Mastering the Perception of Price

All marketers realize the importance of price in generating product sales, but have you considered the impact of how that price is presented to consumers?

30 Min. to Apply
Useful for All Industries

What did the research find?

Researchers found that when presenting prices using numerals without a dollar sign (version B), there was an 8% increase in spending compared to the other formats.

What could cause this behavior?

The theory is that seeing the dollar sign – or any currency symbol – can subconsciously prime consumers to be more aware of the money spent in a transaction. The same effect may also be activated by seeing the word ‘dollar.’

How could you apply this?

Although this study was conducted at an upscale restaurant in New York City, its conclusions could be applicable across any number of verticals. Given the low risk and simple implementation, it’s worth experimenting with this effect on your next product or promotional offer.

One Last Thing…

Did you know that other research has found that a customer’s perception of value could also be influenced by whether the price ends in a 0 (perceived higher-quality) or 9 (perceived better-value)? Pretty neat!


Yang, S. S., Kimes, S. E., & Sessarego, M. M. (2009). $ or dollars: Effects of menu-price formats on restaurant checks. Cornell Hospitality Report, 9(8), 6-11. (External Link - PDF)