People often like to enjoy their shopping experiences, or at least, not despair too much over it (Otnes & McGrath, 2001). Despite common misconceptions, this applies to both males and females (Arnold & Reynards, 2003). In fact, some people use shopping as stress and sadness relieve (Arnold & Reynards, 2003; Tauber, 1972). With the existence of so much choice, people are further likely to choose a store, physical or digital, they feel could leave them in good state of mind, whether it is through assuming that the products will work for a long time, being able to secure a bargain or less like to have to be stuck in a crowd and getting infuriated, etc. (Arnold & Reynards, 2003; Darke & Dahl, 2003; Machleit & Mantel, 2001; Schwartz, 2004; Tsiotsou, 2006). Thus, how consumers feel and expect to feel are important elements to success.
Some people get to choose what tastes good, not just what is practical for running a human body (Wansick & Westgren, 2003). Yes, I am including restaurants
Still, with purchasing comes the parting of money and, for a lot of people, supplies of money is limited (Aruoba, Waller, Wright, 2011; Cribbs, Joyce & Phillip, 2012; Sun & Morwitz, 2010). Thus, products may have to be seen as value for money to be sold (Grewal, Krishnan, Baker & Borin, 1998). However, with so much choice, consumers may run the risk of assuming there is a better choice out there they have not found yet (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000). As a result, there comes more possible guilt from shopping (Machleit & Eroglu, 2000) and people usually prefer not to feel guilty (Hetts, Boninger, Armor, Gleicher & Nathanson, 2000). Similarly, there is little guilt leading up to impulsive purchases where consumer consider alternatives less (Spears, 2006). Even then, regret after impulse purchases can exist (Spears, 2006).
Something to consider, though findings on the too-much-choice effect have been varied (Scheibehenne, Greifeneder & Todd, 2009)
So consumers prefer to feel good, while there are aspects in the shopping experience that can create guilty feelings. However, this guilt can be reduced (Lee-Wingate & Corfman, 2010) and in a number of ways including:
- Justify decisions – receiving more reasons to purchase can increase satisfaction and decrease guilt concerning a product (Chiou & Ting, 2011). Examples of reasons include the consumer deserving the purchase, the product being useful or healthy and the product coming with a gift (Kivetz & Zheng, 2006; Lee-Wingate & Corfman, 2010; Thøgersen, 2011). Therefore, salespeople, packaging and other sources of information may be able to provide justifications during consumers’ shopping trips to reduce guilt (Agnihotri, Rapp & Trainor, 2009; Butkevičienė, Stravinskienė & Rūtelionė, 2008).
- Allow returns – giving consumers the opportunity to reverse transactions can be more profitable for the company (Che, 1996). This leeway can reduce hesitancy and encourages consumers to experience the product more, without having to permanently live with some possible bad decisions through loss of money and guilt (Che, 1996). Hence, consumers may allow themselves to purchase products more often.
- Flat rates – people generally feel more guilty when the cost of pay-as-you-go bills rise over time, like taxi meters (Lambrecht & Skiera, 2006). In additional, people usually overestimate their usage, hence, people often feel flat rates as more of a bargain (Lambrecht & Skiera, 2006). Therefore, flat rates provide consumers a sense that the rates will protect them from overspending, meaning that paying flat rates feels better than what may be in reality cheaper pay-as-you-go rates (Lambrecht & Skiera, 2006). Have you tried comparing different types of bills with your actual usage in mind recently?
A Kit Kat tapped on a packet of cheese and onion flavoured Walkers chips
So providing consumers with more reasons to buy a product, the option of flat rates and the ability to return products can reduce guilty feelings. Have you been a guilt-free consumer?
Copyright © 2013 Thoughts for Creation