Pricing in USD or EUR? What is better for a global SaaS?

Hi all,

This is my first post on IH so please let me know if this is off-topic.
I just started building on my first real/ambitious service, and even if I won't have any pricing from the start, it got me thinking about what is best here in terms of pricing.

I am based in the EU, so naturally, it would be easier for me to display pricing in Euro. However, as my target audience is global, and many reside in the United States. I assume that many would prefer seeing the price in USD? Since 1 EUR is ca. 1.17 USD, the pricing can look a bit lower than it actually is if displayed in EUR. On the other hand, people not knowing the conversion rate might need to do some extra thinking which can cause some mental friction in the sign up flow.

A solution could be to implement a switch between USD and EUR (or any local currency), but then I would probably need to implement an accurate exchange rate and the pricing could end up looking "awkward." For example:
89 EUR => 104,45 USD
89 EUR => 11.433,11 JPY

What is your take on this and do you think displaying the price in EUR would refrain people from the US (or any other country) to sign up?

Which currency is better to display for conversion rates? EUR, USD, or local currency?
  1. EUR
  2. USD
  3. Local currency
  4. Don't know
  1. 5

    Keep it simple to start with, go with USD only. Also in Europe most people are used to USD, especially for SaaS and software.

    When it becomes a business priority, then you may experiment with showing EUR and see if it may improve conversion. But I'm sure this won't be what makes it or breaks it - so keep it simple and focus on shipping.

    1. 2

      This, I think USD is still the easiest accepted currency for people, also on landing pages etc. for communication.

    2. 2

      I guess you are right about that, and of course pricing is most likely something that can be changed later on even if it might cause some resentment amongst the users.

      1. 1

        Not sure changing currency would be a big problem for current users (you may also not need to force users to renew with a another currency).

        Also, collecting revenue in two different currencies (if you have a EUR and USD account) is a good way to hedge fluctuating exchange rates.

  2. 4

    Half of my customers are from europe. So I spent some time coding a nice currency picker. But nobody uses it, they pay in USD and don't care one bit 🤷‍♂️

    1. 1

      Just stumbled on this thread and was happy to hear from someone speaking from personal experience! I checked out your pricing page. I wonder if the reason people are picking USD over Euro is because 99 Euro is currently $114 USD so people pick the cheaper price? Also are you somehow detecting the local currency and showing that by default?

      1. 1

        Thanks for checking my product mate! Yeah I thought it could be that. But I used to have a dozen currencies that matched USD exactly in terms of value. And nobody used it 🤷‍♂️

        But eventually I will display the price based on the person's country, I agree it's the best thing to do.

  3. 2

    Euro outside of Europe is super confusing for people. Everybody knows what $$$ sign means. So if you don’t have an option to go with local currencies euro, pound, dollar. Go with the USD as this is de facto standard

  4. 2

    Who said you should have exact conversation in EUR to USD. You can maintain 2 different pricing list for 2 different currency.

    Let people to use currency switcher to switch between.

    1. 2

      This. Having one global price is really not necessary. Although I think most people will be happy to pay in dollars, it is nicer to see one's local currency. I think you might actually get a slight uptick in the number of people buying your product. Also, if you go to local pricing, that lets you explore price optimisation on a per-geo basis. It might well be that the right price for the US market is not the optimum choice in Europe / Asia / Africa.

  5. 1

    As an American, $USD hahaha make it round, $99 sounds a lot better for whatever reason

    I bought a couple products from a European company and they did not keep the exchange rate updated. I ended up eating an extra 15% in costs. While the product is good, I did feel a bit burned by the pricing.

  6. 1

    I played around with this a lot and settled on just showing prices in USD.

    Rightly or wrongly the whole world seems to understand what the USD means to them in their own currency.

  7. 1

    Why not show $USD for international customers and 89€ for EU citizens? Keep the same number and simply switch currency.

    1. 1

      It's not that easy if you're using something like Stripe. you need the plans setup in the background which means... for a SaaS with 4 plans you'd need 8 subscriptions setup in Stripe. It gets really difficult to maintain, especially in the early days when most folk will be experimenting with pricing.

  8. 1

    Credibility is a big factor when starting out. I would go with the currency where your company is registered and operates from, and that matches your office address details etc.

    We operate only in Euros and most of users come from the UK , followed by the US-- it's never been an issue.

    1. 1

      Good point. Also, not being a finance person, but I guess it helps with accounting too if all payments are made in my local currency.

  9. 1

    Assuming it's an English language product, USD. We're a SaaS and ~80% of our customers are outside the Eurozone. Of course those figures may shift depending on who you're targeting and the language.

  10. 1

    I do a lot of international shopping. Ideally, I want to see local currency, but if not possible USD. I know the conversation rate from USD and can quickly get a sense of the price. Euro and any other currency is always a headache, and I have to open xe.com and convert.

    A lot of companies nowadays show prices in the local currency. And they tend to be odd numbers like you mentioned. So I do not think that is an issue.

    But one thing you should really really not do is what you have done in your post. Please follow the international convention for currency delimiters when showing international rates. Commas for 100/1000 separation and decimal point for the pennies/cents part. So your numbers should read

    89 EUR => 104.45 USD
    89 EUR => 11,433.11 JPY

    The first few times I bought from Europe, I did not buy things because it was shown as 11,99 EUR, and for me, that meant it was Thousand One Hundred and Ninety Nine. I know of atleast one large business deal that fell through because of a misunderstanding on the price where the price was shown with the European style delimiters.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the input @pras2018 :) I think you bring up a really good point about currency delimiters. I guess a good rule of thumb is to always go with the international standards. Do you happen to remember the name of the company in the deal that fell through because of this?

      1. 1

        Even though it has been more than a decade. I do not think it would be appropriate taking names.

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