“Most popular package” pricing design

This seemed like the best place to ask this question since it’s design related but I’m sorta more interested in the reasons behind this trend and any A/B testing that may have been done.

The trend being, that its rather popular to setup Pricing Packages with a pre-selected “Most Popular” or “Most Value” type heading. For example:

https://www.namecheap.com/hosting/vps.aspx

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This is just an example.

My personal opinion is I don’t like these, as a user, but I’m in the process of creating a website with pricing plans.

Every design my friend and I have come up with, we cannot find something that visually works that doesn’t look out of place.


SO My question is, do these really work? Do they provide value and are there any studies that back this up? Or has anyone had experience where this has worked for them?

Answer

It works, but it’s not the tags. It’s much more interesting:

Framing and the Goldilocks effect

On persuasion techniques, the Goldilocks effect is used by designers to direct a user towards one “best choice”, by simply making the other choices either have just basic features (free or cheaper, but not good enough) or too many features (too expensive, too many superfluous add ons). That way, by means of framing, the right choice seems to be the one the designer intended all along: the middle one.

Framing, as Smashing Magazine puts it:

This principle acknowledges that people aren’t very good at estimating
the absolute value of what they are buying. People make comparisons,
either against the alternatives you show them or some external
benchmark.

Also, since we are on the persuasion topic, the “Most Popular” label on the option works as Social Proof, another technique often used. Nielsen and The baymard institute have run tests on the effectiveness of this technique with positive results (I’ll look for those if I can). But what I know you can do to boost that result is tell the user not just that it’s pupular, but how many people chose that. e.g.: “87% chose this” “5.900 People bought this”. That way making that claim, “most popular”, more tangible.

Read more on the Goldilocks effect here:
http://shortboredsurfer.com/2010/09/27/understanding-the-power-of-the-goldilocks-effect/

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Phill , Answer Author : JotaRMonteiro

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