Debbie Ekins

Debbie Ekins

Should I put my prices on my website?

If there is one thing I HATE it’s cleaning! 🧹

There are just so many other things I would prefer to be doing. But it also makes me feel anxious and distracted if my house is untidy.

Bit of a dilemma isn’t it?

So, I decided it would be worth looking into hiring a cleaner. But first I needed to decide if:

  1. I could afford to hire someone
  2. the cost quoted was worth it to me (ie. do I hate it enough to pay that much)

But there was on major problem.

I could not find pricing online 😭

So, I had to do something I really didn’t want to do – fill in contact form for a price.

It would have been bad enough. But then, a couple of companies I had contacted made a cardinal sin – they phoned me 😱

You might be thinking, it’s not that bad but, of course, being the anti-social millenial I am, I didn’t want to speak to them.

Why?

❌ I was not ready to make a purchase yet
❌ I didn’t want to speak to someone
❌ I didn’t want to feel pressured into making a decision or sold to

I just wanted the information I needed so I could mull it over and make it in my own time.

So, what did I do?

I never answered the calls🙈 And thus far, I haven’t hired a cleaner.

And I’m sure many of you can relate.

If the buying process is not smooth, and in line with the way that you like to purchase – you just live with the problem. I hate cleaning – enough to pay someone to do it, but not enough to spend time on the phone discussing details that could have been laid out on their website.

Online pricing (or lack of it) is definitely one of those things that make the buying process less comfortable for potential customers.

And there is one thing that divides business owners it’s online pricing 💸

Should you put it on your website or not?

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m firmly in the yes camp.

Yes to putting your pricing on your website.

As a customer, the first and main thing you need to know before you buy is the price of a product or service. And your potential customers are no different. So why not give them what they need to make their decision.

In this blog, I’ll look at why I think it’s important to put your pricing online and why some companies opt not to (plus why I think that’s a mistake).

Why is it important to put pricing on your website?

Imagine you walked into a shop, and there was no pricing on display 😱

You would likely leave. And go somewhere else that was displaying the pricing.

It’s so common place in-store that we don’t even question it.

So, why do we accept any less online?

The father of They Ask, You Answer, Marcus Sheridan, uses the above analogy to help explain why online pricing is so important. He also explains how the shop that displays the pricing is the one that secures the trust, and therefore the business.

And again, it’s the same online.

A decade ago, if you wanted to buy something you would go into a store. But the consumer has changed.

They no longer want to be sold to. They want to be in control. So much so, that it’s estimated that approx. 70% of the buying decision is made online – BEFORE consumers ever contact a business.

Much like me looking for a cleaner, they want to get all the information necessary so they can make their own decision before getting in touch with a company.

And price, is a very big component of that decision.

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Why would a business not put pricing on their website?

There are generally three reasons that businesses will push back on showing their pricing online:

  1. I’m more expensive and don’t want to put my clients off
  2. My competitors will know what I charge and try to undercut me
  3. Every client is different, how can I price accurately

Now be honest here.

Which one are you?

It’s quite likely that one or more will resonate. It’s totally normal for businesses to see themselves reflected in the above statements.

But let’s look at why these maybe aren’t the best reasons to avoid displaying online pricing. 

1. I’m more expensive and don’t want to put my clients off…

Ah, the classic! You are more expensive than your competitors so you better not tell anybody your prices. 

Let’s face it. If you are the cheapest in the market it’s usually something you want to scream and shout about. You don’t see Amazon hiding their prices. 

Often, the businesses that are coy about their pricing are more expensive than their competitors. They are worried that potential customers will see their pricing, clock that they are more expensive, and go elsewhere. 

And it is a totally understandable worry. 

But, I want you to have a think about it this way. 

  1. Your prices won’t put off your ideal customers (even if you are more expensive)
  2. Talking about pricing can help put the market into perspective (and win you more customers)

Your prices WON’T put off your ideal customers

In almost all circumstances, people in the market for your product or service will have a budget.

Now, this won’t always be set in stone, although for most people they will have a maximum they can, or are willing to, afford.

One of the reasons companies want to speak to potential customers face-to-face is to convey the benefits and to try and bump their budget up a little.

Let’s look for a minute at one of my clients Eagle Leisure. They sell hot tubs (among other things), and are generally speaking more expensive than competitors.

Their hot tubs on average sell for between £7000 – £12,000. Whereas some of their competitors are selling hot tubs for £2000 – substantially lower. 

Now Eagle Leisure could shy away from talking about pricing online. They could entice people into the showroom and try and talk them into spending more. And it might work! 

But, if someone has a potential budget of £2000-£3000, what are the chances that they will spend upwards of £7k? Possible, but I’d say pretty slim. 

Conveying the benefits of the product and service might allow you to increase your potential customers’ budget, but this doesn’t need to be in-person. And it remains, that if you are significantly out with their budget, then speaking to someone in-person probably won’t change this.

Putting your prices online will help attract the right type of customers (with the right budget). The ones that are willing to pay what you are worth, that will see your value and respect your time. Click To Tweet

Putting your pricing online will help you save time! As you won’t speak to people that are way out of your budget.

Talking about pricing can put the marketplace into perspective

It’s also important to remember that pricing is not always about budget. It’s about where someone allocates budget. 

I know that on many occasions in both personal and professional items I’ve ‘found’ money to go with the person I want, rather than paying what I originally thought I could afford.

Let’s look at Eagle Leisure again. I mentioned that some of their competitors are substantially cheaper than them. The problem in the hot tub industry is that a lot of the “better”, more expensive manufacturers DO NOT allow their dealers to put explicit pricing online😱  So, it would be pretty easy for Eagle Leisure NOT to talk about price.

But, the problem is all the cheaper hot tub manufacturers (around £2000-£5000) do talk about their pricing online. So, if you were to do a quick search you would assume that £2-5k is normal for a hot tub. This can make it really hard for Eagle Leisure to sell their hot tubs. As people have already set their budget much lower (based on incomplete information).

By talking around price (even when they can’t give an exact price) they contextualize the pricing and explain why theirs are more expensive.

It allows people to see the complete pricing picture and set realistic expectations. This may in fact help them to set their budget and understand what they might be expected to pay.

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#2 My competitors will know what I charge and try to undercut me…

Oh no! Not your competitors 🙄

I guess one of the first things we need to talk about is who your content is for. 

The content that you write for your website, whether that be blogs or anything else, should be for one group of people and one group only – your potential customers. And they really want to know your prices.

I know it’s hard! But try to forget about your competitors. They are never going to pay your bills. And so we shouldn’t be writing for them. 

Plus, let’s face it your competitors already know what you charge. They will very likely know the current market rate for your product or service. Or they’ve done a sneaky little mystery shopper and found out your prices (come on, we’ve all done it right?).

All that you need to know is what you charge and why. Whether it’s more or less expensive, as long as you can justify your pricing.

Plus, if you do enough content, and well, you will be selling your value. Not your price, and it won’t matter what your competitors charge and whether they know what you charge or not. 

#3 Every client is different – I can’t price accurately…

Ah, yes. Snowflake syndrome. Everyone is different – there is no way you can possibly put up prices. 

One of the main reasons companies don’t want to talk about pricing is that they don’t have one individual price. This is especially relevant for companies service-based or consultancy companies.

Well, I’ve already mentioned Eagle Leisure and its pricing predicament. In some cases, they are contractually banned from mentioning price. But, they still manage to blog about it.

eagle leisure blog

You see, if they can’t directly give pricing, they talk around pricing:

Another really great example of talking about pricing when it’s not one price is from web designers Jammy Digital. Every single website that they build is different. But they still don’t shy away from talking about it.  They’ve created a ‘core pricing’ page, then they have ‘pick n mix’ options that are frequently added. It still doesn’t give an exact price. But prospective clients will know roughly what they are going to pay. 

Even if you don’t have an exact price. Even if you can’t tie your products or services into neatly packaged bundles, you can still talk about pricing. It gives your potential client the opportunity to set a realistic budget, and best of all it builds that trust that we don’t get when pricing is not readily available. 

There really is no excuse.

Why should I talk about pricing on my website?

So, we’ve covered why you might not want to talk about pricing on your website. And hopefully, by now, you might be beginning to understand that no matter which of the above statements resonate with you, there is still an argument to be made for talking about pricing online. 

Now, let’s look at why it’s a good idea to put prices online. 

  1. You are going to have to talk about it anyway…
  2. It will help to qualify leads…
  3. You will stand out from the competition…
  4. It will increase leads, traffic, and sales…

1. You are going to have to talk about pricing anyway…

What is the first thing you want to know about a product or service?

Price! 💸

So why would your potential customer be any different?

Omitting pricing from your website does not avoid having to talk about it.

It just puts another barrier up.

If a potential client calls you, or comes into a store and asks about pricing, do you avoid the question? No, because that would be rude. You talk about the pricing  – what the average cost is, why it’s so cheap/expensive, what might push the price up etc.

So, answer me this…

If you can do it in person, why can’t you do it online?

That’s right you can.

By not answering it online it feels like you are hiding something, and that is not conducive to building trust. Even if you can’t give exact pricing there is nothing stopping you from talking about pricing, within your own company and the industry. 

Buyer’s want you to be upfront. They want all the information.

They are going to get the answer eventually from you, or someone else. Why not make sure it’s you that sets their expectations and gains their trust. 

2. It will help qualify your leads

This links back to worrying you are too expensive. 

Charge more than your competitors?

Great! Own it 💪

Not everyone is out for the cheapest deal. In fact, there are many people specifically NOT looking for the cheapest option. 

Whatever your price point, you have an ideal customer. So use your price to appeal to them.

If someone already knows your price, they chances are they are interested. So use that to your advantage and make sure the people getting in touch with you are qualified leads that it is worthwhile spending time on and not just dead-end cold leads. 

3. You will stand out from the competition…

You know what would have been really cool when I was searching for a cleaner. If someone had been upfront about pricing. 

I searched so many websites and every single one wanted me to get in touch 🤦

You know what makes it even more annoying. I know they will more than likely have a standard hourly rate. Sure, it might change for whatever reason. But the only reason I don’t know their price – is because they don’t want me to.

Talking about pricing still isn’t the norm. Especially in many industries. So why not use that to your advantage and talk about it.

You’ll stand out, you’ll build trust, and ultimately it will lead to a more successful business.

Had I been able to find a cleaner in Glasgow that talked about pricing (bonus points if they offered online booking) I would probably have booked it right then are there. 

4.  You will see an increase in leads, sales, and revenue…

Okay, talking about pricing alone is probably not enough to lead to a significant increase in leads and sales.

But, it is a start. It’s the beginning of a move towards transparency. Towards putting your consumer at the core of everything you do. 

Pricing is one of The BIG 5 categories outlined by Marcus Sheridan. It is one of the five categories that people search for, no matter the industry, before getting in touch with a company.

Yet still, it’s difficult to find someone that is talking about it. 

Which, really, is great for you. Because not only will you stick out when people do find you. But it will increase the odds of people finding you when they search for the price.

If no one else is talking about it and you are, who do you think will show up first on Google?

That’s right, it could be you. 

🔎 Related content: Why should I blog for my business?

How do I talk about my pricing on my website?

Wonderful. It’s time to talk about pricing. 

But where do you start?

There are a couple of different ways you can and should talk about pricing. 

Number one is a pricing page. Just like Jammy Digital did, you can create a pricing page. It’s worth remembering that this doesn’t need to be set in stone, but it offers an opportunity to introduce pricing options and gives the buyer a guideline.

If you have no products, which is quite often the case in a service-based business, then you might want to think about “productizing” your service ie.  creating packages and pricing them. Again it gives people the opportunity to understand you prices and qualify themselves before getting in touch. 

The other way to talk about your pricing is in a blog/video. This is often useful, especially if your pricing is changeable. 

You don’t have to give exact costs, but you can talk about:

✅  What is the average industry price?

✅  What can increase the price

✅ What can decrease the price?

✅ What do you charge (if you can say)

✅  Why you are cheaper/most expensive

In a blog, your customer should be the focus, not your business. Therefore you should mention your own prices, but the focus should be on an industry-wide pricing structure.

If done well, this is a really great way to show your authority. And if gives you the opportunity to act as a baseline for all the other companies they look at after this. 

In conclusion…

Talking about pricing online is so often avoided by businesses for fear that it will lose them business, or alert their competitors to their pricing. But this fear and avoidance often become the very thing that leads to a loss of business – rather than the pricing itself.

That’s why I’m all for talking about pricing.

In fact, I can’t think of a single instance where it wouldn’t be beneficial.

Price is the number one most important thing for consumers to know before they purchase. And by talking about it online, we are offering our potential customers the opportunity to learn about it on their own terms. It helps them set a budget and realistic expectations. It allows them to consider the value. And ultimately, customers who are interested and can afford it will get in touch. Meaning that we spend more time converting qualified leads, than wasting time on tyre kickers. 

Win! Win!

So, are you convinced?

Will you be putting your pricing on your website?

Let me know in the comments….

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