While buyer's remorse is commonly associated with the purchase of big-ticket items, such as a house or a car, the tech sector is also plagued by this curse. Many tech buyers who purchase tech products or invest in digital technology experience similar feelings of regret that buyers often feel after purchasing expensive items.
The recent transformations in technology have created an influx of tech products, such as smart home devices, virtual reality headsets and motion activated security cameras, on the market. Given the abundance of choices available, the trend of tech buyer remorse is on the rise.
What is tech buyer's remorse?
The feeling of disappointment or discontent that people may experience after purchasing a new technology product is referred to as tech buyer's remorse. This emotion frequently manifests after the buyer realizes that the product doesn't live up to their standards, specifications or personal preferences. It may also happen if the purchaser encounters certain features, defects or restrictions that were not anticipated before the purchase.
It's not uncommon for tech consumers to feel a sense of regret after buying tech products, especially after investing in new digital services. According to a Gartner survey, 60% of technology buyers involved in renewal decisions regret almost every purchase they make.
Reasons behind tech buyer's remorse
Understanding the main causes behind tech buyer's remorse can help consumers make informed choices and avoid post-purchase regret.
Common causes of tech buyer's remorse include the following:
- Lack of research. Without doing thorough research, buyers may end up purchasing tech products that don't cater to their needs, or they may struggle to fully grasp their features, compatibilities and constraints.
- Impulse buying. Large IT budgets and purchase decisions made on a whim without considering all available options can result in buyer's remorse. Many impulsive buyers tend to overspend on tech products, which may lead to feelings of regret later.
- Changing needs. The product may become less relevant or useful if a customer's needs change immediately after the purchase, leading to buyer's remorse.
- Poor communication. Poor communication between the business and the technology vendor can often lead to unrealistic expectations, leaving end users disappointed when the technology doesn't meet their expectations.
- Total cost of ownership (TCO). Although a certain technology option or product might appear reasonable at first, the cost of regular upkeep, upgrades, hidden costs and training can quickly add up. Tech buyers who don't consider TCO before making a purchase frequently end up regretting their investment.
- Release of newer models. The fast pace of technological advancements often results in newer models with improved features being introduced shortly after purchase, leading to a sense of missed opportunities for buyers.
Ways to prevent tech buyer's remorse
Tech buyer's remorse may be avoided if consumers make informed buying decisions. The following are seven common ways to prevent tech buyer's remorse.
1. Research thoroughly
Businesses and consumers should take time to research tech products by reading reviews and checking user feedback on reputable sources, such as Consumer Reports and ConsumerAffairs. They can also view demo videos created by product owners on their product pages or by other users on video hosting platforms, such as YouTube and TikTok. Getting feedback from other customers helps weed out any potential issues and helps ensure the product aligns with the business's needs and expectations.
Organizations should consider efforts to integrate or migrate the technology before the purchase, especially for newer technologies, such as cloud services, that may involve a learning curve before becoming fully operational.
2. Define a clear use case
To prevent tech buyer's remorse, consumers need to establish a clear use case for the prospective product or technology. For example, consider a small e-commerce company that wants to purchase CRM software. The organization should determine its use case and choose the right CRM platform for its needs, rather than picking the first available option. This could entail deciding that the CRM software needs to improve personalized customer experience, track sales interactions and streamline customer data management.
3. Avoid sole reliance on IT
According to a report by Capterra, 52% of surveyed SMBs in the U.S. depend on their internal IT teams for software evaluation, selection and procurement. There's no denying that IT teams play a big role in business technology purchases. However, it's also important to avoid relying solely on IT and to solicit input from other departments. For example, departments such as marketing, sales, customer service and finance may have specific needs that IT may not be aware of. So, involving other departments besides IT in the decision-making and buying process can help businesses avoid buyer's remorse.
4. Consider TCO
Before investing in new technology, businesses and consumers should consider the entire cost of ownership. This covers the time and resources needed to implement and maintain the technology, in addition to the financial costs and potential integration expenses.
Taking these into account provides a more accurate understanding of the long-term investment, which leads to buyer satisfaction.
5. Obtain specific answers during product demos
Product demos play a vital role in the acquisition of technology products and services. These demos enable consumers to do a free trial, observe products in action and assess their efficacy.
To get the most out of product demos, consumers should ask vendors specific and detailed questions regarding the product's capabilities. By doing so, businesses can avoid having unreasonably high expectations, ensure the purchased technology aligns with their unique requirements and minimize the risk of technology buyer's remorse.
6. Consider future compatibility
Considering how well a product integrates with an existing digital ecosystem is crucial for businesses. Compatibility of a product or service with other devices and software can significantly influence overall satisfaction and help avoid buyer's remorse.
Businesses should ask certain questions, such as whether the product fits the company's future goals or whether it will scale or evolve effectively. By considering certain use cases, businesses can figure out if the prospective tech product aligns effectively with their long-term goals and objectives.
7. Avoid rushing into a purchase
Companies should avoid rushed decisions. While it may sound tempting to seal the deal after a great product demo, companies should avoid rushing into committing. Taking a step back and thoroughly evaluating all the other options before making a final decision can reduce tech buyer's remorse later down the road.