How online retailers can avoid ‘Buyer’s Remorse’

Online shoppers are less likely to feel post-purchase regret (or ‘buyer’s remorse’) when they have a meaningful shopping experience.

At least that’s according to a new study by digital agency Verj, part of the LAB Group of agencies. Some 31% of respondents said they made better choices when the way they made online purchases was more meaningful.

The report, How post-purchase regret is affecting your online shoppers, is based on a survey of 100 consumers about their online shopping behaviours; with questions focussing on purchase regret and returning habits.

Online Returns

The survey found that 61% had returned something they had bought online, simply because they had changed their mind; with women more than twice as likely as men to do so (41% vs 20%). Moreover, 18 to 24-year-olds were most likely to admit to this (26%) compared to any other age group.

Interestingly, 51% of respondents revealed they purchase more items when shopping online than they do offline; and 29% said they tend to spend more on average. When asked why they spend more online, 48% indicated this was because it was easier to browse; therefore easier to spend.

However, despite buying more and spending more on average online, people reported that they were more likely to impulse buy when in-store vs online (60% vs 40%).

The Crucial Confirmation Email

The study also revealed the importance of the confirmation email within the customer journey; with 53% of respondents indicating that they always read them.

“Having carried out extensive research, it became clear to me that buyer’s remorse can be a result of not just what the item is, but how the item is purchased, and that is a factor that we can measurably improve” Max Wiggins, Insight & Innovation Lead, Verj, said. “For example, frictionless journeys may speed up the transaction, but it’s at the expense of vital consumer engagement.”

Beatrice Andrew, Behavioural Science Consultant, Verj, added: “Anyone with an online presence has a responsibility to positively influence the psychology of today’s shoppers; and create more meaningful purchase experiences. Combining behavioural economics and human-focused design helps build a more exciting shopper journey; where customers can feel more confident about their decisions. It becomes harder for people to regret, and therefore return, when their shopping experiences attend to the psychology and neuroscience of how we make decisions.”

Download the executive summary here