Burst Commerce Logo

Shopify product sales as percentage or dollar amounts: Which is better?

Reading time: 3 minutes Updated: April 18, 2018
<%= .Title %>

When you’re running a product sale in your Shopify store, is it better to show the savings as a percent off or a dollar amount?

For example, let’s say you are selling a shirt on sale for $15 that retails for $20. Is it better to say “25% OFF” or “SAVE $5”.

Today, I’d like to discuss why you might choose to show a product’s savings as a percentage vs a dollar amount.

We’ll discuss:

  • Dollars off favors higher priced items
  • Percentage off favors lower priced items
  • Dollars off requires less thinking
  • Percentage off for higher perceived savings
  • And the winner is…

Dollars off favors higher priced items

Showing the savings in dollar amounts tends to favor higher priced items.

Why is this?

This is because the actual savings amount can really add up for higher priced items when you list them in terms of dollars.

For example, if you are giving someone 25% off an laptop that costs $2,000 that is a savings of $500. Saying “$500 OFF” seems larger than “25% OFF” and may be seen as a better deal even though they are the same.

Percentage off favors lower priced items

Showing the percent off rather than the dollar amount may work best for lower priced items.

Why is this?

For lower priced items, the actual savings in dollars may be fairly small and may not seem like that great of a deal.

Going back to the example from above, if you are selling a shirt for $15 that usually retails for $20 you may be better off listing the savings as a percentage. In this case, saying “25% OFF” might sound like a better deal compared to “SAVE $5”.

Dollars off requires less thinking

One advantage of showing the actual dollar amount savings is that it can be much more clear to your customers.

Rather than making your customers do the math, they’ll be able to see the savings amount up front.

The easier you can make it for your customers to see what a great deal they are getting, the more likely they may be to buy your product.

Percentage off for higher perceived savings

Showing the percentage off for your products can sometimes lead to a higher perceived savings by your customers.

Generally, the higher the percentage off, the higher the perceived value of the discount.

Consider if there is a $5 item on sale for $3. That is a savings of 40% which is pretty compelling. Whereas $2 off may not be enough to motivate customers to make the purchase.

If your customers think they are getting a better deal, they are going to be more likely to buy.

And the winner is…

So which is better, showing product savings as a percentage or as a dollar amount?

The reality is that both of these techniques can be effective.

You should consider trying both of these approaches within your Shopify store. You may find that a mix of these approaches works best depending on your product and promotion scenarios.

Flair can help you promote both percentage and dollar amount savings

Flair product badges are designed to convert to make your Shopify promotions even more successful. You can easily display both the dollar amount and percent off savings to help you make more sales.

Boost your sales with Flair product badges
Flair product badges are designed to increase sales and conversions in your Shopify store by promoting urgency, scarcity, and social proof. You can use Flair to make more sales from your existing traffic — and stop losing sales immediately.