Should You Show Pricing on Your Website?
Should you display pricing on your website? The short answer is yes; at a minimum, you need to include starting prices.
If you currently do not have your pricing displayed on your website, then you might be turning away hundreds of customers. That’s a lot of lost sales.
Online users want to know “how much” before ever talking with you. In this post, we will discuss why you should display your pricing and what to do if you can’t.
Prices are a must for customers but not a sole determining factor
We live in a digital world where 81% of customers are researching pricing and visiting at least 3 websites before they make a decision (Source).
Customers want to compare prices before making a purchase decision, but the price is NOT the final decision maker in most purchases. Customers don’t always pick the cheapest option.
So what does this teach us?
Listing pricing is a must to be included in a purchasing decision BUT communicating value is what influences customers to actually buy.
If you get a lot of inquires but no sales, that is a red flag that you have not communicated your value clearly or your products/services lack the value your customers actually want.
Customers think you’re hiding something
Without straightforward pricing, customers think you have something to hide. Not only do you potentially hurt your brand credibility but you diminish your trustworthiness.
Customers are left to assume that there are hidden fees, small print exceptions, and shady sales pitches.
Customers think you’re complicated
Customers want an easy and simple online experience. When you exclude your pricing you are inadvertently telling your audience “I’m complicated” and no one likes complicated.
When a visitor has to go searching for your information, they will leave as quickly as they arrived. Consider ways you can present your information and pricing in an easy-to-understand process.
Customers can’t assess your quality
Research studies prove that price is a direct indicator of perceived quality.
Without stated pricing, customers have to assume what type of quality your brand provides. We both know what happens when we assume…our assumptions are usually wrong.
Don’t leave your customers guessing what type of value and quality you offer. Be confident in your pricing, knowing that it communicates the type of quality you provide.
The exception to the rule
With all rules, there are two exceptions to the rule of displaying pricing on your website. Let me warn you though, it most likely does not apply to your online business.
Elite luxury brands
In a scenario with a very high-end, luxury brand that is seeking to attract an elite and very exclusive clientele, hiding the pricing is a strategic tactic used to make the products and/or services seem more desirable.
The lack of pricing makes the customer think that the products and/or services are so exclusive that they actually give the customer a status symbol of wealth.
In the world of in-person-sales, there is a well-known rule. You never leave your pricing sheet with the client. When the salesperson leaves they do not want the customers shopping around and comparing pricing.
This sales tactic works great for people selling products and services face-to-face with their clients. It helps the conversation to remain on the benefits and features of their product/service rather than price alone.
However, the reality is you are probably not cold calling customers or conducting in-person-sales. Chances are more likely that they are finding and comparing you with multiple competitors online. There is just no avoiding this.
What should you do if you can’t show prices?
If you have a variable-cost pricing structure (meaning your prices are packaged and require a quote) you may be saying, “but I can’t show my prices!” Don’t worry, here are some strategies to overcome customer hesitations when you can’t show your prices.
Provide a price range
Providing a price range will set expectations of your perceived value and quality. Price ranges help customers compare you to the competition without requiring an exact number.
With a general sense, they can rank where your business is in their mind of perceived quality and value.
Give Common Examples
When you can’t give specific pricing, try providing common examples. Include the types of services or products and the average cost. These examples will help users understand the value you offer and how much they can expect to pay for the products and services they want.
If your prices aren’t visible, then you need to reassure the customer that you are trustworthy and uncomplicated.
Customers need to understand in simple terms why there are no prices and how they can easily get a quote. This explanation needs to be clear and concise. Read our Writing for the Web post to learn how.
The bottom line:
When a visitor lands on your website they have either already visited or will visit up to 3 other competitors’ websites to compare pricing. There is no avoiding this.
Your website is a direct reflection of how you conduct business and what experience you provide customers. Providing prices (or price ranges when necessary) communicates a message of helpfulness and transparency.
If you don’t want to miss out on quality leads then be transparent and confident in your pricing. There is no shame at being high-priced or low-priced. You should be more concerned about communicating value since this is the actual decision-maker for most purchases.
The consequences of not showing your pricing result in the following:
- Customers are frustrated with the research process
- Customers think you’re hiding something
- Customers think you’re too complicated
- Customers can’t access your quality
If you can’t show your pricing there are simple solutions to overcome any customer hesitations:
- Provide price ranges
- Give package examples
- Explain why