Apr 12 2016

Victoria Emerson: A Case Study On Ditching Zeroes

Which is a better bargain: a product that costs $29.00 or one that costs $29? Seems like a trick question, right? Of course, the prices are the same. But we all know that perception isn’t reality. Our brain rapidly interprets infinite amounts of data to make sense of the stimuli, and sometimes those interpretations and our actions are not entirely rational. Indeed, if all of our decisions were rational, there wouldn’t be such a thing as consumer price perception theory, and marketers wouldn’t bother to advertise something at “$19.99” instead of at “$20.”

Our most recent test for jewelry company Victoria Emerson told us that shoppers perceived a list price of $29 as less expensive than a list price of $29.00. These results echo Monica Wadhwa and Kuangjie Zhang study on the “roundedness” of product prices which examined “the differential impact of roundedness of prices on product purchase decisions” and was the inspiration of this test. While rounded prices differ from shortened prices, both “are more fluently processed.” By using the information we have about Victoria Emerson’s demographics, visitor purchase behavior, and findings from past tests, we were able to determine the following about the company’s fans:

  • When shopping for Victoria Emerson jewelry, they are driven by emotion and feelings.
  • They prefer pricing structures that promote value but do not discount the quality of the products.
  • They understand the Victoria Emerson brand, and therefore respond best to clear messaging that does not add complexity to the purchasing process.

Using our knowledge of the Victoria Emerson shopper, combined with consumer price perception theory, we hypothesized that Victoria Emerson’s visitors would be receptive to the truncated pricing, which would result in increased revenue per visitor, conversion rate and add-to-cart clicks.

Test Setup

The Hypothesis

By rounding up to whole dollar amounts and removing the “cents,” to shorten the product prices, we believe that users will perceive the price as lower, which will increase conversion rates.

The KPIs

Primary KPI

  • Conversion Rate

Secondary KPIs

  • RPV
  • Add to Cart Clicks

The test was very straightforward. In it, we:

  • Removed the cents from every product price across the site
  • Targeted all visitors
  • Targeted all devices
control vs variation victoria emerson test

The test was easy to run since Victoria Emerson already uses a flat dollar amount for all of its products. Keep in mind that sites with prices that do not end in zero will add a level of complexity to the test, since you would be testing actual price changes and not just a visual change.


Early on in the test, it was apparent that users were receptive to the change in the way the site listed its prices, and we saw large increases in each of the KPIs. We continued to let the test run to ensure data quality, and we were able to reach 100% statistical significance for each KPI in favor of the variation.

This test is what we call testing nirvana! It was strategic, had a quick run time, was easy to permanently implement and made a huge impact.

This test confirmed our hypothesis, informing us that users associate the length of the price with the cost of the product. By removing the cents and shortening the price, users were more receptive and confident that the price of the product was representative of the value of the product. This increased the rate at which users added a product to their cart by 9.3%, placed orders by 29% and revenue per visitor by 43.5%.

What’s Next

Victoria Emerson was able to take these learning and easily implement this change permanently on their site which you can see for yourself here. As for Blue Acorn, we will add this knowledge to our repertoire of data which helps us create a more a complete picture of Victoria Emerson’s visitor demographics. We look forward to using this data to create more tests and keep the needle moving forward for Victoria Emerson. On to the next test!


Erin McElwee

Before Erin's career at Blue Acorn, she worked as a data analyst and digital marketing analyst, specializing in eCommerce. Since joining Blue Acorn, Erin has taken on the role of a Conversion Consultant, concentrating on eCommerce optimization through the use site testing. As a Conversion Consultant, her professional interests and goals revolve around data-driven decisions and measurable results, which she passes on to her clients in the form of customized, efficient tests.

One Comment

May 12 2016

wow…….really this was a great info for us…want more like this


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