Research into behavioral economics shows that Bonus Pack offers increase sales more than a simple discount. One experiment conducted by researchers from the Universities of Miami, Minnesota and Texas showed that 73% more hand lotion units were sold when offered in as a bonus pack than when offered with an equivalent discount (more details can be found here).
It turns out customers err when relating the discount percentage to the base value of the product. This effect is called Base Value Neglect and is one of the many cognitive biases used in designing promotions and pricing.
Let us analyze a simple example. Suppose we are offering a washing powder for 10£ a box (unit). We can present the customer with two options:
- A 20% discount.
- 20% more of the washing powder for free (a bonus pack).
The math here is simple. In the “20% discount” scenario the base value for a unit of our product is decreased by 20% down to 8£ per box.
In the second scenario we give 20% more of the product. Now we sell 1.2 units for 10£ which, through a simple division, comes down to 8.3£ per unit.
As you can see, not only does the Bonus Pack offer drives more sales, it is also more economical. This does not mean that you should exploit this fallacy to manipulate your customers, but that you need to take these biases into account and make your communication and pricing simple to understand. There is also research suggesting price discounts perform better for expensive products like cars, tv sets etc. while bonus packs are ideal for inexpensive, every-day use goods.