Department: Supply Chain and Information Management

Programme: Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) in Supply Chain Management

Project Title: How One-factor Affecting Customers’ Decision-making Processes

Supervisor: Dr Yue WANG

Students: DING Zhijian, LAM Wa Chun, LEE Pak Yuen, LEE Tsz Hang, SO Long Hei


We have limited cognitive energy every day. Research shows that adults need to make about 221 more obvious decisions and about 35,000 subconscious decisions every day (Jeffery & Bryan, 2019). Every one will influence the direction of the current decision based on their internal and external factors.

With the development of technology and the popularity of the Internet, many new business environments have emerged, and e-commerce is a trend. In the past, when information flow was adopted, our customers had more time to evaluate the quality of the goods, and they could even accurately remember a lot of information related to the goods, such as their size and shape.

It is common knowledge that people will use metal shortcuts to foster decision making. However, when people are facing numerous options in much less serious issues, cognitive energy is unpleasant. Therefore, we would like to study one-factor affecting customers’ decision-making processes. Specifically, we will address the following question: How to introduce choice fatigue, such as a number of choices; is there any correlation between the choice and fatigue degree; when facing many choices, is it more likely that customers tend to choose the default options; will the popularity of information moderate the effect of choice fatigue?

We prepared a set of experiment questionnaires to conduct the factor of choice fatigue affecting the research question. The experiment results show that the effect on decision making somehow influences the customers’ options. They tend to choose the items in the front rather than in the back. The more choices customers face, the forwarder items are selected. Results also show that customers seem unlikely to screen until the final option. The effect of the number of choices does affect customers’ satisfaction. However, it is not effective for a company or store to assume a “best seller” option in order to influence customers’ choices. Also, The popularity somehow in our experiment did not bring any effect. We believe that this research paper can bring insights to the e-commerce industry and the FMCG industry by providing solid and sound data support. Theoretically, the research project removed the growing area between e-business and consumer behavior study. Finally, based on the results, we recommend that if the company decides to open an online store for selling shirts or foods, it is better to set the website with at most 10-15 items per page. The more choices provided, the more exhausting and time-consuming of customers experienced. It may result in a wrongful decision and failure.  

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