People were offered 2 kinds of beer: premium beer for $2.50 and bargain beer for $1.80. Around 80% chose the more expensive beer.
Now a third beer was introduced, a super bargain beer for $1.60 in addition to the previous two. Now 80% bought the $1.80 beer and the rest $2.50 beer. Nobody bought the cheapest option.
Beer bottle photo by jovike
Third time around, they removed the $1.60 beer and replaced with a super premium $3.40 beer. Most people chose the $2.50 beer, a small number $1.80 beer and around 10% opted for the most expensive $3.40 beer. Some people will always buy the most expensive option, no matter the price.
You can influence people’s choice by offering different options. Old school sales people also say that offering different price point options will make people choose between your plans, instead of choosing whether to buy your product or not.
How to test it: Try offering 3 packages, and if there is something you really want to sell, make it the middle option.
Excerpted from pricing experiments you might not know, but can learn from.
The story is referenced in William Poundstone's 2011 book Priceless: the myth of fair value (and how to take advantage of it). Via the 11 ways that consumers are hopeless at math, on The Atlantic.