Arranging Price Points
Recently one of our designers sent me a quick note on Slack asking about the research on the usability of how to arrange price points; from low to high, or from high to low. There are very good cognitive arguments for both ways, and the answer to the question rests in the goal of the arrangement.
Currently, the Stella&Dot website lists our 3 starter Kits from low to high (Elevator Pricing). From a logical point of view this makes sense. that is we count from low to high and read from left to right, so combine the two and it is completely reasonable to list prices in ascending order. Rational customers will see this as a time/money value proposition, and make a decision accordingly.
However, our product has emotional appeal in that our Stylists are investing 1) time, 2) money, and 3) relationships to create the opportunity for themselves. There is a hesitancy factor because it is scary to lurch out on your own to sell products to family, friends and strangers. The reasoning becomes: “My family will buy because they love me, my friends will too, either because they like the product or out of social obligation. . . But then what?” So in this case, the Kit is measured in perceived potential loss, arguing for the user to choose the lowest amount or cheapest option..
Stella&Dot does a great job of providing a structure, a team and tools to help out the first time Direct Sales Rep, but we can only address the initial fear so far. Showing price points in a different order may alleviate some of that pain by making the investment more comfortable.
Because we are cognitive misers (Fiske &Taylor, 1989), we become anchored to the first price we see or pay. Placing price points in descending order instead makes it easy for a user to move down the line by providing a different anchor point. By introducing the user to higher priced options first, they will judge all future purchase decisions by that anchor, and influence their potential downline to that purchase. Getting most “bang for their buck” is the salient option at this point and it addresses the “how do I?” anxiety that is associated with the initial purchase.
This has the added benefit of being cognitively more appealing, rides the same principles as the Left Hand Navigation in a previous post, and relieves some anxiety for the Direst Sales Rep, thus leading her to a better overall experience.