Congratulations - you've successfully converted one of the many visitors to your e-commerce store into a customer! Looks like your work is done, right? Well of course not, but you knew that. So, what else do you need to worry about? Buyer's remorse.
What's Buyer's Remorse?
Buyer's remorse is when someone makes a purchase and begins to regret their decision afterward. This type of reaction is what causes many people to return products they've purchased or to cancel an order that has yet to ship. Returns can be especially expensive to online stores, depending on your policies around them.
Some post-purchase problems are simply unavoidable, such as clothing that doesn’t fit right. But reassuring your customer they've made the right decision after they've already bought can significantly reduce the likelihood they'll regret — and subsequently return — their purchase. Before we can take steps to reduce buyer's remorse, however, we first need to understand what causes it.
What Causes Buyer’s Remorse?
Unfortunately, it's not possible to know exactly how your customers are feeling about their purchase, but by placing ourselves in their shoes we can take some educated guesses. The type of product they are purchasing will likely have a major impact on what they're feeling. However, it is safe to say their regret is triggered from one of two reasons:
1. Emotional Reasons
This can include everything from impulse purchases that create a strong urge to buy (only to regret later), social influence from ads, promotions and other marketing tactics, or from a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) that overpowers a buyer’s emotions to buy, even if they know they don’t need the product.
Show some appreciation to make your customers feel a sense ofbelonging. Send post-purchase emails thanking them for their purchase and more importantly, for being part of your brand’s family. Studies show that 88% of users are likely to respond to an email that’s been specifically created for them. Adding this personal touch will also help you build trust with your customers, which is a major step in turning them into loyal repeat buyers.
2. Practical Reasons
Factors like cost and interpersonal influence are also common reasons shoppers end up regretting what they’ve bought. Expensive purchases, in particular, are a major cause because they tend to trigger all three cognitive dissonance elements (aka inconsistent thoughts or beliefs around a decision): effort, responsibility, and commitment. The more money a customer spends, the higher the expectations for that product. And if that customer was influenced by someone or something that seemed to provide a high level of knowledge around that product, the expectations grow even higher.
Always ensure your customer feels like what they’ve bought is valuable in its quality and purpose, and back that with detailed product information and great customer service in case they have any questions before, during, or after their purchase. You can even send additional product information on how best to use the product to help reduce any purchase anxiety they may have. And always have credible social proof like product reviews and ratings on your product pages to help reassure your customers they are making a sound purchase decision.
Related Article: Types of Social Proof that Drive Customers to Buy
Pre-Purchase Objections Mirror Post-Purchase Regrets
The reasons customers feel regret after a purchase are often the exact same reasons they're hesitant to buy in the first place: Will it fit right? Will it make me look cool? What if I don't use it?
Overcoming these objections before the purchase will increase conversion rates, while addressing these same objections after the purchase can significantly reduce buyer's remorse. The thing is, as sellers we often assume our responsibility to a customer is complete after they confirm their purchase. By investing a little more energy into the relationship after the purchase has been made, we can lower return rates and also increase the likelihood of subsequent purchases.
If you want to learn more about this topic, including the deeper psychology behind it, Wikipedia has a great article about buyer's remorse.
Prevent Buyer’s Remorse More By Using the Right Tools
Granify uses machine learning to understand and act on a shopper’s digital body language in real time, using on-site smart messages to delight and in turn, convert shoppers and keep them happy. Reach out to learn more about how Granify can help you with buyer’s remorse, conversion rates, and lots more.