A/B Testing Idea #69 - Create a default option or add-on

Tactic_Create a default option or add-on


If you have a particular option or add-on that you would prefer your customer to choose, then making it a default option will greatly increase the chances of them doing so. Default options are so attractive because, firstly, they offer a passive choice, which is often preferable to the cognitive effort of making our own decisions.

We also tend to view a default option as "the most popular", choosing to believe that the reason it is the pre-selected, default option is because it is the one that most people choose. We like to choose the same things as others as it makes us feel safe in our choices.

Finally, highlighting a default option will automatically draw attention to the benefits and features offered there and so changing to a cheaper, smaller package will trigger loss aversion with people feeling as though they are missing out on those things that the default option offers.

Inspired by Nick Kolenda 


  • Loss Aversion (Tversky & Kahneman, 1984)
  • Default Effect (Johnson; Hershey; Meszaros & Kunreuther, 1993)

The Research

Loss Aversion

Loss Aversion explains our tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains.

Default Effect

The Default Effect explains our tendency to choose a “default option” if one is on offer.

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