Why do we like odd numbers so much? – UX Planet
Do you ever wonder why you see so many odd numbers in marketing, sales and retail?
Free shipping when you order above 20 dollars! But oh, heck, my order is only $19,99. Shoot! I have to add another item to get over the 20 dollar line.
Do you see what they did there? Customers like discounts and free stuff, even if it comes at a price. Using odd numbers is a great way of increasing sales numbers.
9 is a magical number. MIT and the University of Chicago conducted an experiment involving women’s clothing. Demand increased by a third when raising the price of a dress from $34 to $39. Can you believe it? Demand increased even though the dress got more expensive.
Wait, it gets better. Changing the price from $34 to $44 yielded no difference in demand.
Another reason is mental rounding. Human beings look for quick, simple answers to save energy. This applies to numbers as well. Let’s pick the $19,99 item price again. $19,99 is in the 10s while $20 is in the 20s.
“Consumers ignore the least significant digits rather than do the proper rounding. Even though the cents are seen and not totally ignored, they may subconsciously be partially ignored.“— Keith Coulter, Clark University
You can further make use of this bias by printing the cents smaller in your design. Take a look at the three examples below. Which one looks cheapest to you?
Fun fact — In some countries, like the Netherlands and Canada, you would still pay 20 dollars/euros when paying in cash because of the removal of the penny.
But there’s more. According to a study conducted by Kenneth J. Wisniewski from the University of Chicago, when the price of margarine dropped from 89 cents to 71 cents at a local grocery chain, sales improved by 65%. But when the price fell two cents more to 69 cents, sales jumped by an astounding 222%. More on that in this article.
9 truly is the magical number.