A/B Testing Idea #67 - Separate delivery and handling costs from the main product price

Tactic_Separate delivery and handling costs from the main product price


Separating the product price from other surcharges - such as delivery costs or handling fees - will help to give the impression of a lower overall price.

The first price seen will act as an anchor for the buyer so that even once delivery costs or other charges are added, it is the original price (in the image above, $15) that will stick in the mind. They will also make their decision to purchase the product based on the product price alone and will then be more likely to accept additional charges as they have already decided that they want to buy and won't want to make the mental effort to recalculate the amount they are spending so will still rely on the initial price they saw.

If you are offering a special discount on delivery or free delivery then separating them out in this way is still a good idea as it allows you to really highlight the offer and might give people who are still unsure a nudge to complete their purchase.

Inspired by Nick Kolenda 


  • Partitioned Pricing (Morwitz; Greenleaf; Johnson, 1998; Hossain & Morgan, 2006)
  • Anchoring Effect (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974)

The Research

Partitioned Pricing

Partitioned Pricing is the way in which splitting the total price of something in to separate parts can ease the purchasing process by making the human psyche believe that the overall cost is less.

Anchoring Effect

The Anchoring Effect describes the way in which people utilise the first piece of information they receive as a point of reference for making judgements about subsequent pieces of information.

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