FEATURE26 August 2019

In the driving seat

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Europe Features Impact Retail Trends

Research on choice by Join the Dots has found that consumers in Germany are finely balancing their need for control with the freedom of convenience. By Kate Skivington.

In the driving seat

Our need for choice is important because it gives us a feeling of freedom and personal responsibility – but too much choice can evoke negative emotions.

Globally, we are seeing a trend of choice overload, as we are exposed to more information than ever before. Consumers’ lives are dominated by online marketplaces such as Amazon and Alibaba, where we expend mental energy making trade-offs and comparing the potential negative consequences of choosing one product over another.

A recent global report from digital assistant company Zoovu found that 54% of consumers have stopped buying products from a brand or retailer website, because choosing the right product was too difficult.

How people view and make choices is based on deep-rooted cultural values and shifting contextual factors. We recently carried out research in Germany – combining quantitative research with cultural contextualisation – to explore how German people view choice, and how they navigate too much of it.

A culture of rational choosers

German culture places ...