Why You May Not Love That New Purchase After All
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Consumers often think that more is better when it comes to buying a new product with lots of new features, but new research proves that may not be the case.
New research suggests that customers who focus only the novelty of a product and its features will be less satisfied with that purchase in the long run.
"We propose that consumers focus on having features instead of elaborating on how often a feature will be used, and this [way of thinking] can lead to a decrease in product satisfaction," said Joseph Goodman, an assistant professor of marketing at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis who conducted the research with Caglar Irmak, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina. "Consumers focus too much on just having the latest features, and don’t spend time elaborating on how often they will use the features. When they do actually elaborate on usage, then they tend to buy lowered featured products, and they tend to be more satisfied with their purchase, regardless of whether they buy a high- or low-feature product."
The researchers found that this happens because customers often do not think about how frequently they will actually use new features offered in new products. Customers instead focus simply on the novelty of features, which in turn leads to dissatisfaction down the road.
"Our findings can't tell consumers what to buy, but they do suggest that consumers should at least stop and consider how often they are going to use each new additional feature before they make their decision," Goodman said. "This little act of consideration can lead to greater satisfaction down the road."
The study, "Having Versus Consuming: Failure to Estimate Usage Frequency Makes Consumers Prefer Multi-feature Products," is set to be published in the Journal of Marketing Research.