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I have a checkout page and a list of radio buttons for a shipping method. While the opinions vary whether or not some value should be pre-selected wherenever there's a radio button list, my case is a little different because a user has to select an option to proceed.

Should I pre-select the 1st, cheapest and slowest, shipping option?

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zirnamaraji is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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The way I would do it usually is by researching which option would be in the best interest of the user as well as the company I am working with so that later I can leave it pre-selected.

Here is why:

  1. By leaving an option pre-selected, you provide them with the information on what the action is and what the result looks like after performing that action, which sets their expectations going forward.

  2. By using the most frequent option or an option that would be in the best interest of the business you are working with, you can reduce their time spent on the checkout page and at the same time, you can point them in the desired direction.

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Sinanbgx is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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When I shop from Amazon India, they show me the choose the delivery speed option and by default the radio button for free shipping is selected. I can change it to two-day delivery for additional shipping cost. But by default I have seen the free shipping radio button pre-selected. What you can do some A/B testing. Pre-select free shipping radio button for 50% of the visitors and leave it blank for other 50% of the visitors. See how they behave and then make the decision. As far as if you clearly show and communicate this and leave it for the end users to decide, it shouldn't be much of a problem. Hope this helps.

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