Post-Purchase Anxiety

Post-Purchase Anxiety is a common dilemma that affects both the consumer, and the provider.

When a person is faced with the possibility that their large purchase, either goods or service, may not be exactly what they wanted, or may be a waste of money, quite often they develop what is refered to as Post-Purchase ( or Post-Sales ) Anxiety. This condition is usually just temporary, but when the item is not going to be used for some time. eg. Buying an item on a holiday in a foreign country or ordering online.

The actual symptoms are the same as with most anxiety attacks, sweaty palms, shivering, head and stomach pains, though these are normally not as severe as with other causes of anxiety.

For the consumer, some common fears include:


The possibility of there being a cheaper alternative

The chance that the product is not of the highest quality available.

The product may have been obtained closer to home,
The product was made overseas,
The product was made by a foreign owned company.

The product will not be the right size/shape/color.

Personal Taste:
The product may not be what they are looking for for purely personal reasons.

For the provider, the same fear apply, but their aim must be to help alleviate those fears. There will almost always be a certain amount of anxiety with these purchases, but with the introduction of after-sales care they can reduce the amount of anxiety, which in turn leads to higher levels of trust from the customers, which in turn leads to higher sales.

Here are some useful methods of decreasing the anxiety, not all are always applicable because of the cost factor, but some require very little time or money unless the product is defective.

Clear Packaging:

This way the customers can see exactly what they are buying, can see the size color, shape and can judge for themselves whether or not they like it.
Exact specifications in a neat manner on the back, show what cannot be seen through the packaging
Giving phone numbers or email addresses when the purchase is made, ensuring that if there is a problem with the purchase, the customer has the means to contact the place of purchase and recieve help.