How to increase sales by making discounts seem bigger
Marketing Minute

How to increase sales by making discounts seem bigger

Are you ready to make your discounts feel like a Black Friday frenzy without actually slashing prices? Here's how.

Say this, not that

Pro tip: Stop saying "37% off" when you can say "was 59% higher." Same discount, different framing. It's like calling a used car "pre-owned"—sounds way better, right? Or why call yourself "unemployed" when you can call yourself an "entrepreneur." 😆

Why does this work? 🤔

Research shows that framing the discount based on the discounted price makes it look bigger. And bigger discounts are like catnip for customers.

We're all a bit lazy when it comes to mental math. We see a big percentage and our "System 1" brain kicks in, urging us to snag the deal before someone else does. Thanks, Daniel Kahneman, for that insight.

Examples of when it does & doesn't work

Curious when you can use this? Here are some examples:

  • Small discounts: If you're knocking off a buck, the effect is negligible. Bigger discounts do better.
  • Math whizzes: This trick won't work on your accountant, but Joe Average? He's all in.
  • Beyond pricing: This isn't just for discounts. Say your new laptop is 30% lighter? Nah, the old one was 42% heavier!
  • Not tested on services: This trick is proven for physical products, but your services or software? The jury is still out.
  • It could backfire: Some folks might feel duped. Tread carefully.
  • Overuse is a risk: If everyone starts doing this, it'll lose its mojo.

Those caveats aside, this is still an effective tactic for now. Next, let's talk about implementation.

Here's how to do it

There are 3 magic steps to putting this into practice:

  1. Reframe your discounts: Switch from "now X% lower" to "was Y% higher."
  2. Apply it to features: Got a faster sign-up process? Say the competitor is 60% slower.
  3. Test, test, test: Always A/B test to make sure this resonates with your audience and is having the intended effect.

So, there you have it: a new way to make your discounts feel more like winning the lottery.

Want to learn more? 🤓

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can dig into the nerdy details in the original marketing study here.

Quote of the week 💬

"Framing in marketing is like Instagram filters for your product—makes everything look better, but don't overdo it."

About the author
Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH
Gabriel A. Mays
Gabriel Mays' Website
Co-Founder & CEO at POPSMASH
Before POPSMASH, Gabe was a Director at GoDaddy and founded two startups. He was also a Marine Corps Captain, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives with his wife and two kids on Cape Cod, MA.

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