A/B Testing Idea #65 - Reduce the left digit by one and minimise the digits after the decimal

Tactic_Reduce the left digit by one and minimise the digits after the decimal


Reducing your price by one cent or penny can make all the difference when it results in the left digit going down by one. Whereas $3.89 to $3.87 wouldn't be of any consequence $4.00 to $3.99 definitely would.

This is because people read numbers from left to right and the very first digit on the left is the one that we use to gauge the size of the figure. So $3.99 is "in the 3 dollar area" whereas $4.00 is "in the 4 dollar area". Suddenly, that's a difference of a whole dollar! The higher the numbers, the more significant the difference will be perceived to be as well.

To emphasise this even more, it is worthwhile reducing in a visual manner the numbers that come after the decimal point. Not only does this make them less visible and therefore place full attention on the first digit but it has been proven that we associate small visual stimuli with small numerical values (i.e. a small font for numbers can often be read to mean a small price).

Inspired by Nick Kolenda 


  • Perceived Value Pricing (Lee & Zhao, 2014; Poundstone, 2010; Mazumdar; Raj; Sinha, 2005; Thomas; Simon; Kadiyali, 2007)
  • Magnitude Encoding Process (Oppenheimer; LeBoeuf & Brewer, 2007; Coulter & Coulter, 2005; Thomas & Morwitz, 2005)

The Research

Perceived Value Pricing

Perceived Value Pricing explains how our perceptions of a price and its value can be altered depending on how it is presented to us.

Magnitude Encoding Process

The way in which we perceive pricing can be affected by the way in which it is presented to us and so making use of size, placement or colour, for example, can influence how small the price appears to be.

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