I went shopping yesterday, bought loads of food. I noticed that butter seemed to range from £1.30 to about £1.60 in the store I went to (an average supermarket). This suddenly jolted my brain because I am pretty sure butter used to be about 90p – £1.00, depending on brand. What the hell has skyrocketed the price of butter? (it’s not like we don’t have enough cows, I can see some from my window :D).
Anyway…. It was quite unusual for me to notice that the price had rocketed up so much, and I started to think about my attitude to food pricing. It’s interesting to note that I didn’t notice the pricing of hardly anything else that I bought. Maybe I’m sensitive to the price of wine, and chicken, but that’s because I buy it a lot (also explains noticing butter), but what price should a pack of crumpets be? No idea. What price should 80 T-bags be? No idea.
When you think about it, the ‘seeing the price’ element of purchasing something physical is actually very minor. Even if you have little money, the price evaluation component of the shopping experience is tiny. With clothes, there is all the trying them on, seeing how they look in the mirror, feeling the lovely material…blah blah. You are aware of the price, for sure, but it appears only briefly when the checkout person mentions it to you as they hand you a big bag full of purchased stuff. If the price is reasonable, you can easily just breeze through the experience and forget what you paid for it, or never even acknowledge it. Like I did with crumpets. I didn’t see the price, I just saw yummy crumpets.
That doesn’t happen with online games purchases. The price is there in big bold letters, right next to the product
Gratuitous Collectors Edition $24.95
They are given equal weight. The price of the item becomes as important as the item itself. Because we aren’t looking at some big physical thing, the products presence cannot blind us to the price of it. I wonder if having large images of the product, with a small price label under them on an order form generates more sales than having it all as just text? There is also no distraction. I don’t have to physically load my purchase into a bag, and I’m not in a hurry because people are behind me in the queue. There is this big glowing PRICE in front of me, challenging me to be unhappy with it, and I know I can still back out of the deal at this point without anyone giving me a funny look.