Psychological Pricing Strategies
Many top global companies such as Apple, Amazon, Costco, etc., use psychological pricing strategies. These strategies use psychological tactics to influence the behavior of consumers. The following psychological strategies are most popular behind every promotion or advertisement.
Charm and odd-even pricing strategies: Charm pricing involves all the prices in a store that ends with â€œ9â€, such as $1.99. Many pieces of research indicate this type of price increases the demand for products and attract more prospective customers in the market because if customers encounter a price of goods at $1.99, they see this price as $1 or closer to $1, not close to $2. This pricing strategy does not connote a prestigious price of a good or service. This strategy is a way to attract the emotional response of customers and push them to purchase immediately. Odd-even pricing strategies also use psychological tactics to encourage customers to buy products. For example, odd prices involve odd numbers in the retail price of goods such as $3.99, whereas actual prices involve even numbers such as $6.00. This strategy is useful when a seller offers strategic discounts or wants to create a special price in the market.
Artificial time constraints: To create a sense of urgency, most stores use artificial time constraints on a sale. Sellers employ time restrictions to persuade customers to spend frequently because this strategy creates a sense of fear among customers as they think if they donâ€™t buy goods now, they risk missing out on those items.
The examples of this strategy are: â€œ1-day sale where everything is 60% offâ€, â€œhurry up weekend sale onlyâ€, etc. Here the 1 day and weekend are signs of artificial time constraints where a consumer thinks this sale is temporary and he/she is more likely to purchase today rather than future.
Price appearance: The shorter prices are more preferable by customers to longer prices, even if these prices have the same number or value. The naked and shorter prices impact the psychology of customers because they think longer prices are more expensive and take a longer time to read than shorter prices.
This type of pricing technique is mostly seen in the restaurants such as on the menus; many restaurants use prices without adding zeros such as they use â€œ16â€ as a price of the product instead of â€œ$16.00â€. Even the price is the same, but consumers attract more towards the short price instead of a longer one.
Innumeracy: If a retailer or seller offers something extra with a particular product, consumers attract more towards purchasing that product. For example, when a store seller offers â€œBuy one get one freeâ€ or â€œ50% off of 2 itemsâ€, customers choose the first option even if both options offer the same price.
This situation of pricing and marketing describes innumeracy. This strategy is successful where customers are unable to apply or understand fundamental principles of math.
Advantages of Psychological Pricing
The psychological pricing boosts customersâ€™ attention even if the consumers donâ€™t buy goods, but a brand can easily gain attention through psychological influence. This pricing method simplifies the decision-making process for customers as it influences their behavior through tactics of discounts, promotion, sales, or creates a sense of urgency. This technique is more strategic because a retailer or seller is concentrated on maximizing profits and considers things such as the perception, behavior of customers regarding a brand, and competitorsâ€™ strategies in the market.
Disadvantages of Psychological Pricing
This technique always involves the risk of misperceived value such as if a retailer uses these types of prices to trick the customers to influence them to take quick action, then there is a chance that consumers may think lower about the quality of products and also expect these similar prices continuously in the future. This is not a long-term pricing solution as it doesnâ€™t generate trust from customers and requires cross-organizational cooperation, which is complex and hard to set up and stick to. In-depth research is necessary to set better psychological pricing in the market, consuming more time and energy.
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