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Three ways that price changes can create urgency (and boost performance) in dynamic ads

March 8, 2017

Seeing the price in a dynamic ad is great, but seeing that the price just dropped by 50% is a lot more exciting.

We're all used to seeing prices in dynamic ads. Being able to see the current price of a product right inside an ad is very useful and helps make ads less annoying and more valuable for customers. This usually translates to better performance: higher click and conversion rates, and lower cost-per-action.

But you know what else is compelling to customers? Changes in price, and how a price stacks up relative to other prices.

Below are a few examples of where price changes can help tip the scales and get customers to take action or make a purchase.


Let's say you're shopping for a 2017 Toyota Camry. You've been browsing around dealership sites, so you’re getting retargeted with display ads left and right. There’s too much information to process and you end up ignoring most of the ads.

But then! You see an ACME Toyota ad saying the dealer has just dropped the price its 2017 Camrys by $1,500. The ad might even be more enticing by leaving out the original price and forcing you to return to the dealer site to find out the new discounted price. Why you’ve already decided that you’re interested in a Camry, and you’ve already decided that a Camry is in your general price range. What you’re looking for is the best deal out there.

Dynamic car dealership ad

Sample dynamic car dealership ad showing a recent price drop (this is not a real Toyota ad).

So you click the ad to find out more. At that point the dynamic ad has done its work – it’s up to the dealership site to get you to convert and request a price quote or schedule a test drive.

In this case, dynamic ad creative tracks price changes and highlights vehicles where the price has dropped, using this as teaser info to get car shoppers to return to the dealer website and convert.

Travel booking

Planning travel is hard work these days. There seem to be a thousand travel booking, travel review, hotel, car rental, and airline sites you need to visit when exploring your options and pricing out a trip. Each site promises a clever angle to get the best prices: last-minute bookings, package deals, no-frills travel, etc.

We must also consider the fact that many travelers don't have a 100% fixed budget. What they're buying is an experience, and an experience doesn't have a fixed price. What's the intrinsic "value" of going to Las Vegas for a weekend? It's entirely subjective, isn't it?

If a traveler initially budgets $1,000 for a trip but then finds a truly amazing itinerary for $1,500, it's entirely possible they will cough up the extra $500 and put whatever they can't afford on a credit card. So what's more compelling to a traveler shopping for the best deal? Just the price by itself, or knowing of a travel deal where the price has recently dropped?

Dynamic travel ad featuring price drops

Sample dynamic travel ad highlighting bookings where the price has recently dropped.

Similarly, seasonal price increases can create urgency to book travel sooner rather than waiting. Pre- or early-season bookings can be discounted, but then as a particular destination's seasonal peak gets closer, prices just tend to go up and up. Highlighting price trends can help push potential customers into locking in their bookings.

In the case of travel bookings, dynamic ad creative can track price changes and feature deals where the price has dropped, or advise of scheduled price increases and encourage travelers to lock in their bookings as early as possible.


Retailers highlight price changes and relative price comparisons constantly, so it's an industry worth covering here.

What's true in the automotive and travel verticals also holds true with retail: absolute price is important to shoppers, but so is relative price. This item costs 33% less today than it did yesterday? I'll buy it! This item is priced 50% less than this other similar item? I'll buy it! The price hasn’t changed, but now I get two items for the price of one? I'll buy it! Your sale is 20% off everything, but this item is an extra 20% off? I'll buy it!

Dynamic retargeting ad featuring similar products

Sample retail ad suggesting a similar product at a lower price point.

In conclusion...

Dynamic ads can use price change and price comparison logic to highlight and emphasize deals and special pricing. This is different than simply advertising the price (or sale price) and leaving the customer to connect the dots.

With dynamic creative, different aspects of pricing can be woven together to build urgency and tell a story that entices customers. The result is ads that do a more efficient job of connecting customers with products.

Contact us to learn more about the Canned Banners Dynamic Ads platform.