While it’s said that cat has 9 lives, it appears that the number 9 can throw you a life line in your business by incorporating it into your pricing strategy.
Gregory Ciotti, the founder of Sparring Mind conducted several studies to prove that as consumers we still love to buy items that have a price ending in 9.
The Power of Number 9
Head over to practically any store around (online or brick and mortar) and you’ll see prices that end in “9” everywhere.
We’ve all heard of the reasons why it’s used (to make the price look lower), but does it really work? Are people really going to be effected by a $99 price point versus paying $100?
As it turns out, this tactic does indeed work, and has been dubbed the use of “charm prices.”
In his book Priceless, William Poundstone dissects 8 different studies on the use of charm prices, and found that, on average, they increased sales by 24% versus their nearby, ’rounded’ price points.
In fact, in an experiment tested by MIT and the University of Chicago, a standard women’s clothing item was tested at the prices of $34, $39, and $44.
To the researchers surprise, the item sold best at $39, even more than the cheaper $34 price.
One has to wonder… is there anything that can outsell number 9?
Researchers have found that sale prices, that emphasize the original price, do seem to beat out number 9 when split tested.
In the image below, the price point on the left won:
So, apparently 9 can be defeated with a sale price…
Not so fast!
The number 9 still comes out on top when it is used in cohesion with a sales price.
In another split test, the sale prices was used ending in ‘9’, and it ended up performing best of all:
And there you have it.
Given similar circumstances, given even a less expensive option, it seems that the power of 9 still takes hold.
So, next time you thinking about pricing your products or services, think about ending it in 9, rather than rounding it up!
Melissa is the Founder of The LightBulb Lounge and is an active member of Australia's startup community. She runs events and coaches teens and adults on how to get their ideas out of their head and pitch them.