Post-purchase dissonance

More commonly known as Buyers’ remorse, this is when there is a feeling of regret after a purchase.

It tends to be more pronounced after purchasing significant, expensive items which can’t be readily exchanged.

According to psychologists, it commonly arises from cognitive dissonance when there is a conflict in the mind about a choice or decision.

Businesses should consider reducing dissonance, by anticipating some of the reasons behind the regret and reassuring about these factors, through features / benefits lists or customer stories and testimonials. After purchase, a customer onboarding programme can help the customer feel more confident about the purchase by explaining about how to enjoy or use the product and giving a sense of belonging in a community.


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Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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