Availability heuristic

Theory explained by Sander Volbeda and written by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman

The availability heuristic is a tendency of human psychology that discusses how we come to decisions easily based on the information that has greater availability in memory. In other words, we are being biased to the information that can be recalled quite easily to make future decisions is known as the availability heuristic. The idea behind this bias is that we consider the information that can be recalled easily to be important over the other.

Think about this. You are considering two employees at your workplace for the next promotion. Both of them have been performing similarly and have similar educational backgrounds. They both maintain a positive relationship between their colleagues. Everyone in the department was very unsure about who should be picked because both are similar in every aspect. Then this incident comes to your mind in which one employee had accidentally sent one of the very important files to a wrong department a few years back. Of course nothing such happened after that particular incident concerning that employee. However considering that memory, you decide to promote the other employee to the new position.

It is clearly seen that the decision was biased unreasonably. Yes, this is the availability heuristic in action. Availability heuristic acts as a shortcut in decision making as it requires a little mental effort. Therefore it can be presently seen in people while making decisions. However this tendency of human psychology is being used by digital marketers in order to influence the consumers decisions a great deal towards conversion rate Optimization (CRO).

How to use the availability heuristic for conversion rate Optimization (CRO)?

Aim to create memorable experiences

Availability heuristic implies that the ability of a person to recall a detail about your brand has a direct bearing on their decision making. Creating a memorable experience is important. But, when exactly should you do it?

Start with your landing page

Landing page is the ideal place to begin to create a memorable experience because it is where your target audience starts their journey on your website. Craft your content in a way that they are unique and pleasantly memorable in relation with what you sell. Most importantly be sure to seal the impact you have created when they leave your website. The ideal place to do so is the order confirmation page. A customer who is leaving your site with a pleasant memory is a customer who is bound to visit you again. Isn't this one ideal way to enhance the conversion rate Optimization (CRO)?

Show the result

The key here is to make your target audience easy to imagine the outcome they are going to obtain when they choose you. Why is it important? Giving your target audience a taste of what they are likely to experience with what you have to offer will not only build their imagination, but also work a great deal in imprinting a positive perspective on their minds about you. Remember, how strong you keep a positive mark in the minds of your target audience is the key to get the maximum advantage of the availability heuristic towards conversion rate Optimization (CRO).

Do not completely rely on the guesswork

It is true that many of the marketers rely on what their competitors do. The damage this tendency can do to your conversion in terms of availability heuristic is something you can't overlook. Taking a bit from your competitor's website as inspiration is not what we talk here. What we talk about is you blindly walking into a trap by completely following them without knowing that they are making a mistake or not. How do you expect to make you unique and memorable just by walking in someone else's path?

After all, you merely following your competitors and shaping up your content presentation solely based on them will never give your content a unique appeal. Without completely relying on competitor research, do extensive research on what makes your target audience impressed about what you have to offer and then align your content formation accordingly with the result.

Wrap up

The human psychological tendency to rely upon easily recallable information in decision making known as availability heuristic can be presently seen in consumer behavior. To be successful in your digital marketing efforts, the challenge is to imprint a positive impression on you in the minds of your target consumers. To assist you with this objective, we have briefed some of the most effective industry secrets. Apply them and see for yourself how well they can work towards the conversion rate Optimization (CRO).

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References

The references contain experiments and studies that prove this bias is there.

1. Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability

Books

Would you like to go more in-depth? Here are our recommendations:

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Buy this book

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