Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Orient Shoppers to Appreciate Discounts
Researchers at Wayne State University, Indiana State University, and Babson College asked, “Is it better to place the sale price to the right or to the left of the regular price?” Their answer after doing multiple studies with a variety of consumers: If the discount is quite small or very large, it’s best to put the sale price on the left. It will draw the shopper’s attention to itself, then, rather than highlight a comparison of the sale price to the regular price.
This works well with the quite small discount because a comparison would lead the shopper to say, “You call that a sale?” It works well with the very large discount because the most compelling information you’re giving the shopper is the low price.
When the amount of discount is between quite small and extremely large, use what the researchers call “the subtraction principle” by placing the regular price on the left and the sale price on the right. This makes it easy for the shopper to appreciate the dollar amount of the savings.
It would seem that subtraction is even easier with the regular price on top and the sale price below it. Clark University investigated that issue. Suppose an item you usually sell for $95.99 is now discounted to $75.99. Whether you present the price comparison in a horizontal or vertical format affects whether the shopper is more likely to think of the absolute value of the discount—the $20—or of the percentage discount.
The horizontal arrangement, with the $75.99 to the right of the $95.99, nudges the consumer to think about the $20 off. In a vertical arrangement, with the $75.99 below the $95.99, the consumer’s mind turns toward considering the percentage of the discount and away from the absolute dollar amount.
There’s a continuing controversy among consumer psychologists about whether you should emphasize the dollar amount of a discount or the percentage of the discount. The time-tested advice is that retailers should advertise “percentage discounts” rather than “dollar off” discounts. Among the most popular internet searches are percent-off deals.
However, if your shoppers come to expect progressively higher percentage discounts, try switching the orientation to dollars saved. Many consumers are looking to trim every last penny off their purchases and therefore will attend to that.
Click below for more:
Try Out Dollar Over Percentage Discounts
Turn Comparisons Right Side Up
Posted by Bruce D. Sanders, PhD at 9:00 AM