Van Westendorp price sensitivity meter has been helping companies build product pricing strategies since 1976. Essentially, it’s a chart showing the optimal pricing point that will maximize potential revenue from a given product (we’ll show you an example in a moment).
Naturally, the chart will look different for every business. To create one, you’ll need to ask your customers 4 questions and then analyze their responses 👇
Those questions are:
- At what price would you begin to think the product is too expensive to consider?
- At what price would you begin to think the product is so inexpensive that you would question the quality and not consider it?
- At what price would you begin to think the product is getting expensive, but you still might consider it?
- At what price would you think the product is a bargain – a great buy for the money?
When you’re planning to introduce a new product or a new product category, the Van Westendorp meter is invaluable. It helps you eliminate the guesswork and make data-driven decisions about pricing.
To run a Van Westendorp price sensitivity analysis, all you need is to publish a survey form, like the one above, on your website or in your cloud app.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to do it using the Getsitecontrol survey builder.
Here is how to add a price sensitivity meter to your website
At Getsitecontrol, we’ve already put the Van Westendorp pricing questions together into a neat-looking survey template. All you need is to adjust the numbers according to your product pricing, publish the survey on selected pages of your website, and analyze the results.
Once you get the results, you’ll be able to draw a graph showing a pricing range your customers consider acceptable for your product:
From this graph, you’ll get a better understanding of how your customers evaluate products, and what the optimal price point is.
Step 1. Choose the survey type you want to conduct
Before you start building the survey, you should decide whether you want to ask open-ended questions or provide respondents with options. While the original idea seems to suggest the former, some studies show examples where responses are pre-defined.
Not sure what the difference is? Compare question variations below.
👆This is a survey template featuring open-ended questions. In this scenario, customers will need to manually type answers.
An alternative to the survey with open-ended questions is a survey featuring response options 👇
Although Getsitecontrol allows you to implement both methods, we’ll focus on the latter because it is much easier to analyze. Besides, chances are that you already have a range in mind: all you need is to narrow it down and select the perfect price.
Step 2. Add the template to the Getsitecontrol dashboard
Once you’ve decided which template you’d like to use, click it and follow the instructions on the right-hand side.
At this point, if you haven’t created a Getsitecontrol account yet, you'll be prompted to sign up, and the template will go straight to your dashboard.
Step 3. Adjust the numbers
Since the questions of Van Westendorp's survey are universal, you just need to change the numbers in the response options. To do that, click on the radio buttons and edit the text.
Repeat this for the next three pages of the survey.
Step 4. Edit the form submission success page
Page 5, the last page in your survey, is called the submission success page. It’s typically used to thank respondents for participating and encourage further action. You can leave it as is, or change the content entirely.
For instance, if you’re running this survey to figure out the best price for a new product, you may suggest subscribing for the launch notification. Simply add a new field with an email placeholder and adjust the copy:
💡 If you offered an incentive for survey participation – for instance, a 10% discount – use this last page to deliver the code.
Step 5. Create a welcome page to invite customers to participate
You probably don’t want to start asking your customers questions about pricing out of the blue. So the last step we suggest is to create a welcome page that will serve as an invitation to participate in a survey.
Creating a new page is easy. Hit the cross sign and drag the new page to the beginning of the row. Remove all the unwanted fields by clicking them and proceeding to ‘Remove.’ Then click the text and type your copy in the title and description fields.
Notice that we’ve also added buttons to the page. The first button takes respondents to the following page where the survey starts. The second button closes the popup entirely.
To add a button, just hit
+ Add button in the right-side menu. Then type the button text and apply the correct button-click action. In the former case, it’s ‘Submit,’ in the latter case, it’s ‘Close.’
Select the page where you want to display the survey
Every website is different, so there’s no rule for when you should display this pricing survey.
If you own an online store, for instance, you may want to approach paying customers only, because the opinion of non-paying visitors might be irrelevant.
Now, here is how to set up page-level targeting in Getsitecontrol. Open the
Targeting tab and find the Include field. Then type the URLs where you want to display the survey. In the example below, we’ve added it to the shopping cart page 👇
By default, the survey will pop up as soon as a customer opens the shopping cart – hence the ‘automatically’ option in the
Start displaying widget field. To avoid showing the survey to the same person repeatedly, scroll down to Stop displaying widget and select ‘Forever upon action.’
Feel free to toggle other targeting controls if you want to display the survey after a time delay or to a selected audience segment only.
At this point, you can hit
Save & close and activate the survey in your dashboard. If you’ve connected Getsitecontrol to your website already, the survey will go live.
In the following section, we’ll show you how to view and interpret the results.
How to analyze the results of the Van Westendorp price model survey
Once you feel you’ve received enough responses, it’s time for analysis.
Getsitecontrol generates real-time reports showing how many people have chosen each option on each survey page. To access the report, open
Statistics on the dashboard and click ‘Responses’. Here is what it will look like:
Next, you have two options:
- Manually add the data to an Excel spreadsheet and build a line chart based on the results.
- Download all the responses in a .xlsx file, build a pivot table to calculate the percentage of responses for each price, and build a chart based on the pivot table results.
No matter which method you choose, you should be able to draw a chart looking like the one below. It defines an acceptable price range and shows you the optimal price point.
In this chart, the acceptable price range is $14.25-$16, and the optimal price point is $14.49
Van Westendorp’s model defines three more points you should take into consideration. Here they are:
The point of marginal cheapness is the intersection of the “Expensive” and the “Too cheap” graphs. In this chart, it is $14.25. That means people aren’t likely to make a purchase at this point and below because of the quality doubts.
The point of marginal expensiveness — the intersection of the “Too expensive” and the “Bargain” graphs — is $16. At this point and above, more sales will be lost because customers feel the product isn’t worth the money.
Finally, the point where the “Expensive” and the “Bargain” lines cross each other is called the point of price indifference. In the chart above, that point will be $15.49. This is where most are indifferent to the price. In other words, approximately the same percentage of customers start thinking the price is getting too low for a good-quality product as those who believe the product is getting too expensive.
The Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter is one of the easiest ways to perform market research when it comes to pricing strategy. It allows you to precisely estimate acceptable pricing based on your customers’ direct responses. It also shows you the points where you may lose sales because the price will outweigh the quality of the product by being too high or too low.
Planning to try the Van Westendorp pricing meter on your website? Make sure your respondents are well aware of the context or familiar with the product — otherwise you risk collecting inaccurate data. A brief guide to using targeting settings in Getsitecontrol will help you make sure you’re displaying the survey to the right people at the right moment.
Nina De la Cruz is a content strategist at Getsitecontrol. She is passionate about helping small and medium ecommerce brands achieve sustainable growth through email marketing.
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