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I've seen a website promoting a software that shows a dynamic chart displaying the software price's variation over time :

market-based charting

Saying :

Pricing is market-based, increasing or decreasing proportionally to the number of active accounts.

I can see three behaviors for customers in response to this chart :

  1. Should I buy the software in a hury before price rises ?
  2. Should I wait before buying the software because the price can potentially drop ?
  3. Well, it doesn't affect my choice.

Any hints on side-effects for displaying this kind of informations ?

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Overall I think that the effect from this will be negative for any sites in which the historical pricing is not a major factor (such as stock market websites). The sites for which it is useful are almost always targeted at professionals that (should) use objective criteria to evaluate whether to buy or not.

When dealing with the general public, their buying decision is primarily emotional, not objective. The more reasons you give them not to buy, the less likely they will be to buy. In this regard, people tend to be optimists, hoping that they will win. As a result, this is how I see a typical decision making process.

  1. Price is trending up. "I'll wait for it to come down again".
  2. Price is trending down. "I'll wait for it to drop even more".
  3. Price is level. "Why are they showing me this?". In this case there isn't any reason to show the trend as it is just a flat price.

Overall, in situations where you aren't dealing with traders (of all types) I can see little reason to include it, and a lot of reason not to.

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