The power of presentation: Do you list your pricing first or last?

The intricacies of website design best practicesYour decisions at the cash register aren’t as unbiased as you’d think.

A team of researchers have published a study evaluating how the placement of pricing influences consumers’ purchases. Comparing reactions at the neural level (using fMRI scans) and behavioral level (using purchasing decisions), they found the brain values a product or service differently based on when the price is introduced.

For business owners, the impact is clear: How you display your pricing makes a difference. Whether it’s in an email broadcast for a BOGO pizza deal or a printed letter highlighting the benefits of your realignment service, the layout you choose is training consumers to buy — or not.

By putting your prospective customers in the right frame of mind, you have the opportunity to persuade them to view you in a more positive light. Presenting yourself incorrectly can put you at a disadvantage, encouraging them to desert you in favor of a competitor or even decide the product isn’t really worth buying after all.

When the price comes first…

When the pricing comes first, consumers are inclined to ask, “Is this worth it?” Their focus is on whether the value of the product matches or surpasses the digits on the price tag.

Business owners should display their pricing front-and-center if they’re offering a great deal. While it’s expected that you’ll view your own business with rose-colored glasses, evaluate your pricing with brutal honesty. Can it stand up to the scrutiny of a discerning bargain shopper?

When the product comes first…

When the product comes first, consumers are inclined to ask, “Do I like this?” Their focus is on whether the product profile meets their needs or wants.

Business owners should focus on highlighting the product if they’re trying to sell on desirability. Is your product particularly attractive? Is your service unique or considered a luxury by your ideal customer? If you don’t want to be judged primarily on price, then capture their attention with gorgeous photos and persuasive copy. Your goal is to conjure up an insatiable need for your product!

Final thoughts

Using neuromarketing tactics to your advantage isn’t an end-all-be-all solution. A price-first approach won’t disguise a lackluster product, and the best copywriting in the world won’t justify a 200 percent price hike. Still, thoughtful pricing placement ought to be one more tool in your arsenal to convince prospective customers of your true value.

Have you tested the impact of changing your pricing placement? Do you lead with price or product?

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