#5 - “Right” & “left” digits affects price perception

When shoppers examine multi-digit regular and sale prices in an advertisement, they read those prices from left-to-right. If the left digits are identical, they will pay less attention to those digits, and instead will focus primarily upon the disparate right-most digits in the price comparison process.
— Journal of Consumer Research 2007, Keith S. Coulter and Robin A. Coulter.

So called “right-digit effect" influences shoppers’ perception of sale prices. When the right digits are small, people perceive the discount to be larger than when the right digits are large.

Example: an item on sale for $211 from the original price of $222 is thought to be a better deal than an item on sale for $188 from an original price of $199, even though both discounts are $11.

When shoppers view regular and sale prices with identical left digits, they perceive larger price discounts when the right digits are "small” - less than 5 - than when they are "large," or greater than 5.


Use smaller numbers – from 1 to 5 - for right digits of sales prices to create a lower price (or higher discount) perception.

Dennis Pal

Ipal.Guru, 35 Brian Peck Crescent, Toronto, ON, M4G 4J7