreme rationalisation of the online purchase process.

He explains how even in luxury domains more than 50% of online buyers’ behaviour is dictated by ‘convenience’. For BMW the challenge is to make it easy to place an order, having to choose among 40 models, customisable in more than 4 million versions! And to do so, while integrating the digital process with the in-store inventory, so as to have access to the real-time availability of the customised vehicle….