For example, when online shoppers select an item, they’re offered a default delivery option; they only need continue with the checkout in a passive manner. The Default Effect is therefore the way in which any default option on offer is most likely to be chosen over anything else.
Scientists believe this comes down to human brains choosing the default option because it requires the least mental effort. This allows shoppers to reduce an already large number of choices they face every day in-store.
Shoppers also choose default options when they consider them to be recommendations. In the case of toothpaste, the dentist recommending a certain brand to us gives us a default.
How do stores use the default effect?
In-store, there are any number of ways to make sustainable items and brands more of a default choice.
Telling shoppers that a certain sustainable item is already the preferred choice of many other shoppers will make them more likely to choose this option.
Visual stand out
A large imposing brand block, supported by POS or sustainability related messaging will grab more attention and therefore appear more of the default ‘no brainer’ choice.
Shoppers have too many choices to make so if you can help them reduce the mental effort by giving them a default option (that happens to be the most environmentally friendly), you are making their shopping life easier.
The default effect is something that shoppers need. Quite simply, they can’t choose effectively between 90+ different pizzas, 100 different coffees or v200+ cheeses in the supermarket, offering them default (and sustainable) options is a benefit for both them and the brand.