Sorry, but “item” isn’t a unit of measurement

06Aug10

Different food products come in different sizes of containers, which is why grocery stores typically include the cost per ounce right next to the price of the whole container. Even online stores like Amazon show unit costs in this fashion. But I’ve noticed a few weird exceptions. Instead of showing the cost on a per ounce basis, some products just have a cost per “item”.

What’s an item? It seems to refer to each individual box or container within a larger shipment. For instance, a case of 12 boxes of raisins would contain 12 “items”. But if each of those boxes has the weight printed right on there, shouldn’t they just calculate the price per ounce? Well, yeah.

The products listed with these goofy unit prices probably sell very poorly compared to those products with normal units of measure. Customers have to do more work to generate a fair comparison when prices are listed in non-standard terms, and they’ll gravitate to the products that include proper unit costs. So if you’ve got a local store or online shop, make sure you’re presenting unit prices based on actual units of measurement. This makes it easier for customers to decide which product to purchase, and easier decision making for shoppers usually means stronger sales volume for you as the retailer.



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