6 Efficient Tips To Reduce Post-Purchase Cognitive Dissonance

Customer post-purchase dissonance is one of the common issues faced by most of the eCommerce websites and marketers. It occurs when your customers become dissatisfied with the product they purchased from your eCommerce store. 

This type of cognitive dissonance may trigger the customer to return the product and express their dissatisfaction on various social media platforms and in your review section. With the increase in online shoppers, marketers and e-commerce businesses are totally focused on increasing their sales and revenue to outperform their competitors. 

Ignoring your customer concerns maximizes the chances of post-purchase dissonance. Remember after completing a sale you may think you have successfully acquired your customer. But in reality, your post-purchase experience plays a major role in deciding whether your customer is going to return back on your eCommerce website or not. 

In this article, we will be drawing your attention to something that will really help you to enhance your selling experience. We will be discussing what is post-purchase dissonance and various tips that can help your eCommerce website to reduce post-purchase dissonance.

If you are looking to improve your post-purchase experience then check our blog on 9 Tips To Optimize Post-Purchase Customer Experience In 2020

What is post-purchase dissonance? 

Post-purchase dissonance occurs when your customer feels unsatisfied or their state of mind becomes uneasy after making a purchase from your e-store. It happens mainly after the customer finds out the better option of the product and brand. 

These types of situations occur when your competitor starts offering better service and product pricing. After purchasing a product from your store if your customer finds out better service and better pricing than your e-store. Then there are chances that your customer may place a return request.  

Post-purchase dissonance results in purchase failure, where the customer starts regretting buying your product and lastly they return the product without any hesitation. Below is the reason for post-purchase dissonance that makes a customer unsatisfied about the product. 

  • If your customer finds a cheaper price then they could think they paid an extra amount for that product. 
  • Post-purchase dissonance may occur when your customer finds your competitor’s product and service better in terms of pricing,  features, and delivery than the product they brought from your store. 
  • when your customer receives a damaged product, the product appearance totally differs from the product image displayed on your website.

Now the question is how can you reduce post-purchase dissonance? Follow the below tips to identify how it occurs and what steps you need to take to minimize post-purchase dissonance.

Tips to reduce post-purchase dissonance: 

1. Offer detailed Information 


Before making any purchase, there is a group of customers who conduct in-depth research and analysis of the product they are looking to buy. The good thing is that conducting research and analysis about a product reduces the chances of experiencing post-purchase dissonance. Because they have already evaluated the product which means your customers know what they are buying and what they are paying for. 

So if you want to reduce post-purchase dissonance then it is recommended to provide detailed information about your product. Providing detailed information about your product in the form of a micro-content will help them to explore more about your product. There are many eCommerce websites already using this technique to educate their audience about their product in the form of micro-content videos. 

You can visit your competitor’s website to analyze what type of content they are using on their product page and on social media pages. blogs are also the best option to educate your audience on why they should buy the product and how it is going to benefit them. 

2. Set Correct Delivery/shipping expectation 


Today almost every eCommerce company knows the importance of shipment date and the estimated delivery date of a product. Most of the online shoppers make their purchase decision based on the estimated delivery date. If your eCommerce website fails to deliver on the 

Now you may think how it will increase the chances of post-purchase dissonance? Every customer anticipates receiving their product on the estimated delivery date that you display on your eCommerce website. Look at the above image to determine how amazon is displaying estimated delivery time on their website and in the email. 

After purchasing the items your customer is already excited about receiving the product and as the day passes your customer excitement level increases. If you fail to deliver the package on the estimated delivery date then there will be post-purchase consequences.

For example, if your customer brought a gift from your eCommerce store which he/she is supposed to give on Tuesday. And your eCommerce website is displaying the estimated delivery by Sunday. Due to some reason you fail to deliver your product on Sunday. Instead, you deliver it on Wednesday. So, after receiving your product firstly your customer will regret buying from your store. Next without even thinking they will place the return request. 

Therefore, if you want to reduce post-purchase dissonance then be transparent in displaying the right estimated delivery time. Even if there is a 1 or 2 day delay you can mention the reason and time during the purchase time. To make it better you can offer various delivery options like fast delivery or 2-day delivery. You can also allow your customers to select their delivery date depending on their comfort. Offering this type of delivery option will surely help you to reduce the post-purchase dissonance. 

3. Offer Seamless Communication 


Many eCommerce businesses think that once the customers successfully make a purchase from their store their job is over. In reality, sales never end with sales. If you want to build a   strong relationship with your customers then it is important for you to engage them after they successfully make a purchase from your store. 

Ecommerce websites face post-purchase dissonance because most of the time their customers fail which frustrates them and they end up canceling their order. If you The checkout page you can ask a customer to sign up for the SMS service so that they can get all the  update about their order 

Nowadays every savvy online shopper knows that their order details with all the tracking id and transaction detail will land in their emails. So after placing an order, customers check their emails about those details. SMS can help you in providing all the details but email will help you to give in-depth details will all the tracking links and other product recommendation links. 

That’s why it is recommended to provide proactive communication through email, SMS and all the other mediums that can help your customers to get their purchase details. Notifying your customers about every small detail will help you to gain their trust, reduce post-purchase dissonance.

You can also make use of emails to send discount codes or free shipping which they can avail in their next order.  Offering these types of incentives can encourage them to return back on your eCommerce website again without any hesitation. Remember e-commerce is all about easing your customer buying process and helping them to get what they want within a few clicks. If your eCommerce store is successfully providing all these features then it will automatically help you to boost your sales, revenue, and ROI.

4. Warranty, Exchange, and Service:


Your effective marketing strategy can persuade your customers to buy the product from your store. But if you fail to fulfill your customer’s needs then it can disappoint and frustrate your customer which will directly affect your e-commerce business. after their purchase then you can face post-purchase dissonance for future products. Forgetting your customers after their purchase maximizes the chances post-purchase dissonance for your future products. 

Today almost every customer complains about the issue related to Warranty, Exchange, and product services. If you are operating an e-commerce store then it is important for you to know that your actual job starts after a customer makes a purchase from your store. If your customer receives a damaged product, without any hesitation they will place the return request. 

If you fail to respond to your customer request then your eCommerce website will face the consequences in the form of post-purchase dissonance for future products. Even there are chances that your customers can visit various forums and social media platforms to condemn your eCommerce website about the situation.  The same goes for the warranty and other services.

Instead of delaying or ignoring the request, you can send a message or email to your customer saying that “we are sorry for the damage our executive team will surely get in touch with you and help you to replace the product as soon as possible”. 

If there is some warranty rated issue then you can ask a customer to send the order bill and assure them that the problem will get resolved sooner. After receiving these kinds of message your customer feel assured that they brought the products from the right store 

5. Product Return Policy 


Your eCommerce website return policy plays a crucial role in minimizing post-purchase dissonance. Most of the time customers are totally unaware about the return policy for that product.  e-commerce businesses also commit a mistake by not providing the proper guidelines for returning an item.  

Every product has a different type of return policy: if your eCommerce website is into selling clothing material then the return policy may vary between 15 to 20 days. Whereas if you’re offering any up Home appliances then return policy differs between 10 to 12 days.  There are eCommerce websites who don’t offer any return for home appliances. If you don’t want to upset your customer and are looking to minimize post-purchase dissonance then highlight your return policy. 

You can also Make use of email to tell your customers about the return policy for that particular product. Inside the email, you can highlight all the points and processes that your customer needs to follow to place the return for that product. 

To make the product return process easier for your customer you can anticipate different issues your customer can face while returning the product. In the product return policy, you can mention not to throw the baggage and remove product tags. You can also ask them to select the product return date. Offering these types of assistance to your customers will help you to minimize future post-purchase dissonance. 

6. Offer various refund option 

After your customer places a return request for an item, the next thing they will look for is the refund for that product.  Most of the time e-commerce websites fail to provide the proper details about the refund policy which frustrates customers and encourages them to take the wrong step by writing bad reviews about your eCommerce website. 

Make sure that your eCommerce website is offering flexibility in selecting the refund method. You can offer various ways to get a refund for the product. Many customers will look to transfer money directly into their bank account. Few customers may want the same money in the form of store credit or gift card. 

You can also offer some extra cashback if your customer selects refund options as store credit. offering these types of incentives encourages your customer to select the store credit option. Remember if your customer is selecting store credit option  then it ensures that they are going to come back on your website to buy the product from your

7. Analyze what may go wrong 

A successful e-commerce website always anticipates things that might go wrong in the customer buying process. Imagine yourself as a customer and think through the whole customer Journey starting from visiting your product page to reading the product description, refund policies, checkout page, payment processing and more. 

Analyzing every step of the customer journey will automatically help you to determine what type of problems your customer can face while making a purchase from your store.  Using these types of strategies will automatically minimize and reduce the post-purchase dissonance.

8. Focus on product appearance and quality

One of the common causes of post-purchase dissonance is the quality of the product your customer receives after making a purchase from an eCommerce store. Most of the customers get upset if the product they receive is either damaged or totally different from what it appeared on the product page.   

Today, Many eCommerce websites are using graphical images of the product to attract their customer’s attention. Remember if you are among then avoid using these types of techniques to drive more conversion on your eCommerce website. 

This type of action can help you to improve your sales but there are more than 85% chances that your customer will pace the return request. And they may reach out to various social media platforms to discuss the issue they faced after purchasing from your eCommerce website. It will directly harm your reputation. 

Instead, you can pick high-quality images and display them on your website so that customers can know the actual image of the product. Post-purchase dissonance occurs when you promise something to your customers and deliver something else. Avoiding these small mistakes can surely help you to reduce post-purchase cognitive dissonance. If your customer is lured by the product you are using in your marketing strategy then always deliver the same to your customer 


Post-purchase dissonance is one of the most common phrases heated by almost every eCommerce website owner. If your customer comes across any post-purchase dissonance then it will directly affect the credibility and value of your eCommerce website. 

Most of the time-poor service and quality of the product gives rise to the post-purchase dissonance feeling in the mind of your customer. Wherever your customer complains about your product and service try to attend your customer and find a valid solution for the issue. 

Ignoring customer issues can directly affect your future sales and customer acquisition rate. To avoid post-purchase dissonance try to educate your customers about the product after they successfully purchase the product form your eCommerce store. 

Make sure your website is offering a reasonable price (lesser than your competitor) and valid product review. Offering these types of solutions will automatically reduce the feeling of post-purchase dissonance for your customer’s mind. 

Frequently asked questions:

1. How to reduce post-purchase cognitive dissonance?

Post-purchase dissonance is one of the common issues faced by most of the eCommerce websites and marketers. It occurs when your customers become dissatisfied with the product they purchased from your eCommerce store. This type of cognitive dissonance may trigger you to return the product and express their dissatisfaction on various social media platforms and in your review section. So if you want to overcome post-purchase dissonance then you can use bellow tips: 

  • Make sure you deliver your product on the specific date that you displayed on your eCommerce website 
  • Don’t recommend too many similar products to your customer  
  • Engaging your customers after they made a purchase from your eCommerce store. Send them a feedback email, offer coupon codes to your customers and nurture them after the buying cycle is over. 
  • Always anticipate things that might get wrong in the future. Go for the worst cases and try to figure out how you can tackle those situations. 
  • If something goes wrong after your customer receives the product then apologize to your customer and try to figure out the best solution for them. 
  • If your business is into selling food items then make sure to mention all the safety measures in your description.  

2. Why is cognitive dissonance important to marketers? 

Every buyer gets two conflicting views after buying the product. To reconcile them every marketer needs to have an effective cognitive dissonance strategy that can help you in minimizing cognitive dissonance.  For example, if you are into selling expensive items in your commerce store then your potential customers will surely have two or more conflicting views before and after buying the product. To make things clear for your customer marketer needs to have an effective cognitive dissonance strategy that can help in reducing or minimizing dissonance. 

4. How can you satisfy an unhappy customer?

Customer satisfaction Is one of the most crucial aspects that makes an e-commerce website successful.  If you are looking to outperform your competitor then remember your customers are the ones that will help you to succeed in the e-commerce industry.  yeah there tape that you can use to satisfy an unhappy customer

  • An e-commerce website response time plays a crucial role in deciding whether the customer is satisfied with your service or not. So, always respond quickly to your customers’ questions and queries.
  • Don’t argue with your customers instead, Talk to them, try to identify their problem and resolve them.
  • Whenever you are resolving any customer issue,  inform them and tell them what steps You took and how the mistake is getting rectified. 
  • Keep calm and Talk to a customer in a lower voice 

5. How does cognitive dissonance relate to decision making? 

Cognitive dissonance is the result of having two or more thoughts while making the buying decision. it is very much dependent on your decision making when customers have the freedom to decide they get various thoughts which leads to cognitive dissonance. There are chances that you may experience more cognitive dissonance for a few decisions. It happens because your mind starts offering various thoughts, some are positive and some may tell you not to buy the product. That’s why cognitive dissonance relates to decision making. 

6. What are the possible factors that can produce post-purchase dissonance?

Post-purchase dissonance occurs when your customer feels unsatisfied or their state of mind becomes uneasy after making a purchase from your e-store. Below are the possible factors that can produce post-purchase dissonance:

  • External pressure from friends and family maximize the chances of post-purchase dissonance 
  • Sometimes customers get confused by seeing the wide variety of options that are available in the market and offered by different competitors. 
  •  Most of the customers don’t do any research before buying any product and later they find out a better service which leads to Bush purchase dissonance.
  •  quality of the product also plays an essential role in deciding the post purchase dissonance. 

7. Why is post-purchase evaluation important? 

To optimize your eCommerce website performance it is important for you to evaluate and improve your post-purchase experience. Post-purchase customer experience is very much relatable, once your customer purchases any service or products from your e-store then the real engagement starts. After customers purchase a product, they evaluate their purchase decision. Many times customers become uncertain about the decision they make after buying the product. Remember satisfaction is one of the most important stage drawing evaluations. If your customers find a better option for the same product then they may place a return request and there are chances that your customer may never come back to your website. 

8. How to improve your post-purchase customer experience? 

For an eCommerce website, Post-purchase customer experience plays a crucial role in deciding your customer’s future purchase from your e-store. After your customer successfully makes purchases for any service or products from your e-store then the real customer engagement starts. You can use the below tips to improve your customer experience: 

  • You can start by showing that your care for your customer 
  • Offer various facilities like fast delivery, easy return policy, customer support, etc. 
  • Educate your customer by providing “How to” guides
  • Always ask your customer about the purchase experience through feedback 
  • Take a survey to know whether your customer is satisfied with your service or not
  • Engage your customer with the replenishment reminders emails 
  • Start offering a loyalty program to your customers
  • Start recommending the complementary products to your customers in a transactional email.