Earlier today I was over on Amazon, doing my daily obsessive check to see if anyone’s written any new reviews of any of my short stories or novels (I’m a writer on the side) and I noticed something pretty fascinating. The change is subtle, but it’s definitely there. Also I’m not sure if it’s a test or an a full-fledged rollout … but as minor as it may appear, Amazon has made a major change to how they are displaying product prices in search results.
If you take a look at the screenshot below, you’ll see that Amazon’s price listings here are now displaying the dollar column as large text and the cents as smaller text. It’s a subtle change, to be sure – but one I would think could have some pretty meaningful impact on their click through and conversion rates.
Take a look at the following, exemplifying what Amazon has done and tell me which looks less intimidating.
With this change, they’ve done something pretty amazing – they’ve made their prices look even lower. Now when you scroll through the listing you see the bigger dollar price listed, and almost ignore the the cents, which in most instances will cause browsers to assume a product is nearly an entire dollar lower than the actual price. Ideally this should increase click through from the search listings to the product page, where people can then get further down the purchase funnel and move past the browsing process to the consideration process, and therefore one step closer to clicking the “buy” button.
Ideally this should increase click through from the search listings to the product page, where people can then get further down the purchase funnel and move past the browsing process to the consideration process, and therefore one step closer to clicking the “buy” button.
And although most products on Amazon cost considerably more, I am particularly interested in how this might affect click-through to products priced $0.99 or less. With the new listings they almost appear to be free, rather than $1. There’s some very interesting psychology testing going on here and I’m eager to see if this is a long-term change for the company.
In my past experience I’ve found that how you list the price can sometimes be more important than the price itself. For example, on premium-priced products I’ve learned that making the price BIG on the page actually decreases conversion, as it negatively impacted time on site. Seeing the price highlighted immediately turned some people off, and led them to abandon. That visceral response was so strong the customer never even really looked at or considered the product. Making the price smaller led the customer to explore the product more, and make a decision as to if it would fulfill their needs first. Then when they saw the price they could make a more informed decision. Ideally the price would still be considered reasonable, and the customer will have already closed most of the sale already in their mind through their on-page research.
Have you done any testing of price display? I’m curious what tests or results you’ve seen. The psychology of price is completely fascinating to me, but so is the psychology of presentation. It’s best not to forget that the two work very closely together.