Actionable Optimisation

Actionable Optimisation #61: Tame the buyer’s remorse

 November 23, 2021

By  Customers Who Click

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Although we like to think we make buying decisions based on logic, the truth is that purchasing is often driven by our emotions.

This is especially true during the holiday shopping season as most of these purchases are very much discount and impulse-driven as people search for the perfect Christmas gifts, and snap up some bargains for themselves.

And because we don’t like to admit that we’ve made an irrational decision…as soon as the order confirmation comes through, we start to rationalise it.

For example, you’re shopping for t-shirts. You found a few you like but can’t decide on the final option. After comparing a couple of options, you add them to the cart and hit that ‘Buy” button expecting relief, but instead, you start wondering if you made the right decision. 

You start to question if you really needed both t-shirts, and that may lead to did you even need a t-shirt to begin with?

This phenomenon is known as buyer’s remorse or when customers regret making a purchase.

It happens when the customer cannot rationalise the purchase, i.e. provide logical reasons why their decision was a good choice.

Going back to the t-shirt example, the buyer’s remorse could have been avoided if the purchase was followed by valuable content to support the post-purchase rationalisation, for example, a bespoke order confirmation page with outfit ideas, or an email with similar content.

Preventing buyer’s remorse goes a long way toward encouraging that second purchase, and of course, will help you reduce your return rates.

Now, this isn’t about feeding the customer with false claims or pushing a bad product. 

Some customers are prepared to rationalise their decision even if they don’t like the product, but only to a certain point, and it’ll backfire because you’ll have plenty of first-time buyers that never come back.

No. Preventing buyer’s remorse starts with ensuring your product really is good, and the product page has the information required to persuade the customer of that.

So aside from selling a good product, you also have to find out what are some of the questions customers ask themselves after the purchase, for example:

“Did I buy the right product?”

“Do I really need this product?”

“Did I buy it from the right brand? Can it be trusted?”

And so on. 

Speak to your customers to find out what pain they’re trying to relieve or goal they’re trying to achieve by using your product, so that you can make sure this information is clear immediately on the product page, and you can provide relevant & timely content that can support their post-purchase rationalisation.

What would that be? What steps can you take to prevent customers from second-guessing their purchase once the checkout process is complete?

The best place to start would, of course, be the order confirmation email. ASOS does it well:

Image source: Sleeknote

The customer sees the summary of their order, payment details, along with a few handy information about returns, order cancellation, delivery & service updates or even link to customer support.

This immediately confirms to the customer that their order has been received, whether that order is correct, and how to get in touch if there is a problem.

The next step after the order confirmation email is real-time shipping updates. So many brands overlook this part of the post-purchase experience and rely on their courier service to keep the customer updated about the package’s whereabouts or delivery date.

The customer wants to know if and when their package is arriving safely, otherwise, their excitement for the product to arrive will soon turn into nervous anticipation and negatively impacts your customer experience.

At the end of the day, they bought from you, not the courier, they expect you to be in control.

Lastly, there’s the check-in email you should be sending to the customer shortly after the purchase is delivered. This email isn’t to ask for a review but rather to ensure the customer is making the most of the product, and offer helpful resources that help them get there.

This is a solid start to encouraging repeat purchases from your first-time buyers. Of course, people regret their purchases for various reasons, and many returns are justified, but reducing returns is nothing compared to possibly winning yourself a loyal customer who keeps coming back for more and more.

What other tips do you have for preventing buyer’s remorse?

Customers Who Click


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