#15 - Context influences price perception

When examining prices, shoppers focus on the relative differences of the price. This leads to a lower-price perception when it is in a set with more expensive products, and to a higher-price perception when it is in a set with less-expensive ones.
— Journal of Consumer Research 2011, Marcus Cunha, Jr. and Jeffrey D. Shulman.

Shoppers tend to perceive products as more expensive when they are grouped with expensive items, and less expensive when grouped with inexpensive ones.

Displays that elicit a "generalization mindset" can lead shoppers to perceive a product price to be closely related to other products in the vicinity.

The opposite – “discrimination mindset” - occurs ifshoppers are encouraged to think about the uniqueness of a product in the set. When shoppers are discriminating, a given price is perceived as less expensive if it is viewed in the presence of other high-priced products, and more expensive when grouped with less expensive ones.


To put shoppers in a discrimination mindset, use a display strategy for a new high end product that emphasizes how it is different from its competitors.