Why You Should Show Prices On Your Website (And How To Do It)
Whether or not to show prices on your website is a thorny question for many B2B businesses. For B2C and B2B e-commerce companies, accurate online prices are non-negotiable – no customer will purchase from them otherwise – but for service businesses, manufacturers, and B2B suppliers, prices are often left as a mystery that is the customer’s responsibility to find out.
We believe that, on balance, it is good to show prices on your website, and in this article, we’ll show you how to do it sensitively and effectively. But first, we should briefly look at the deeply ingrained reasons why many businesses are reluctant to show their prices online.
Reasons businesses give for not showing prices on their website:
- People will think you are too cheap.
- People will think you are too expensive.
- Competitors will know how much you charge and will undercut you to steal your customers.
- Having price information immediately available will discourage website visitors from making contact.
- People will hold you to these prices – reducing your flexibility to provide bespoke quotations and discounts.
- People assume that ‘from’ prices are not usually representative, and the real price is always more expensive (due to undisclosed fees).
- Prices change regularly and it is a hassle to keep the web content up-to-date.
- Your pricing structure is complicated, or all prices are given on a case-by-case basis.
- Many people in the UK are culturally conditioned to be uncomfortable talking candidly about money!
Are any of these reasons valid?
This isn’t a debunking article, and we’re not going to pretend that there aren’t grounds for some of these concerns. There will be some people for whom your products and services are genuinely out of budget, for example – and yes, even some business owners genuinely feel awkward discussing hard costs. Your target businesses always earn more in turnover than your buyer personas do. It is natural for a person (who may be a business owner, purchasing manager, project manager etc) to make an instinctive snap judgement about a cost based on personal affordability, so a product or service may ‘sound expensive’ even if, in reality, it is an affordable and sensible investment for their employer. And a person might not call your sales team for prices if they are simply doing market research on price comparisons – i.e. they aren’t yet ready to make a purchase.
However, when online pricing is handled appropriately to the needs of your target market, most of these reasons become non-issues.
These are the main reasons why we feel that transparent online pricing can be beneficial:
1) Online prices will only ‘put off’ people who weren’t going to buy anyway.
Whether the reason is that your prices are too expensive, they aren’t ready to purchase, or they don’t trust your business enough (yet), the only people that will be deterred are those who aren’t going to buy. In this way, being upfront and open about your prices acts as a positive filter – preventing time wasted on people who aren’t interested, and ensuring that only people who can afford your offering get in touch.
2) Prices demonstrate your honesty
Businesses are keen to demonstrate their transparency, good communication, and honesty to their customers, and being candid about prices is a good start at turning words into actions.
3) Prices show you are proud and have nothing to hide
Clearly publishing your prices online shows prospective customers that you are proud of the fees you charge, you’re confident in the value of your products and services, and have nothing to hide. It becomes an implicit mark of quality and self-confidence that is appealing to customers.
4) Online prices give you the flexibility to offer discounts
A discounted price loses its appeal if the customer doesn’t know what the original price was supposed to be. Official online prices give you the freedom to offer generous exclusive discounts and free items to prospects, with a clear understanding of how much money your generosity is saving them. This only works, however, if you don’t lose your nerve and set your online prices artificially low.
5) Online prices are shareable
An online prices page is a good thing to share if a customer were to recommend a product or service to a friend, colleague, or associate. It makes referrals easier for your customers and, therefore, more likely. Make sure to populate your prices page with social media share buttons and give it a short URL.
6) Online prices are searchable
If you are targeting cost-specific keywords, e.g. “how much does a home swimming pool cost”, or “home swimming pool prices Derby”, a page with clear prices will rank more highly for these searches than a page that skirts around the issue.
How to do it
So, if you are ready to start publishing your prices online, here are a few short dos and don’ts.
Firstly, keep your prices all together on one page. This makes it easier for you to update when they change, and also helps direct people who are interested in prices to a central page. People who are looking into prices tend to be in a good position to make a purchase – in the consideration or decision stages of the buyer journey – so make sure there is good content on the prices page with a strong CTA and contact options for them to take the next steps.
Secondly, don’t price yourself too low. Be sure to make your online prices genuinely representative of what your products and services cost. If something is price on application or by quote only, then say so, and why. There is no value in publishing a placeholder price for consistency’s sake. ‘From’ prices can be problematic because these are always at the lower end of the price bracket and don’t give you much flexibility for discounts. It’s better to give average price ranges ‘around’ a certain figure, making use of genuine sales data.
Thirdly, focus on explaining why you price the way you do, explaining the value of your products and services (in reference to your target buyer’s pain points and challenges) and the ROI the customer should expect. It doesn’t matter then whether your competitors undercut you or not. Be the premium option in your market if you need to be, and be proud of it.
Fourthly, if you charge additional setup fees, licensing charges, delivery, optional support, and so on, or if you expect an upfront deposit payment, make this information available (whether on the page or through a link to a separate Terms & Conditions page)
And finally, if you offer credit or payment terms for your services, or a volume discount, feel free to include this information, too.
Website services from JDR
At JDR, we provide a range of web design and content creation services to give you the best search visibility for your target keywords, and the best chance of conversions with your target market. To find out more, please call 01332 343281 today.
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