Reducing the Risk of Buyer’s Remorse


Tired ShopperIn our previous post, we highlighted the need to reduce buyer’s remorse.

I think we’ve all been there at some point. You get thrilled about making a purchase (it may be a gift for yourself, a loved one or that person you are trying to impress), then just after buying that item(s), it dawns on you that you just BOUGHT something. You have paid, no turning back.

Sometimes you feel guilty or remorseful or start asking yourself why you made that purchase or feel that the merchant has just ‘conned’ you into buying something you didn’t really need at that time.

Whatever the case may be, customers do feel what is termed ‘Buyer’s Remorse’.

Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a car or house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller. (Wikipedia)

What are the things we can do as merchants to reduce buyer’s remorse and get the customers coming back for more?

Understanding the factors that affect buyer’s remorse should help in reducing the risk. Some of the factors are:

  • Fear of making the wrong choice
  • How compatible is the item(s) with the customer’s needs / goals
  • Amount spent on the item(s)
  • Possible alternatives to the item(s) bought
  • Role played by the merchant during the decision making process (is the buyer suspicious of having been overly influenced by the seller?)
  • The buyer’s post-purchase experience with the item(s) and merchant

I feel that as a merchant, the key to reducing buyer’s remorse lies in your sales strategy. What you do from the sales initiation, to conversion and your post-sales interaction with the customer is very important.

You need to:

    1. Understand why the (potential) customer wants to make that purchase. By understanding why the customer is making the purchase, for whom, occasion etc, you can determine the best product for the customer.
    2. Decide if your product aligns with the (potential) customer’s needs. Remember, it is not just about making THAT sale, it is about repeat business. So, if it wont meet the needs of the customer, my advice is, do not sell.
    3. Be knowledgeable about your product and provide adequate information on the product. This helps the customer in making an informed decision.
    4. Be sure that your prices are not over priced and if they are, your product comes with extra value added services to compensate for the price.
    5. Ensure that you are not perceived by the buyer as trying too hard to over influence their decision to your advantage. Be subtle during the sales conversion process.
    6. Exciting your customer with excellent customer service throughout the sales process and especially post-sales, is also important.
    7. Keeping in touch with your customers post-sales also helps. This reinforces the positive long term relationship you are trying to build with that customer. It also shows that you CARE about the customer and not just the sale.
    8. Meeting and surpassing customer’s expectations is a sure way to reducing that feeling of remorse.
    9. Help the customer plan for some key purchases. If sales or discounts would be given on an item within a period, it may be nice to mention this to the customer. That way, the customer may have ample time to prepare for the sale or not feel cheated or disgruntled. Planning ahead is the best prevention for that unpleasant post-purchase regret.

Hope these help.

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