The issue of whether to display your prices on your website is like marmite. It tends to divide the world into those who believe it is a necessity and those who think it is the worst thing you can do.
There are many reasons we hear why you wouldn’t. Here are the top few
1. I don’t want my competitors to know my pricing
Do you know what your competitors charge? If you don’t, you should.
It’s not difficult to find out (even if they don’t display prices on their website). Just ask someone who has used or uses them. Or ask a friend to call them to find out.
How did you come up with your pricing in the first place? Did you consider what others charged? What the “market” is for your kind of service (for your kind of customer)?
Why is this relevant? Well, chances are your competitors know your prices already (and if they don’t they could easily find out even if you don’t put your prices on your website). And if they don’t, well what are you frightened of? A price war? You need to demonstrate why you are worth your prices – whatever your competitors charge.
2. It might put customers off.
I regularly see business coaches telling service based businesses they need to get potential clients on a call to sell the value of their services before letting them know how much it will be because, without that context, people will make a decision just based on price.
The reality is that 78% of people who want to buy from you won’t contact you to find out your price if it isn’t displayed (*completely made up statistic – I have no idea how many people won’t bother to contact you, except it will be greater than 0%….).
If I am searching for a particular service offered by a few local businesses, I can rarely be bothered to spend the time emailing my requirements and I certainly don’t want to spend time listening to their sales spiel when all I want to know is whether they are in the price range I have budgeted. And I know that I am not alone in this. In fact, we asked on social media and most people felt the same. I will never recover the 2 hours of my life spent with the wardrobe sales person who, after meticulously going through my requirements and giving me the speech about the quality of their goods, told me it would be circa £8,000 – when my budget was more like £1,000…
It can be embarrassing to end a conversation when you are far apart on price – so we try and avoid that situation. The only exception seems to be if you already know you really want to buy from that person or business.
Your website is the place to hook people in. Good content will convince people they want to purchase your services (or not). There really is a way to write your content so that your website “sells” your product or services to those potential clients who are right for you – just as you would do on a “discovery call”. They may need to speak to you (or meet you) to confirm but they (and you) know you are on a similar page budget wise so you don’t waste your time, or theirs.
Put another way, listing your prices will stop you from wasting your time with people who don’t have the budget for your services…
3. My prices are complicated
They often are. We have struggled with displaying prices for our services because each customer has a slightly different requirement. But actually streamlining what you offer has many benefits, one of which is being clear on price.
Ever been to one of those restaurants where the menu runs to pages and pages? Personally I like to go somewhere where the menu is long enough that I can find something I want to eat, but not too long that I spend half the evening making a decision, and the other half wondering whether I have made the right one…
Too much choice is not necessarily a good thing. In fact it can lead to decision paralysis. You can always make it clear to customers that you can make changes, or they can have more. You’re likely to find about 80% of your customers will want something relatively “standard”.
We have packages for our bespoke websites and most of the websites we build are within £100 of that price (most clients want one or two extras). Some are truly more “bespoke” with additional functionality and more pages. Since moving to packages we have found it is so much quicker to quote – we just point potential clients to our packages and list of “extras”.
If what you do is too bespoke for a price list, try putting a range, price for a particular specification (you can state prices “from” – although most potential customers will assume the actual price for them will be considerably higher) or an indicative price. Think about the best way to demonstrate the kind of price they will end up paying.
4. I charge different people different rates
Well, it depends on their budget/whether they are a friend/what the colour of their hair is/what day of the week it is…
Stop! This is not good business practice. Work out the value of your services and that is your price – for everyone. Yes, you may occasionally run promotions (but these shouldn’t be normal practice), or discount bundled services or even give a cheaper deal to your brother, cousin, friend. But, by setting out your prices it stops you from making them up as you go along, and if you do provide a “deal” it is clear to the recipient that they are getting something better than you normally charge…
Why we display our prices on our website
We display our prices on our website (see our services page).
The main reason is we don’t want to waste your time or ours. We think our website sets out very clearly what we do, the value we give and therefore why we are worth those prices. If your budget is lower then we have an alternative product (our “off the shelf” websites) which competes with the website builders like Wix, SquareSpace and GoDaddy.
We know there are people who charge less for building a website than we do (and plenty who charge far more). But we truly believe our prices represent great value. For our ideal clients, one of our websites should give a high Return on Investment.
And it is up to us to write our website in a way that shows what it is like to work with us and the value you get. The reality is that your website should be your hardest working sales person. It should not only set out your prices, but also why you are worth those prices – the value you give. Yes, some people may decide you are too expensive but it is better to know that before you spend your valuable time with them.
People rarely buy based purely on price. Starbucks does pretty well despite being considerably more expensive than a jar of instant coffee. My husband could cut my hair cheaper than the hairdressers I go to (although I doubt our marriage would last!). It is all about showing the value you provide.
Ultimately the decision as to whether to include prices on your website or not is a very personal one for you and your business. We’re firm believers in having confidence in your prices. Don’t worry about what others (competitors, your mother-in-law, that friend who has an opinion on everything – and isn’t afraid to share it) think of your prices. The value you provide should be greater than the cost of your product or service.
Does including prices on your website encourage or discourage potential customers from working with you?