8 psychological methods of price list design optimisation

The pricing page is one of the essential features of your business. The correct design of the pricing page is the key to increasing leads, sales and profit numbers. However, it is not about price list design per se.

Emotions and psychology have a considerable impact on purchasing behavior: users expect your products and services to meet their emotional needs.

In this article, we will consider how the features of the human psyche manifested in the purchasing behavior, as well as some psychological techniques that can increase the effectiveness of your pricing page.

price list design example of some saas

Price list design example from Peter Deltondo

(a) The effect of the bait

The decoy effect, also known as asymmetric dominance effect, is based on the fact that by choosing between two options user makes a decision, not in favor of the seller. So to simplify the process, a third option is introduced; obviously, an expensive option, rejecting which, the user decides in favor of one of the other two options.

As an already classic example of this maneuver, we will take the popular page of the subscription to The Economist magazine.

Here the user can choose from 3 options:

  1. $59 for the online version.
  2. $125 for the print version
  3. $125 for a print & web subscription

The second option here plays a bad cop role. Moreover, if only presented with the first and third options, the user most likely would prefer an online subscription (because it is cheaper). However, on the background of the offer to pay $125 for one printed version of the magazine, the same amount immediately for both versions seems to most of the most practical solution even compared to the cheapest option.

(a) Anchor Effect

The effect of the anchor is that when assessing the numerical values, a person subconsciously starts from previously presented numbers. In particular, this effect is used by stores when an old (not always indeed so) prices next to the new ones, thus creating the illusion of a profitable offer.

pricing list design - anchor effect An example from Pawel Kadysz

(c) Analytical paralysis

Although the wide options range allows a user to choose the optimal solution to suit his or her preferences, be careful: excessive selection can cause a stupor state. This phenomenon is called the term “analysis paralysis” and describes the state when, as a result of the extensive analysis, a person loses the motivation to make decisions or to make any action at all. Concerning price lists, too much choice can cause the user to have such a condition, and he will leave the page.

pricing list design: analytical paralysis example

(d) Illusion of deficit

A limited supply leads to increased demand, and therefore to a higher price. For example, global diamond production controlled by a small group of companies, resulting in the value of diamonds is consistently high. To use this effect on your price list, you have to create a feeling of limited supply for your customers.

Promotions limited in time or quantity of goods, as well as offers available “by invitation only” are a great way to create the illusion of deficit.

The website of the booking system Expedia.com actively uses this tactic. In the hotel searching, the user can see: Number of users currently browsing the hotel page.

All this creates the impression of demand for rooms and encourages the user to book more quickly before the opportunity missed.

(e) Fear of loss

Our efforts to get out of loss or hurt are much stronger than the will to profit or experience the pleasure of some sort. Some studies show that the loss has twice as much psychological impact than comparable benefits.

That is, if a person loses $100, the grief associated with it will be much stronger than the joy that he will experience when he finds the same $100. There are a few ways to use this property of a human mind.

For example, free trial: The effectiveness of this tactic is linked to man’s inherent desire to avoid loss. By starting to use the product, after a while the person depends on it but usage is limited (either by time or features) – the next logical step is to purchase the product so as not to lose the opportunity to continue using it.

(f) Hyperbolic depreciation

The term “hyperbolic depreciation” describes the subjective perception of remuneration depending on its distance in time. To be more specific: having a choice, we will choose what we get earlier even if its value is less than the delayed option.

In other words, people prefer immediate rewards to discounts and bonuses that one has to wait for.

(g) An error of correct selection

The term “choice supports bias” refers to our tendency to perceive choices already made in the past as better or wiser ones. That’s precisely the basis for the reviews of other people on the pricing page is a great way to increase conversion: demonstrating that people have already decided to take advantage of your offer and are finally satisfied, prompts the user to buy.

For example, on the subject, the reviews are placed on the right. First, reviews inspire confidence, and secondly – more importantly – show that customers are delighted with the decision taken and register on the service.

pricing list design: a review enhancement example

An example such review enhancement from Vishnu Prasad

(h) Trust

In the end, it’s all about trust. Customers must be sure that they can rely on you before they give you a dime. There are several ways to gain the confidence of visitors:

e.g., Mention the number of people who have already trusted you.

Campfirenow.com marketers applied two of these three techniques, mentioning “more than 100,000 customers” and placing under the price list a review from lifehacker.com

Understanding the universal properties of the psyche will allow you to establish closer contact with your target audience and encourage users to decide in your favor.