How To Factor The Effects Of Decision Fatigue Theory Into Your Marketing

shoppers and decision fatigue
Shoppers can suffer from decision fatigue

Decision fatigue is a fact of life. As we make decisions, the mental energy we have left gets smaller. The more decisions we make, the harder it becomes to make them, and this affects everyone, including your customers.

In fact, consumers are more at risk of decision fatigue, especially those on lower incomes because they consider the payoff between buying one product over another, and this can include multiple decisions.

Then there are those who shop online. Amazon has millions of product choices, and other shops can host tens of thousands.

Giving Consumers Decision Fatigue

There are positives and negatives about decision fatigue and marketing. Firstly, it can be a negative. Too much choice can mean customers don’t make any decision because they can’t distinguish between the products.

Alternatively, decision fatigue means that customers delay making the decision – which can result in no purchase after a competitor steals their custom.

However, it can also be positive. Supermarkets and retailers often place small, impulse items (often confectionary) close to the tills. At this point, the consumer is suffering from mental tiredness and so their willpower to not buy the unhealthy snack is weakened.

The same process is applied when online retailers offer additional products during the checkout process. By this time, the consumer is tired, and it is easier to convince them to upgrade or add smaller value products to their order.

Add Decision Fatigue Into Your Marketing

If you want to make sales online, you must consider these tactics within your marketing. However, other platforms can play a role.

Social Media Marketing

Firstly, you need to consider when people are going to be more willing to make choices about further content to read. Remember social media tends to point to your website. Using research on the decisions made by Israeli judges, we know that after a meal break, people are more willing to be open to new ideas after eating food. They are more likely to keep the status quo prior to meal breaks.

At the same time, we know that interactivity of social media tends to be lower in the evenings and on weekends. Therefore, content should be published around 8 am to 10 am, 1 pm to 3 pm. and 6 pm to 8 pm.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is where you are going to gain the most sales. Most people state that sending emails early in the day can be good. However, this might not be true. Research by Experian found that emails sent between 8 pm and midnight might be better for consumers. This is because people can still be checking their emails – but their decision fatigue is high – much like the confectionary near the till.

However, others have stated that emailing after breakfast, lunch and during commuting time might result in more sales. It really does depend on your audience.

At the same time, try reducing your offers to consumers. Give them a limited choice, but use behaviour analysis, browsing history and segmentation to help you craft emails that will be more relevant to your audience and increase sales.

Increase Your Sales

Do you use decision fatigue to help you plan marketing activities? Perhaps you should. It can help you sell smaller items as well as big purchases. It is just about knowing what level of cognitive thinking your client needs to make the decision and when the ideal time to make that decision is.