Zero-risk bias

Theory explained by Sander Volbeda

Zero risk bias is a tendency in psychology in which people tend to prefer the situations where the risk is completely eliminated rather than reduced. The assurance of complete elimination of risk can influence users’ decision making a great deal.

For example, let’s assume that you have a requirement to convert your pdf file into a word file online. You visit two sites as stated below. 

·      Site A provides you 14 days free trial including all the exclusive features, but you’re required to enter your credit card details to sign up. 
·      Site B provides you 14 days free trial with all the basic features, but it says no credit card details are required to sign up. 

Which site would you choose? According to the zero-risk bias in human psychology, there’s a high chance that many of us would choose Site B over site A, even though we are not given exclusive features. The natural fear of the risk of facing fraud is the ultimate reason for our decision here. Site B has removed the barrier of entry by making their sign up process a zero-risk process by denoting ‘no credit card is required.’ 

Marketers use zero risk bias to influence consumer decision making in favour of them to outsmart the competition. This concept of human psychology is used by many online platforms and websites to influence users’ engagement towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) as discussed above. 

How to use Zero risk bias for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)? 

The ultimate goal of any commercial product or service provider on the internet is to grow revenue through CRO. Presenting themselves online with authenticity and trust is the key to influence consumer decisions in their favour. To convey trustworthiness, you have to create an authentic first impression. Whether you have delivered the promised Unique Value Proposition is another factor to get the maximum benefit of zero-risk bias. 

1.    Ensure that your domain name is professional
Having a professional domain name is absolutely vital for you to present your site with authenticity. An unprofessional domain name will give a spammy impression to your site. For example, what is your attitude towards a domain name like ‘CheapMetrressForAll.com’? Of course, it looks very unhealthy and spammy. The ideal domain name has the following characteristics. 

·      Make it short and memorable. 
·      Make it unique 
·      Reflect your business or brand name via the domain name 
·      Go for a common top-level domain such as .com 
·      Don’t include symbols or numbers in the domain name 

2.    Make yourself available
Making yourself available whenever a customer requires your assistance is a great way to ensure trust. Doing so creates an unintentional effect of zero-risk in the minds of your target consumers. Make sure that all means of contact information published on your site are valid and accessible. Also, it’s a good practice to embed a message denoting that you’ll be getting in touch with them soon if a customer connects you during the offline business hours. And be sure to do so. A well-designed contact page with valid information is a good way to ensure that you eliminate the risk of losing potential customers due to Zero risk bias. 

3.    Embed testimonials and/or reviews accordingly
Positive influence created by testimonials, success stories and reviews are invaluable towards Conversion Rate Optimization. You are being brave enough to let your customers post their feedback on your products or services let the users accept you with an authenticity which has a great bearing on risk elimination. This is an ideal way to communicate that you’ve delivered the unique value proposition as you’ve promised which can directly affect user engagement positively. 

4.    Do not forget to display trust seals
Trust seals such as valid business accreditations, certificates of excellence are elements which can boost customer trust towards you a great deal. You can present yourself proudly by embedding trust seals on your website.  Furthermore, it can make you stand out from your competition too. The stronger you present yourself with zero risks, the more the potential customers you can create. 

5.    Avoid asking for credit card details to sign up if possible
Asking for sensitive information during the process of signing up can create high risk in the minds of the customers. Let your customers sign up and use some of your premium features without making them provide their credit card information. Generate value beyond the customers’ expectation during their stay and let them know that much more is available for a paid subscription. This is an ideal way to convert the users into potential leads without making them fear of facing fraud. Doing so can enhance Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) a greater deal. 

6.    Do not overload your site with ad content!
It’s true that ads are a great source of extra revenue. But it’s not worth it at all to overload your site with ads to lose potential customers. For example, we all have had that experience of going to a site just to see many ads and then simply leaving without staying any longer. Such sites appear to be unprofessional to impose risk in the minds of the customers. On the other hand, excessive ads interrupt the smooth interaction of the users. Poor user experience definitely affects Conversion rate optimization in a negative manner. 

Conclusion 

The Zero risk bias is a psychological tendency which shouldn’t be overlooked by any business with an online or physical presence. But the zero-risk bias can be seen more often on online platforms compared to physical business situations. The absolute importance lies in your actions of making the people believe that zero-risk is involved while engaging with your web site. Shaping up the design and the elements of your site to make your potential customers feel that you’re worthy of their trust and investment is the key to get the maximum benefit of the zero-risk bias in psychology towards Conversion Rate Optimization. (CRO) 

Sources

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