Why it matters

With advertisers diverting ever-greater resources into driving online sales, marketers must remain aware of the challenges of building brands within digital environments. Mental availability, as spelled out by Byron Sharp, will still play a significant role in assisting consumer decision-making online.


  • Online shopping encourages consumers to ‘maximise’, comparing options and exhaustively seeking out the best one. This can lead to a sense of ‘choice overload’.
  • Brands help online shoppers to reduce risk and uncertainty, by filling the gap left by the absence of physical sensory cues.
  • Contrary to claims made for personalisation and hyper-targeting, it is brands that emerge as the key decision aid helping consumers to mitigate risk, provide reassurance and cut down the boundless online shopping environment to a human level.