Last-minute Techniques to Mitigate Post-purchase Dissonance This Holiday Season8 min read

Not everything is A-OK after your customers complete their purchase with your e-commerce store and are awaiting their orders. It is at this stage, where even the ones who have been most excited to shop with your store can get disappointed and end up in a position where they refuse to shop with you once again. 

If you’re wondering why this happens, the retail pundits have a term for it — post-purchase dissonance. 

But what really is ‘post-purchase dissonance’?

What is Post-purchase Dissonance?

Post-purchase dissonance is simply the buyer’s remorse that happens particularly in cases of online purchases. It is a sense of regret for the customer, who feels they’ve made a hasty or wrong decision after completing a purchase with an e-commerce business. 

Customers who have experienced post-purchase dissonance may frequently feel the urge to cancel their purchase, initiate a return, or in the worst case, even post a sharply-worded review on social media.      

Dissonance in the post-purchase phase can happen due to internal conflicts such as

  • Indecision over having chosen one from two products of the same business
  • Indecision over two having chosen one from two competing businesses

Realizing the plan to spend their budget on other expenses that have lined up at the same time. 

Post-purchase dissonance can also occur due to external reasons that involve something to do with you. Let’s take a look at them as well.

Post-purchase dissonance is a sense of regret for the customer, who feels they’ve made a hasty or wrong decision after completing a purchase with an e-

Reasons for post-purchase dissonance

  1. Your customers feel unsatisfied with the product or customer service you provide, leading to a bad order experience associated with your brand. 
  2. Your customers did first-hand or second-hand research after their purchase which puts your brand experience sub-par, to that of your competitors
  3. Your customer finds a negative review about your brand or product that they recently purchased.  

Effects of post-purchase dissonance on your e-commerce business

  1. Increase in unwanted returns – 70% of all returns are size and fit related.
  2. Decrease in customer satisfaction – 78% of shoppers won’t buy from a brand again after ONE bad delivery or return experience.  
  3. Increase in support tickets created – 40% of customer support inquiries are WISMO (Where Is My Order) or RETURN related.
  4. Decrease in brand credibility – 30% of consumers who have had a negative customer experience say they would share it on social media.
  5. Increase in customer acquisition costs – It costs 5x to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.