A/B Testing Idea #285 - Offer the possibility to postpone payment

Tactic_ Offer the possibility to postpone payment


Offering the possibility to postpone payment of a purchase will make the price of the item become less relevant to the buyer. Instead of thinking about the price, they will be thinking about the fact that they can have the product they desire straight away: the "wow I can have it now!" effect. Delaying payment is also a proven way to lessen the pain of paying that people feel when making purchases. Even though they will have to ultimately pay, the fact that they don't have to part with any money at the time of purchase will remove the payment as such an obstacle.


  • Immediacy effect (Ainslie, 1975; Laibson, 1997; Bickel; Odum & Madden, 1999; Frederick; Loewenstein & O’Donoghue, 2002)
  • Pain of Paying (Prelec & Loewenstein, 1998)

The Research

Immediacy effect

The Immediacy Effect is a cognitive bias that leads people, when presented with two similar possible things, to have a greater desire for the one that will arrive or take place soonest. This even leads us to prefer an immediate reward over a higher-value, delayed reward.

Pain of Paying

The Pain of Paying explains how the act of paying reduces the pleasure of our purchase and that this “pain of paying” is affected by both the timing between payment and consumption and by the mode of payment.

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