Buyer’s remorse is an affliction we are all familiar with. Anyone who isn’t either has a lot of excess income or only ever shops for the essentials.
But for most of us, mere mortals, with our very average bank balances and our widespread love of things, buyer’s remorse frequents our emotional range as much as Sunday-night dread.
Guilt post-purchase is as much a pain for customers as it is for businesses. All it takes is a lenient returns policy and the scan of a QR code, and your latest purchase could be making its way back to the warehouse.
While for the likes of ASOS and Amazon, this may be no big deal, it can be make or break for SMEs. An eCommerce marketing agency in London that manages mainly small businesses, knows this better than anyone.
Buyer’s remorse: you don’t want it, and neither do the brands you’re purchasing from.
So, what can we do about it?
1. Assess Your Priorities
Now don’t get us wrong, we love nice things as much as the next person. However, we know that, more often than not, buyer’s remorse occurs when our purchases don’t align with our priorities.
Picture this, you’ve got a friend’s birthday coming up and you’re all going out for a fancy dinner. You ‘need‘ some new shoes for the event, so you splurge on pair that leave you out of pocket.
New shoes are great, we’re not disputing that, but will they still be great when you’re sat at that fancy restaurant sipping on tap water? Probably not.
In this classic case, buyer’s remorse could have been easily avoided by a quick assessment of your priorities. It’s far better to be able to enjoy this night out and celebrate with your besties than to wear a pair of shoes you’ve never worn before.
Plus, everyone is probably too busy worrying about their own outfit to be thinking about yours!
That being said, if you need something new, you need something new. This leads us to our second top tip for side-stepping buyer’s remorse.
2. Get Thrifty
Fun and functional, the art of getting thrifty can be a lifesaver if you’re trying to avoid buyer’s remorse.
Too often, highly-priced purchases leave us with severe cases of buyer’s remorse, but the lower price points of the thrift world make for a sharp blade and can cut your post-purchase guilt in half.
Oh, and did we mention you’re helping the planet too? Sustainable shopping is on the rise, and buying second hand is a major part of that. In fact, in 2020 alone, the equivalent weight of 900 double-decker buses was saved from landfills thanks to the purchase of pre-loved items.
As well as all this, thrift shopping requires patience that off the rack purchases do not. Whether it’s rummaging through charity shop rails or scrolling through Depop profiles to find a secondhand version of your must-have item, you’ll need to spare a little time.
And speaking of taking your time, our third recommendation is just that.
3. Take Your Time
We’ve talked about buyer’s remorse due to purchases that don’t align with our priorities. Now, it’s time to talk about purchases made on impulse.
Online shopping does little to help when it comes to impulse purchases. From ‘swipe up to shop’ to Apple Pay, the path from seeing a product to purchasing it is straightforward and downhill.
Whether it’s a full-blown late-night shopping spree or a quick scroll through Instagram on your lunch break, today’s online shopping landscape is designed to help you free-wheel towards impulse purchases – literally. By extension, it’s also built to help you free-wheel towards a severe case of buyer’s remorse.
Taking your time to mull over purchases can help you figure out whether or not you are acting on impulse. Add it to your wishlist, come back to it in a few days, then make your final decision.
4. Introduce A Reward System
Another way to ensure you’re not impulse-buying and, in turn, another way to avoid buyer’s remorse is by introducing a reward system.
Let’s say you get a promotion at work, or you’ve been in a bit of a slump, and you’re finally feeling better; reward yourself by making a purchase.
Not only does this technique favour your budget by structuring your shopping habits, but it also means that you’re likely purchasing with mindfulness – not the second you see something you like on Instagram stories.
Plus, rewarding yourself feels good, and we highly recommend it.
All in all, while buyer’s remorse is a common affliction, it can also be easily avoided. By adopting these neat tips and tricks, no longer will you be faced with the shoppers equivalent of beer fear.
Happy (mindful) shopping!