I've been thinking about the placement of decoy products. For example, let's say you have a menu with
- A. an egg and cheese sandwich for $5.00 (the decoy option)
- B. an egg, cheese, avocado, tomato, and bacon sandwich for $5.50 (the main option)
Option A would serve as a decoy because you don't expect anyone to buy it, but it makes the other option look much more reasonably priced. The two options have to be placed close to each other for the decoy to serve its purpose.
My question is: Should decoys be placed before or after the products they're intended to sell?
My instinct says that the decoy should be placed first.
Placed first, the decoy serves as an anchor, locking the user into an idea of what a reasonable price is. However, if the first thing the user sees is the clearly over-priced option A, they may develop a bias against the prices of the site or even leave the site because it looks too overpriced at their first impression.
Alternatively, the decoy could be placed second.
Placed second, the main option (B) grabs the user's attention, with an interesting product and a somewhat reasonable price. Because the user encounters it first, I think they would be more likely to buy it instead of other options (although I haven't found any studies yet to support this assumption). In this positioning, once the user sees the decoy, they realize that the first option is a "deal" and return to it.
Does anyone know of any studies that would suggest whether the decoy should be placed first or second?