Status Quo Bias
What is the Status Quo Bias?
The Status quo bias is our tendency to prefer that things stay as they are and avoid making changes to our habits. This psychological bias can be explained by a fear of change. It’s the mentality that prevents you from upgrading your phone contract, makes you averse to new products and reduces your awareness of new opportunities. Some experiments have shown that people tend to choose the default choice or what they already have when several options are offered.
It is important to take into account the conservatism inherent in most people. When making changes to a website, loyal customers (who are used to the old site) are likely to prefer the previous version. They can react negatively to change, even abandoning your product or service. An alternative approach, adopted by the largest Saas and web services, is to make smaller incremental changes rather than occasional major updates.
However, the Status Quo Bias can be a useful tool for digital marketers. Maintaining repeat customers is always more profitable than acquiring new leads, and a regular transaction can be encouraged by facilitating an individual’s preferences. Some online supermarkets, for example, offer their customers their “Usual” pre-filled shopping cart. People tend to buy the same products on a weekly basis, so this makes it easier for them to complete a large order.
Status Quo Bias
Marketing professionals need to pay attention to the Status Quo Bias, as it can provide an obstacle to innovation. Making thoughtful and incremental changes is a good way to optimise a website whilst minimising the risk posed by this bias.