Prime with Price


Researchers found that when presenting prices using numerals without a dollar sign (20.00 instead of $20.00), there was an 8% increase in spending compared to the other formats.

The theory is that seeing the dollar sign – or any currency symbol – can subconsciously prime consumers to be more aware of the money spent in a transaction. The same effect may also be activated by seeing the word ‘dollar’ (e.g. twenty dollars). Research also found that a customer’s perception of value could also be influenced by whether the price ends in a 0 (perceived higher-quality) or 9 (perceived better-value).


Although this study was conducted at an upscale restaurant in New York City, its conclusions could be applicable across any number of verticals. Given the low risk and simple implementation, it’s worth experimenting with this effect on your next product or promotional offer.


Yang, S.S., Kimes, S., & Sessarego, M.M. (2009). $ or Dollars: Effects of Menu-price Formats on Restaurant Checks.