Psychologists and neuroscientists would say that the reason why we react in this way to choice is because our brains quickly become overwhelmed. Too much choice paralyzes us into indecision; and if we do ultimately bring ourselves to make a purchase decision, we find that we’re less satisfied because we worry that we could have done better if we had made a different choice. Marketers call these feelings “purchase anxiety” and “buyer’s remorse” respectively.
From a business’s perspective, purchase anxiety is something you want to avoid at all cost because it can kill the initial sale. Unsure customers don’t buy products! This is why businesses strive to provide accurate product specs and information, customer reviews, and everything else that shoppers need to make a purchase. After the purchase is made, however, a business’s work is not done. Post-purchase buyer’s remorse can reduce the lifetime value of a customer. This makes it necessary for businesses to go above and beyond to ensure complete purchase satisfaction.
The jam study is fascinating because it shows that this phenomenon doesn’t just apply to big important purchases like cars and houses – it applies even in the case of small ticket items like grocery products. As a business owner this may worry you, but it shouldn’t. Instead of looking at the glass half empty and worrying about how you will trim your product/service lines back to offer fewer choices, look at the glass half full and know that you don’t need to offer a million options and choices to be successful. Producing, marketing, and supporting tons of product/service options is expensive! So instead of chasing after every possible opportunity to appeal to a wide number of markets, let the jam study free you and make you feel good about limiting your offerings to your core business.
Reducing Purchase Anxiety with Guarantees
Purchase Anxiety During the Holidays
Overcoming Purchase Remorse
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!