Strategy

The Pros and Cons to Including Pricing on Your Website

Since Hidden Depth creates custom designed websites we created a happy medium to including pricing on our website. We created a website budget estimate tool which allows visitors to select the normal items required on a website and get an estimate on what their project will cost. Since launching this system 2 months ago we have noticed an increase in enquiries and less time spent talking to people who either did not have the budget to work with us or were simply tyre kickers. I believe that putting this pricing on our site has helped people see us as an upfront and honest business, who is here to help them.

The question as to whether including pricing on your website or not is a long debated one and the answer still varies based on your site and target customer base. While the pros outweigh the cons in most cases, you have to think about both your customers and the competition when listing or not listing pricing information.

The success of online marketplaces like Amazon show the value in listing prices, but a higher end exotic car dealership may not show anything to encourage interested buyers into talking to the dealer directly. Consider your end goal and audience and the answer should become clear.

Pro: Be Transparent To Customers

Customers are geared to look for pricing information before making a purchase. It’s one of the reasons price comparison sites are so popular. In fact, 65% of consumers spend at least 16 minutes comparison shopping before buying. If your price is listed, you’re providing transparency. As one consumer points out, our minds jump to the conclusion that no pricing information equals expensive and out of reach.

Con: Show Your Hand To Competitors

Listing your prices might make you feel like you’re vulnerable to the competition, but cost is something customers look for. Of course, you can always take the approach of only showing prices after an item is added to the cart. Customers could be annoyed with the extra step as they prefer a simple checkout process, but competitors won’t be aware of your pricing and won’t be able to undercut you as easily.

Pro: Build Trust

When all your pricing and fees are listed upfront, there are no nasty surprises once a customer tries to make a purchase. This helps build trust with your customers. They’re more likely to buy from you even if you have a higher price than if a competing site tacks on extra fees after a customer enters into the buying process.

Con: Hurts With Estimations

If your product or service doesn’t have a set cost, but is based on a case by case basis, such as designing a website, it’s difficult to list a set price. If you do, you’re creating expectations that the price listed won’t fluctuate based on the customer’s choices. Any type of service where costs vary and negotiation is necessary, it can hurt you to list pricing on your website. The best approach would be to list “prices starting at” versus a set cost.

Pro: Boost Conversions

Obviously the entire point of driving traffic to your site is to boost conversions. Price conscious consumers are far more likely to buy when prices are listed clearly. Combine pricing with detailed descriptions and you’re giving consumers what they want. Think of it as the difference between having a Buy Now button (prices listed) or a Think About It More button (no prices listed). Which one would be more likely to click?

Con: Less Engagement

If you want to engage more with your customers, listing pricing on your website usually eliminates any one-on-one engagement with your customers. For instance, if you want to try to upsell additional services or products, your opportunity to explain the benefits is lost if a customer doesn’t have any reason to contact you. If your prices aren’t listed, an interested customer is forced to contact you for more information, giving you the chance to upsell.

Pro: Gain More Enquiries

On the other hand, listing pricing or at least a base price for services, often leads to more enquiries. Janice Johnson from JJ Image Consulting noticed an increase in enquiries after listing a base price along with the option to request a free quote. Adding the price makes customers feel more comfortable contacting you when they know your services might be within their budget.

The Choice Depends

In short, you should likely list pricing on your website if you sell products and have a shopping cart on your site. For services, listing prices is tricky. The bottom line is the majority if customers still prefer to see some form of pricing before making a decision to buy or contact a business for more information.

Want to add pricing pages to your site or interested in a new website project? Let’s have a chat and see how we can help. 

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About the author

Dave Meier is the Founder of Hidden Depth (creative design services for ambitious businesses) who loves creating products and services that provide simple solutions to business problems.