Peak-end rule

Theory explained by Oreoluwa Akinnawo and written by Kahneman, Fredrickson, Charles Schreiber, and Donald Redelmeier

The Peak-End Effect is a cognitive bias that causes people to remember an experience by the Peak (the most intense positive or negative point) and the end (the final moments) rather than the totality of the event itself. Essentially, the Peak-End effect means that people will only remember the experience on your website by the most intense point and the end of the experience. For example, if your website offers great products (Peak) but the checkout experience is poor (End), there is a good chance that it might overwhelm the chances of your customer remembering the experience as great. This might cause potential and current customers to become one time buyers which will be bad for your business.

How Can One Use the Peak-End Effect?

The first step you should take is to identify what the peak moments are, when and why they occur. Carefully go through your customers’ journey and identify the emotional highs and lows customer experience as they interact with your digital property. When you can identify what peaks currently exist in your customers’ journey, then you can work on making the peak experiences positive. 

You don’t necessarily have to do anything expensive or elaborate to delight customers, you can easily create positive peak experiences with simple actions like using their names, remembering important dates or simplifying a process.

End The Experience With A Bang! Find out what you can implement to ensure customers end their interaction with your business on a very high note. Make it a grand finale to ensure customers remember and feel positive emotions at the end of their interaction with your business. This can be achieved in several ways like a; sincere goodbye, surprise discount at checkout or by even providing a small departure gift as the customers’ exit.

The Ann Taylor website displays a popup that offers a surprise discount when a user tries to exit the site or open another browser tab.

Usually, confirmation pages are not seen as an important part of the funnel and can sometimes be neglected because the purchase has already been made, but it’s still optimisation and can help to encourage repeat business, positive recommendations, or fewer early cancellations.


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