Use Round Prices in the Right Context

Round prices (e.g., $50) are easier to process than specific prices (e.g., $49.63), so they work better in certain scenarios.

Nick Kolenda
Updated on
Wine bottle for $20

Round prices work better for:

1. Emotional Purchases

Round prices just “feel right” — a sensation that matches the nature of emotional products. Customers preferred champagne with a round price ($40), yet preferred a calculator with a sharp price ($39.72 and $40.29; Wadhwa and Zhang, 2015).

2. Convenience Purchases

Round prices trigger an “easy” sensation, and customers misattribute this feeling to the transaction — the purchase seems faster and easier (Wieseke, Kolberg, & Schons, 2016). Therefore, use round prices when customers prefer a fast checkout.

3. Social Benefits

Round prices are divisible by other numbers, and customers misattribute this connectivity. Customers prefer round prices for social products (e.g., conference tickets) because they confuse the numerical connectivity for social connectivity (Yan & Sengupta, 2021).

  • Wadhwa, M., & Zhang, K. (2015). This number just feels right: The impact of roundedness of price numbers on product evaluations. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(5), 1172- 1185.
  • Janiszewski, C., & Uy, D. (2008). Precision of the anchor influences the amount of adjustment. Psychological Science, 19(2), 121-127.
  • Wieseke, J., Kolberg, A., & Schons, L. M. (2016). Life could be so easy: The convenience effect of round price endings. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 44(4), 474- 494.
  • Yan, D., & Sengupta, J. (2021). The Effects of Numerical Divisibility on Loneliness Perceptions and Consumer Preferences. Journal of Consumer Research, 47(5), 755-771.