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The context is a booking/holiday planning platform. A user can select a number of days he wants to book a good (hotel, vacation package ...) and a price for each offer has to be shown.

Assuming that the service is consumed via a mobile platform, where the space is very limited, and just one between total price and average price per night can be shown, which of the following options improves conversion?

  • showing average price per night
    Pros

    • maybe the user prefers to assess the suitability of the offer by figuring out how much the price per night is. At least, I frequently do that
    • there is a smaller number shown, that could probably help the user to make an impulsive decision and go to the next step

    Cons

    • sounds like a fishing price
  • showing the final price

    Pros

    • no surprises for the user when he will proceed to the next steps of the procedure

    Cons

    • huge prices are scary? It's a thought, I actually don't know how human mind works in this case

Of course this is just part of thoughts, it would be cool to hear other pros and cons and opinions from more expert people.

I even ask because out there the situation is not very clear. Booking.com, that is amongst the best booking services currently online, shows the total price. HRS, another pretty big name in the booking market, shows average per night/room. And they are not even mobile.

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I have a scary experience of this when I was searching for a villa to rent in Bali. The site had many very nice objects, but not anywhere could one figure out what the price that was shown entailed. It was right in the middle of the average day and average week prices I had seen on other sites. It scared me off and I looked elsewhere. To boil it down, what ever you go for make it clear what type of price it is that you're showing to the user. –  AndroidHustle Feb 19 '13 at 9:22

1 Answer 1

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In my opinion (full disclosure: I'm responsible for the UX of some touristic portals) the most important aspect is consistency.

On our sites the user can see the prices before entering any date, in this scenario the most meaningful choice is to show prices per night (per person), because they are easier to compare. Hence even after the user entered her preferred date range she will continue to see prices per night (per person).

If your users cannot see any content before entering dates, your use case is different and I'm not sure how to proceed.

If your aim is to increase conversions, only an AB test will tell you how your app/website performs wrt this aspect. In any case do show which kind of prices you're showing to the user!

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Good point. Even though I didn't get why, if you show the prices before entering any date, it turns more meaningful to show prices per night. It's true that they are easier to compare, but shouldn't be the same for any other scenario then? –  Nicola Miotto Feb 20 '13 at 9:21
    
For instance: you may have some accommodation that offers special rates for a defined number of nights, in this case comparing the total price makes could make more sense in my opinion. –  Daniele Feb 20 '13 at 12:32

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