This might help you to save some money on a shopping spree.
A thing that has always intrigued me in sales is that the price of several items ends in ‘99’. It is written as ₹499 instead of ₹500- big difference. Keeping aside the fact that rarely anyone asks for that 1 rupee, why is it presented like that in the first place?
This representation is one of the multiple strategies under psychological pricing. As you can guess, these strategies are implemented to make a customer spend more money. The ‘99’ strategy is called charm pricing, and word on the street is that it has been around for more than a century, and well, it works.
Various studies conducted by researchers at MIT and the University of Chicago proved that a price ending in 9 instead of a whole number increases the customer demand for products. The reason behind this phenomenon is that the human brain is trained to read from left to right. Subsequently, you see the lower number first. Case in point- if the price is written as ₹499, you read the 4 first. This makes an impression in your mind that this item costs closer to 400 bucks rather than 500.
To test this left-to-right approach, the universities conducted an experiment using women’s clothing. The prices were set at $34, $39, and $44. The researchers were taken by surprise by the results of the sale. The items that sold the most were valued at $39, even though it was expensive.
Sure, we may not succumb to it anymore, but it works when we shop in a hurry. I have had several experiences to vouch for that. Moreover, stores tend to write the ‘99’ in a smaller font. That way, the left-to-right strategy works better.
Correspondingly, limited time and innumeracy are used indelicately by stores. Offers and discounts with a limited time frame are displayed to entice the consumer to spend more. If they think that they are missing out on something, they are more likely to go for it. This also works by putting a limit on the stock. Numerous online platforms display the ‘no. of items’ left, which might or might not be true.
Addressing innumeracy, it is described as a phenomenon wherein people don’t use fundamental math principles while shopping. As in, they respond to deals that appear to be good. To test both of these theories, I did a short survey on Instagram, recording a response of up to 100 people. See it here!
After analyzing the results, I realized that the majority of the people responded in contrast to the theories. They weighed the pros and cons and then chose the better deal. Innumeracy was disproved here.
Nevertheless, these strategies are used around the world. While people analyzed the options during the survey, they might not do the same while shopping materially. And the surveys do come up pretty close.
Now that you know about these strategies, the next time you’re on a shopping spree, consider them before you consider putting unnecessary items in your cart.
That’s it for today, thank you for reading!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve had a similar experience with distinct ways of pricing!
Keep the precious vibes flowing,