Psychological Pricing

Written by
Lisa Mallis
February 20, 2018

Here we are again… another spring season--- a time where I sit back, analyze and design packages and order forms to help try and earn photographers, leagues and schools top dollar. This time it’s different. I’m working on some default pricing and packages for PhotoDay.

I’m going to begin this with calling it like it is--- by the time most photographers get to the order form part, they are just so uninspired with change or improvement over the previous season. Why? Because I think a lot of us are in the mindset “if it’s not broke, why fix it”. It’s a major mistake I see a lot making this time of year.

Your order form is the bread and butter of your business. It’s what determines your final income! It’s marketing. It’s sales. It’s earning your contacts fundraising (sales commissions). This form should be analyzed and improved after each and every season.

Now that my focus is shifting from print marketing to online sales with the addition and implementation of PhotoDay, I have a new challenge that I want to share. The psychology of pricing--- which is different, SO different in this case.

We don’t need to round our numbers anymore with moving to ecommerce. We no longer need to include sales tax. The way we present packages and savings changes. The ability to create multiple offers and incentives is efficient and simple. The experience we deliver to the consumer is vastly improved, and almost magical. So how do we earn top revenue for both ourselves and our leagues/schools?

Mom doesn’t need a photograph of her child. It is up to us as marketers to give her that desire.

Let’s talk about the number 9. Ending your pricing with the number 9 is a long used sales method. It makes the price seem less expensive. It’s something in the world of sports and school photography that we’ve avoided simply because of cash transactions! How crazy is that? A proven method we have eliminated completely from our sales method because of the way we accept payments. The question here is… does it really work? Well yes, it works, and it is also referred to as “charm prices”. In a book entitled “Priceless” by William Poundstone, he analyzes 8 different studies which all used charm prices and discovered sales increased by 24% on average, compared to their nearby “rounded” price points.

Sell time over money. A person’s experience with a product fosters feelings of personal connection with it. Especially our product- milestone photographs. By referring to time it will lead to more favorable attitudes, and equate to more purchases.

“Save these moments for years to come”

Time is a much more scarce resource than money: once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. By factoring this into your pricing, you can be more persuasive than even the most drastic of price reductions.

Context matters. Buying a drink during a concert is a lot more expensive than purchasing that same exact drink at the corner gas station. The environment you sell your product in matters. People are willing to pay for convenience, so don’t forget to use this in price perception! With PhotoDay, your customer has more options (poses, design choice), more flexibility and also can preview their purchases and customize their products… and ship orders to multiple destinations. All of this brings added value to your final product.

Stepping into an entirely different sales process can be a very scary thing indeed. We understand this, and we’re here to help.

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