In this story I will tell you how we increased the sales of one of our best selling products by 5 times just by changing a single default setting.
Few years back I worked a lot with lottopalace.com. It is a lottery operator and they provide their users the opportunity to play the worlds most popular lotteries online. The main markets were the german speaking countries – Germany, Austria and also the scandinavian countries.
The services that Lottopalace offered included lotteries, scratch cards and also few bingo games.
One thing led to another…
At that time I was redesigning the lottery slip. The lottery slip was a bigger project and I have described it here.
One of the challenges with the whole Lottopalace project was that the products offered really had many settings, especially the lotteries. Those include numbers selector, how many slips, how many draws, combinations, subscriptions etc. It gave lots of possiblities for the users to devise different strategies for playing lotteries but at some point it became really confusing. So we had to simplify a bit.
At that time I was reading a book on cognitive psychology by Susan Weinschenk. One of the things that was studied and proven by the psychologists was that large percent of the users stick with the default settings.
Based on this research and backed up with data from our Hotjar on our users’ behaviour regarding the default settings for the lottery slip we developed the following hypothesis. You can also see that here.
We believe that changing the default settings (to a slightly larger number) for our products will increase our sales as well as make users happy.
Testing the hypothesis
This started with redesigning the lottery slip (read here) and that redesign was a big step so we needed a smaller test just to verify our hypothesis.
Then the Lottopalace CEO came up with the brilliant idea.
The best seller
As with every lottery operator the scratch cards have been the best seller. They are easy to play and provide instant feedback whether the user loses or wins. But they are also a very cheap product. Some of them cost few cents. So in order for us to generate some profit we needed to sell a lot.
Since this is the case we provided the user with the option to select how many scratch cards to purchase at once. Before clicking the button “Purchase” our users had to select if they want 1, 5 or 10 scratch cards where the default was 1 scratch card.
What we did is that we simply changed the default to 5. The user still could change to 1 or 10 via the drop down selector but the thing is most of them never did. They went with the default settings.
As a result of this small change we verified our hypothesis that in general users stick with the default settings even though in this case they required them purchasing more scratch cards but more importantly we increased our sales of the scratch cards by 5 times.