Why paying more feels better


Consumerism has provided us a sort of power – the power to experience more. The desire to have things bigger, faster, better. While we may think we love a good deal, the fact that people love paying more for a variety of goods and services, including software, has been proven time and time again. 

Do you have a cable TV subscription of more than one hundred channels, when you only watch four or five? Have you bought the latest smartphone with extensive features not found in older models, only to neglect to ever put those extra features to good use? Do you pay more for bigger hotel rooms, just for a night or two’s stay, even though you will be spending most of your time out touring the city? Many times, we just love the thought of having the extras, and feel better because we paid for it ourselves. 

Experts in the psychology of consumerism say that pricing has a massive impact on how people construe an experience. A study conducted by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) on two groups of people who ate the same food at a buffet, but paid two different prices for the food, revealed that those who paid more expressed a higher amount of satisfaction at the food they consumed. Paying more enhances the feelings of pleasure associated with the product/service purchased. 

This psychology of paying more seems to draw on the assumption that when people pay more, they feel more powerful, more in control. Also, the freedom and the wider range of (sometimes useless) options that come with paying for more product features, seems to bring more satisfaction to the consumer. 

The same principle applies to software

People and businesses tend to purchase solutions and applications with overloaded features that they really don’t intend to use in the first place. Simply look at your computer or smart phone and count how many apps are there that you rarely or never use. Many businesses adopt enterprise software applications that provide large-scale solutions such as content management, CRM, business intelligence and ERP software, when all a start-up business may need is a few basic tools to get the business up and running. 

Yes, it feels good to pay more for bigger features, more options and other extras; it makes us feel better about our purchasing power and ourselves. However, with that said, would it make more sense to purchase a software solution that works exactly how we need it to work, and only pay for the features that we actually use? 

Focusing on the needs of your company and determining which solutions you really need to get your business running efficiently, is a good way to weed out the unnecessary features that various software packages offer. At the end of the day, what matters most is the productivity that comes from focusing on and achieving your primary business goals with only the necessary tools – no more, no less.