We’ve talked, in previous articles, about the VP Design Officers Email Lists power of defaults. Users don’t like to exert any extra effort, so they tend to go with the option with the least friction. Often, this is the option that is most prominent or memorable. Serial Position Effect can aid in this process, especially in regards to pricing.

We published an Academic Insight that looked at two ways of presenting product information:

Pricing primacy

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Product primacy is when the subject sees the product first, and then later the price; pricing primacy is opposite – price first (say you walk up to a rack of $40 shirts at a department store then see the shirts). The researchers found:

When consumers see a price before the product, they evaluate the product’s worth more critically.
When they see the product first, they evaluate the product solely on that criteria.
Essentially, what the consumer sees first sets an anchor by which they judge the entire experience. How can you use this to your advantage? Perhaps with SaaS pricing pages, you can set the highest price first, like Crazy Egg does:


Or, similarly, you could test the order of your products on a category page:


You might notice this price anchoring when at a nice restaurant. Restaurant consultants often suggest adding a super expensive wine or menu item and featuring it prominently, so everything else looks reasonable in comparison.

Know, however, that prototypicality is the balancing force here. Users are used to seeing increasing pricing order (lowest first). And if they’re comparison shopping (they are), seeing the highest price first could be a source of friction.

There are always examples that contradict the best practices, so what works for someone else may not work for you. It’s always contextual, right?

Studies have shown people most often choose the first bubble gum in a sequence, but if you’re selling real estate, it seems to be most effective to show the consumer the most applicable property

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