One dilemma that is commonly shared by all the entrepreneurs in the world is whether to include pricing on their website or not. Based on studies by Google , Pricing is one of the most important piece of information your prospect is looking for on your website. The practice of including pricing on websites has been a debatable topic. While a majority of experts strictly challenge the practice,there are many marketing pundits who sing in favor of it.
So, what is the ideal rationale? How and in what way is it going to influence a customer’s buying behavior if you mention it, is a question that remains to be answered completely. Let’s dig!
- Why you should include price on your website?
Let’s start with why you must include the price of your services on your website. Here are a few important points of why you should:
- Unaffordability belief – In prospects’ mind, your prices may be sky-high which is different from reality. Showing the price removes doubts related to affordability that stops them from buying.
- Filter system – You dont need the bargain hunters anyway. Showing price spares you from having to entertain everyone. You target the right customers who can actually afford your services.
- Transparency – The way people shop has changed a lot. Websites that addresses pricing are considered more transparent and trustworthy as compared to their competitors.
- SEO benefits – Having a pricing page means your website is definitely going to rank higher against others when someone searches for your product’s price.
- Breaks common prejudice – It’s a common belief that if you ask the price, maybe you can’t afford it. For those who are trying to estimate the standard rate of a particular project, they will simply pass you by for others since they can’t talk to you to get an estimate.
- Why you should not include price on your website?
- Competition – Your customers are eager to discover your pricing strategies so that they could quote comparatively less when customers are looking for an alternative. (Anyway, it shouldnt be a surprise that they know your price. It is pretty easy to fake as a prospect to get your quote. )
- Value and selling strategy – Sales 101 tells us that value must come before pricing. Your offering should solve their needs so well that price is not even an issue. Hence, setting up a sales meeting first is necessary. This is totally valid and probably one of the biggest argument against putting prices up, especially for high priced items.
- Presumably expensive – There are many who would not explore your entire website if they directly come to your pricing page and find it too much.
- Tailored services – If you are an artist who creates custom paintings, listing price might not be the best solution. Prices for creative business are tailored specifically for each project.
- Some are also looking for talent – The niche-industry of ultra-wealthy customers who care more about talent and less about price would be turned off when they sight your pricing. Low pricing may be perceived as low talent.
- If you do include price, what should be the strategies?
While creating the price list, you must ensure that it would leave no room for any kind of doubts or misunderstandings. “This is what you pay, that is what you get” – as simple as that. It would also speak about value, delivery, payment procedures, revisions, etc. Following are a few proven pricing strategies you can adopt for your website:
Display the lowest price – Start with the most basic price that you can sell your services for. You can, but of course, add other charges as “annoyance tax” as and when needed to bring the price to a level of amount you’d normally charge.
Display competitors’ features and pricing with yours on a table – This strategy could get you the maximum customers if your implementation is superb. Compare your prices along with your competitors and show your prospective clients how you are better in every way in terms of the features covered.
People are inherently lazy. If you do all the research for them and save them all the effort, wouldn’t they take it ? Of course, it must be a genuine comparison and your product has to be superior in some ways.
Highlight one option in the middle – One of the most popular and highly used pricing strategies nowadays is offering 3 or more plans of your product price and highlighting one of them. The strategy here is to provide three or four variants of your product price starting from the lowest affordable amount to the most expensive. The least expensive plan will have almost negligible features as compared to the other plans. Similarly, the most popular and expensive one will have everything you have to offer in your business. However, the middle plan will have the right mix of both of them. Eventually, the middle plan would sell more as it would seem both, reasonable and affordable.
Pricing plans mentioned in the middle has been found to attract more customers and, therefore, generate more click-through rates as compared to the other plans.
Note: Anything more than 4 plans is a no-no. Research has shown that too many choices will bring up opportunity costs and overwhelm your user and stop them from taking action. 3-4 choices is ideal for creating maximum sales. Thereis the illusion of choice , yet allowing them to make a no-brainer decision.
Always Keep Testing
No matter which tactic you chose, keep testing the viability and performance of the pricing strategy and change it if you think the results are not satisfactory.
- Should you include or should you not?
At this point, you may be thinking that displaying prices on website is only applicable in the B2C market for low priced items. To a certain extent, if price is your USP(meaning you sell lower than anyone else), as in the case of Walmart, then you absolutely have to display it. However, there are other schools of thought as well.
Displaying prices could jolly well be a marketing strategy. Case in point. River pools is a company selling swimming pools, a high-price customized product. It is those items in which you can only derive the price by going onsite to measure the space and finding out the requirements. Sounds familar ? Many B2b industries are just like that.
Also because of that, there has been cases of many buyers getting cheated and quoted unreasonably high prices. There were alot of mistrust in the industry. Then Marcus Sheridan, the founder of River Pools came along and changed everything. He displayed the prices of swimming pools on his website publicly. Not only that, he also provided something like a buyers guide that included prices of every type of swimming pool you can think of. With that guide, there is no way people will get cheated again. Sure, he didnt get to quote high prices and earn big margins after that, but he gained alot of customers. His website became the most visited swimming pool website in the world.
”I know, but people say I shouldn’t show my prices. ”
By now, you know internet has changed the world. Really, with Google and Facebook, nothing is a secret these days. People can even go to Alibaba or Taobao to check the costs of your goods. So it is a question of whether your competitors show prices first or you ?
- What types of business should include price?
Businesses that sell products whose prices are often consistent throughout the internet will turn away customers without pricing. Following are some business types that must include pricing:
- Website support and maintenance
- Courses provider
- Ecommerce store (obviously)
For these kinds of products, mentioning the price outright might well be considered a boon for the business.
A buyer is habituated to search for the price. That’s the part of his buying behavior. Modern-day customer craves for transparency. So, first evaluate yourself and then evaluate the kind of customers that you are going to witness on your site.
Always remember that no one understands your business and your customers better than you. You are your business’s expert and whether to include price or not is a judgment that can be best taken by no one but you.