Should you put prices on your website for your target market?

Should you show your prices on your website?
on Wed 20 Jan


Whilst recently helping a client to identify her position in the market,  we came to the old chestnut about what to charge and, more specifically, whether to show prices on the website. (This is obviously a thorny problem for many as over 800 people have read this post to date)


In terms of putting prices on your web site I’m afraid I don’t think this is black and white.  I really do think it depends on your target market and the expectations of that target market.


I was recently looking for a mobile hairdresser and was really irritated at finding website after website not putting up the price of a simple wash and cut. I didn’t have time to phone and didn’t want to be “sold to” if I did ring.  So I chose the one who had her prices up and went with her.  So long as she continues to do a great haircut I won’t be looking anywhere else.


I’m sure I am not alone in this thought process. Sometimes not displaying your prices makes the buying process too difficult for your potential purchasers.


Some business owners get very worried about displaying their prices – “Ooh what if my competitors see them and try to undercut me?” Do you honestly think they won’t find out your prices if they put their minds to it?


So perhaps you are protecting yourself against half a dozen competitors at the expense of losing a lot of people like me because they would never actually be bothered to ring up to find out...


There’s also something to be said about boldly showing your prices so that people rules themselves in or out.  This gets rid of timewasters and means you only get contacted by your target market.


I tend to take a sideways view of the whole matter and suggest my clients do several things:


Say “Prices from” – this at least gives your potential customer the possibility of deciding whether you are in the ballpark of their possible budget


Create packages: if you like “bronze, silver and gold”– that way people cannot make direct comparisons – and it gives clients the opportunity to see that although they actually only wanted to spend “bronze” your “gold” package sounds too good to be missed.


Use what I call weasel words “Unlike other - e.g. marketing companies – we…. “  This sows the seed of doubt in terms of making them think “Aah those people might be cheaper but they probably don’t do what these people do...”


What do I do? Well most of my work is customised consultancy so I actually can’t display my prices but where I have particular products like my postcard service and my marketing roadmap service I include the price on a pdf document that gives more details to those who are interested enough to click onwards.


And, of course, the persuasive copy on those pdf's is designed to make my prices sound entirely reasonable for someone of my obvious calibre (ahem!)


If you need some help with positioning, pricing or powerful words get in touch :-)

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