As a retailer, of course, you want to offer customers different styles, brands, and options. You want to be known for having a good selection of products. At the same time, offering too wide a selection can come with cluttered shelves and bloated aisles.
And, you certainly don’t want shoppers feeling so overwhelmed by floor inventory, they leave without buying a single thing.
What is Decision Paralysis?
“Analysis paralysis” comes from the world of behavioral psychology.
It occurs when overanalysis or overthinking of alternatives prevents an individual or a group from making a decision. In investing, for example, analysis paralysis can lead to missed opportunities. Psychologists say the root cause of analysis paralysis is anxiety. We fear choosing the wrong option.
In retail, analysis paralysis is more commonly referred to as “choice paralysis”.
What Happened with Bed Bath & Beyond?
In 2020, Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO believed their shoppers were struggling with choice paralysis. There was too much product on the floor; too many brands and shoppers simply couldn’t commit to purchase.
So Bed Bath & Beyond decided to “de-clutter” and removed a significant number of products from the store floor. The result? The retailer reported $100 million in lost sales in the last quarter of 2021.
You Can Limit Choice Too Much and Frustrate Shoppers
Yes, analysis paralysis is a real thing. However, Bed Bath & Beyond shows us that (in an effort to de-clutter) it’s possible to limit choices too much. So much so, shoppers become frustrated by a lack of options.
Micro-Fulfillment Gives You The Best of Both Worlds
There is a way to successfully limit in-store options without losing customers. In fact, Bed Bath & Beyond actually saw their digital sales increase in October of 2020 (where they still offer a large variety of products) which speaks to this point.
Micro-fulfilment can allow for store-level fulfillment or the utilizing of smaller warehouses or stockrooms. In both scenarios, retailers are able to limit in-store options and the amount of floor/shelf inventory (avoiding choice paralysis) while still offering more product/brand variety. And, a micro-fulfillment approach keeps the products close enough to the consumer, retailers can still offer same-day delivery or free in-store pick up.
Bringing Warehouse Automation to the Back of the Store
There are many types of automated, micro-fulfillment solutions to serve the given product being handled.
“Automated micro-fulfillment solutions are allowing retailers and grocers of all sizes to begin closing the gap on [customer] demand,” Pat Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at McMurray Stern says, “they can now compete by bringing that service in-house.”
McMurray Stern offers five different micro-fulfillment approaches to meet needs and your customer’s demands, with each solution offering a different price option, rate, and speed.
Vertical lifts are the ideal storage solution for products, components, and small items. Many retail and grocery companies have chosen our lifts to help organize and improve their workflow, thanks to their flexibility, wide range of models available, superior design, and ease of use.
HAIPICK robots offer intelligent picking and handling, autonomous navigation, active obstacle avoidance, and autonomous charging.
Carousel systems enable highly efficient storage and picking processes in the smallest possible space. Carousels are an outstanding solution for handling small parts along with medium to slow-moving products including retail, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, electronics components, media, and food items.
Our cuby and flexi shuttle system options are ideal automated storage and retrieval solutions that can be used in a variety of different industries, enhancing storage efficiency.
Pouch sorters and carriers enable the accumulation, buffering, distributing, and sorting of goods. Pouch sorters have high throughput, are low maintenance, and have universal usage for goods weighing up to 3 kg.
I’d Like to Learn More About Micro-fulfillment
Contact one of our micro-fulfillment solutions experts today!