What's the Best Way to Show a Product Price in eCommerce?

This article was first posted on LinkedIn on October 29, 2018.

Finding the best way to display the price of a product in a price tag on an eCommerce product page can be challenging. A/B testing can certainly help you in finding the best solution for price display design, but it is essential to understand why specific sizes and colors are working better than others. The decision on how to display a price comes after you decided how to price the product. Retail pricing will not be discussed here, only the best way to display of the price.

What is pricing psychology in eCommerce?

It’s not always intuitive that the best way to display a price is to use a medium font size. Clarity would recommend a bigger font to let the price to stand out. But we humans perceive numbers occupying more screen space as more substantial than numbers taking a smaller space. We all perceive products with a price displayed with big fonts as more expensive. When showing a competitive price, we need to stay away from big font sizes to avoid confusing our visitors, and we also want to avoid small font sizes to make it easy for the user to locate and read the price. One option to match the clarity of a big font is to use a sharp contrast between the price and the background.

stay away from big font sizes to avoid confusing our visitors, and avoid small font sizes to make it easy to locate and read the price

A case study from Novedge

Typical eCommerce PriceTag
Typical eCommerce Price-tag

The image on the left shows the price tag of a product on the Novedge website. I was able to determine the optimal size and contrast of the selling price with a series of A/B tests. As expected, the results confirmed the theory about the balance between small and big fonts.

In this specific case, the price area has also to compete for the user’s attention with all other components of the price tag, in particular with the green “variants” selectors. As a merchant and reseller, Novedge, as a reseller, has no control over the number or the complexity of a product’s variants, we only control how to present those options to our customers. The price-size is just one of the many choices and decisions a designer has to make when creating a price tag. Most of the options and pieces of information you see on the price tag are almost mandatory. Indeed, the price tag must meet the expectations of the visitors and provide the core information to allow him/her to make a decision and click on the [Add to Cart] button. As designers, we need to meet the expectations created by the look and content of the most popular eCommerce websites. Other price tag’s components are intended to convey additional important information about the product offer, such as the variants.

Do I have to remove the dollar sign?

Some website removes the dollar sign (or your local currency sign) to simplify the price display further. Removing the currency symbol is an option that should be carefully evaluated. If you have customers purchasing from abroad, the lack of a currency sign can create unpleasant misunderstandings that should be avoided. If you are selling only to the domestic market and there no ambiguity about the meaning of the number indicating the price, then you can get rid of the $ sign.

If you are selling only to the domestic market
…then you can get rid of the dollar sign

Which information should I include in the pricetag?

There are other components that are competing for real estate in the price tag area. The most common are MSRP, discount, SKU, UPC, “Competitive Price” label, and territory. Which one of those optional items should be included? Where to position them? How much relevance to give them? Those are difficult questions, without a simple straight answer. For a small and medium eCommerce website, it can also be challenging if not impossible, to measure the impact of each one of those options with an A/B test. Most of those elements are not clickable, and their contribution to the conversion rate is in the hundredth or thousandth of a point. For those options, A/B tests don’t provide a level of confidence to support a decision. Here is where intuition and a solid marketing strategy can help you to make the best decisions.

References

For more information I would recommend the original paper that for the first time analyzed the correlation between font size and value perception.

Size Does Matter: The Effects of Magnitude Representation Congruency on Price Perceptions and Purchase Likelihood, by Keith S. Coulter and Robin A. Coulter.


Franco Folini lives and works in the eCommerce territory, a wild area between the Kingdom of Technology and the Kingdom of Marketing. He speaks fluently the language of both realms. For many years, Franco has been helping people bridge the divide and successfully collaborate.

If you want to find out more about Franco, visit his LinkedIn profile or send him an email folini[at]gmail.com

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