Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, this study applies social presence theory to explore the influences of public self-awareness on consumers’ choice inconsistency and post-choice satisfaction. Second, the authors investigate how time pressure moderates the effects of self-awareness on choice inconsistency and post-choice satisfaction so that online sellers can better align their marketing strategies. Design/methodology/approach: This research consists of two studies. Study 1 conducted a 3 (self-awareness: public/private/control) × 2 (time pressure: high/none) experiment, and 311 online participants were recruited to explore the influence of public self-awareness and time pressure. Study 2 used a 3 (self-awareness: public/private/control) × 2 (time pressure: high/no) × 2 (self-consciousness: high/low) quasi-experiments, and the authors used 652 online participants to examine the effect of self-awareness, time pressure and public self-consciousness on choice inconsistency and post-choice satisfaction. Findings: The results indicate that publicly self-aware consumers under high time pressure show greater inconsistency than those under no time pressure. Also, people with higher public self-consciousness exhibited higher choice inconsistency and post-choice satisfaction in public self-awareness situations than those in private self-awareness and control conditions. Research limitations/implications: To generalize the results, this study should be replicated using more heterogeneous populations in diverse regions and cultures, as well as other product categories. Practical implications: This study explores the implications of evoking self-awareness during online consumption and the online purchase process by observing the moderating effect of self-consciousness and time pressure. The findings provide insights to marketing practitioners who seek to increase their companies’ competitive advantage and profits through effective online manipulations of consumers’ self-awareness. Originality/value: Extant research does not address how time pressure affects the relationships among public self-awareness, choice inconsistency and post-choice satisfaction. In addition, prior research only focused on public self-awareness in customer consumption. This study bridges these gaps and has implications for e-commerce, consumer behavior and relationship marketing research fields.