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Airport car parking is expensive, so the proprietors have to work pretty hard to convince people to choose it over alternative transportation.

Here are four behavioural techniques an airport car parking website is using to influence customer decision-making, and which you can use in your business.

bri williams

1. Anchoring

By listing the regular, highest price first, this business is influencing customer perception of value. The principle of ‘anchoring’ means customers use the first number as the reference point against which subsequent numbers are judged. In this case, listing $109 first means $104 looks better. Similarly, $219 makes $139 look great.

The lesson? Always list your regular price before your marked down offer.

2. Size-congruency

A subtle technique that seems counter-intuitive is to list the marked down price in a point size that is smaller than the original price. For example, $219 might be listed in 14-point font size and $139 in 11-point.

Why? Research has revealed that people look for congruence between the size of the typeface and the message it’s sending. In other words, big font = big price, and small font = small price. The lesson? When listing your marked-down prices, consider using a smaller typeface relative to the original price.

3. Scarcity

Nothing gets people more nervous than the risk of missing out on something they want. In this example, the business is drawing attention to the “last few” offers being available, using scarcity to drive engagement and commitment.

4. Best seller

As a way to overcome choice overload (there were actually a total of five options to choose from), this business has tried to guide customers to a particular deal using a “best seller” icon. This is a form of social proof, nudging customers towards the offer by giving them confidence that others have already made the decision to take this option.

The lesson? Help your customers by indicating which option is the ‘best seller’ or ‘most popular’ (as long as this lines up with your highest margin products).

For more ideas on how (and whether) to display prices to maximise conversion, check out my latest book, Behavioural Economics for Business.

Bri Williams runsPeople Patterns, a consultancy specialising in the application of behavioural economics to everyday business issues.

This article was first published on SmartCompany.

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