Even when our customers managed to have what they want, we have to be mindful of the post purchase phase. More choices typically lead to less overall satisfaction, even if we’ve chosen well.

This is known as buyer’s remorse, or post-choice regret.

Buyer’s remorse or post-choice regret, taken from globalmedia.mx

Look at the image on the left side. The lady is surprised when she finds what seems to be the better option. She might think, “Did I choose the right thing for me? What if this turns out to be not the best of them all?”

The lady above doesn’t have what we call as the choice closure.

It is the psychological process by which decision-makers come to perceive a decision to be complete and settled. Instead of enjoying the one she had chosen, she is worrying about all the other possible possibilities. In this case, the variety becomes a burden instead of a benefit.

“We might be successful in selling our products, but we have to make sure that our customers don’t regret their decision.”

Narrowing It Down

Consumer decision process from total set to decision set, taken from Marsha Chan’s article

When you want to choose something, whatever it is, total set is all of the brands out there, as long as it’s in the domain. Awareness set is all the brands that the customers knows. The next set is where it becomes exponentially important.

Consideration set is the list of items that customers are going to consider in order to make them most satisfied. It often comes in the forms of brands or labels. Customers often use consideration sets as a mental shortcut to help them narrow down the vast amount of choice.

The mental shortcut is automatic. When customers want something, they already have a set of brands they want. Even though they know that there are other brands out there, most customers consider less than 5 , with the average of 3 to 4 brands. It’s a mental shortcut, customers don’t want to think too hard at this step.

Where does this consideration set come from? Consideration set is born because it increases the perception of variety. Customers want to find the best alternatives. They are more determined to pick the best without getting frustrated with all the irrelevant options. You can say that consideration set is just a simplified form of search.

Moving on from the consideration sets, customers now evaluate and compare all the brands they consider. They compare what they think and feel about the product and narrow it down once again so it becomes the choice set.

In the end, customers will make a decision and pick what they think and feel will best suit them.

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