Minutes to launch

Making the buying decision: are you pondering or procrastinating?

Time is precious and we all want to make the most of it, so we decided to write about a common issue that wastes a lot of our time: delayed decision-making and procrastination.

In most of our important shopping decisions, the process starts by us acknowledging the need, then assessing the available information and evaluating the alternatives before actually making the purchase. The problem is there are just so many products with so many features that we are afraid of making the wrong choice – therefore, we are tempted to postpone the decision to gain extra time.

While we, as shoppers, might feel good and pondered, there is a big difference between pondering and procrastinating.

So, what really is procrastination?

Etymologically, “procrastination” is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare — to put off until tomorrow. But it is more than just voluntarily delaying. Procrastination is also derived from the ancient Greek word akrasia — doing something against our better judgment. Experts define it as the voluntary delay of some important task that we intend to do, despite knowing that we will suffer as a result. Procrastination is not a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond.

The common feature among procrastinators is the thought “later” instead of “sooner”.

Why do we delay our shopping decisions?

While not everyone is a true procrastinator, everyone may procrastinate at times. When it comes to shopping, research points towards two main causes: Difficulty in choosing preferred brand, model and product attribute, as well as fear that the chosen alternative turns out to be inferior. Some less important but still relevant factors are buyer’s uncertainty about: the use of the product, alternative uses for the money, and other people’s approval. Then, there is the question of price. We’ve learned from history that, as technology evolves, older technology gets cheaper. If we put that together with the actual reasons for indecision, our brain leads us to believe that waiting will allow us to save money, therefore waiting is the smart thing to do. Worse than that, because delaying decisions gives us a momentary relief, our brain thinks it is good to procrastinate and, as we know from basic behaviourism, when we are rewarded for something, we tend to do it again. This is precisely why procrastination tends not to be a one-off behaviour, but a cycle, one that easily becomes a chronic habit. The bottom-line question is: if we have found a product that has the capacity to satisfy our needs, why wait? (There is another post where we reflect on this).

At Tagpeak, we believe many shoppers are trapped in their indecisions, losing precious time and opportunities. That is why we created our Cash Rewards Club, a way for our dear shoppers to get some money back by getting a share of Tagpeak’s investment profits. This can bring the confidence needed to move forward. Ultimately, the key difference between ponderation and procrastination is exactly that, moving forward.

The purpose of our cash rewards is to foster a much-needed cultural shift towards rewarding the early bird. Shoppers can now make their decisions confidently, knowing that we will be working in the background, doing our investments to get them some money back.

Find out more about how the Cash Rewards Club works. If you want to see how much of a procrastinator you are, take the test built by Psychology Today.