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Number Complexity

 

DisciplinesMarketing > Pricing > Number Complexity

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Show prices as being complex and difficult to know. Ways to do this include:

  • Make them more difficult to read, even by a little way. For example with multiple different digits and no zeroes.
  • Exclude tax, service change and so on, so forcing customers to calculate these themselves.
  • Sell bundles of components rather than single products, with different prices for the many different bundles.
  • Show products with a percentage off that is difficult to calculate (eg. '13% off' rather than '10% off).

Example

A restaurant prices all dishes differently, sometimes by small amounts and sometimes larger amounts, making comparison and addition difficult.

A car sales company prices cars down to the individual dollar.

A computer retailer offers various packages including different keyboards, monitors, printers, mice and so on, each with a different price.

Discussion

Things which are complex take greater cognitive effort to understand. They require the customer to invest more time and effort in order to understand them. Customers often have ambivalent relationships with prices, both wanting to know what they are and also being repelled by the thought of having to pay money. When the price is more difficult to understand, even by a little way, this can result in customers almost gratefully avoiding thinking about this.

When prices are compounded and require price lists and calculators to understand, customers are also more likely to rely on sales people to help them understand what things cost. This give the sales person greater power and influence in selling rather than the customer making quick price-based decisions.

See also

Creating Cognitive Load

 

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