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We are torn on the best convention for conveying a discount (what we offer online) versus a 'regular' price (what consumers can pay in person). The in person price will always be higher than what we offer, and if not, we wont display either option.

Currently we are weighing between two options. Both will appear as subtext below our price:

1) Regular or MSRP price struck through with % off sitting next to it

$60 30% off

OR

2) The non-discounted price they can expect to pay with the term "Reg." meaning Regular.

$60 Reg.

This is for a travel offer, so there is no MSRP.

I should also mention the space is limited, hence the difference in information between the two options. In the second option, we feel we need to label the price as reg. so users aren't confused with seeing two prices.

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I took the liberty of adding your comment in your question. Welcome to UX.se! –  rk. May 10 '13 at 21:21
    
I feel that this is almost a black pattern when it comes to UX. It's really a marketing/sales technique and I believe (only a hunch, mind you) that most UX folks would prefer one price be listed. –  DA01 May 10 '13 at 22:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Go with what works.

I'm going to take a secondary marketing approach here and show that this is the way that two top internet retailers (different industries) display their prices. Since one of them is Amazon (and they more than likely to have done the research for this), your best bet is to use the strike-thru and show the original price. Now this is how someone selling a product might display the price. Services might look different in practice.

Amazon.com

Newegg.com

That being said, Best Practice is for the offer to be clear to the user. If it's not intuitive what you're showing because there isn't enough information then chances are people will not see the value.

As I'm sure you're aware there is a much greater problem getting people to see the product and find value in the offer itself for the product in relation to what the customer feels it's worth, vs the actual technical display of the number itself; meaning if it's not priced accordingly for the target market, they'll not likely make their purchase.

Descriptions:

  • List price - If you were pricing for something off of a list

  • MSRP - If you were selling something from a manufacturer. On the same Wikipedia reference they list "Rack Rate" for hotels.

  • Retail price - Store items typically show say something about retail price.

  • Reg. price - Should cover anything else.

  • Web Only - Special rate offered online. Note: Delta airlines uses "Web Fare"

In my experience when dealing with travel discounts I'm not normally going to see a difference in price on the screen, whether it's Hotel, Rental Car, or Air travel... however they typically show the fare discount at the end of the transaction once I put in my discount code. Some airlines have gone to the trouble of rebranding their online fare altogether.

Southwest Airlines calls their web-only rate "Wanna Get Away" enter image description here

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mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Why dont you go with something simple like this where you show the price up front and then call the special webprice by using a bold color. As the user scans from left to right,his first attention is drawn to the actual price and then the bright red text draws his attention to the web price.

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