Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to display a price to sell better

When you sell something, it´s not just the price itself that will determine success or not. A study from Cornell Hospitality, presented in Roger Dooley´s book "Brainfluence" studied and compared these common restaurant price display techniques:

- $12
- 12
- Twelve dollar

Dooley writes: The researchers expected that the written/scripted prices would perform best, but they found that the guest with the simple numeral prices spent significantly more than the other two did.

I think the reason for the difference is most likely that people kind of avoid the feeling of spending money when the dollar sign is left out. It might feel like they are playing with Monopoly bills or meaningless numbers, which makes the purchase less painful. 

Very few of our choices are completely rational; most of them are swayed by irrelevant factors that our subconscious mind listens to and find useful. The instinctive part of the brain is lazy and a bit childish, according to Daniel Kahneman in the book "Thinking, fast and slow", and it will - if it gets a chance - base decisions on facts or stories, no matter how true or trustworthy they are. In fact, the brain prefers to have little information, because it makes it easier to weight them against each other; if there is too much to think of the brain gets confused and worried. 

Aaaaah. All marketers will have to consider these mysterious things... How does the information affect the project you are working on at the moment? Can you use the fact? Maybe a sale is in fact putting the focus too much on price, making people who are emotionally drawn to a product, hesitate? What if the word "cheap" make people buy less, because they start thinking of money? What do you think?

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