Decisions are rarely made in a vacuum and as a result the order in which options and choices are offered becomes important. Regular readers of the Inside Influence Report will be familiar with the phenomenon of perceptual contrast – the idea that you can change someoneâs perception of an offer not by changing the offer at all, but instead by changing what they experience immediately before you present your offer (Cialdini, 2009). A $25 wine seems expensive if it appears halfway down a list that begins with a house wine priced, at say, $10. However that same $25 wine will appear more reasonably priced if the options on the list are reversed and start with a $50 wine first. Nothing changes about the wines, just the order in which they are presented.
However, rather than just single items, products and services will often be made up of a package of multiple items. For example a movie theatre might offer customers the option to watch 15 movies for $99. A lawyer may offer 10 hours of consulting time for $2500. An online music retailer might charge $29 to download 70 songs.
In such situations does the order in which the price and number of items is presented actually matter? And if it does, what might be the implications for your influence attempts?