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Status Quo Bias

Definition:

Status quo bias is a general preference people have towards the current state of affairs (e.g. their existing supplier) over changing to a superior alternative. This can be due to a combination of loss aversion and the endowment effect. However, fear of regret in making a wrong decision can also play a part in inertia.

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Money back guarantees and free trials are strategies frequently used to reduce the perceived risk of loss and regret that stops people switching away from what they know. However, the fear of loss and the feeling of regret are such powerful emotions that these activities often fall on deaf ears. Loss aversion is probably the most effective loyalty program most companies have on their side.

If your brand suffers from a slow growth that is due to status quo bias (e.g. you have a large established competitor with a dominant market share) you can use cognitive dissonance to challenge the perception that it is not worth switching.  Seek to create cognitive dissonance by introducing information that contradicts this perception and then offer a solution that resolves the contradiction to removes the tension people are feeling.

Resources:

 

Conversion marketing – Glossary of Conversion Marketing.

Over 300 tools reviewed – Digital Marketing Toolbox.

Loss aversion – Why are people more concerned about potential losses than gains?

A/B testing software – Which A/B testing tools should you choose?

Types of A/B tests – How to optimise your website’s performance using A/B testing.

Digital Marketing and Insight