Website Content: Should I Put Pricing On My Website?

Web

The most valuable marketing advice for businesses looking to impact sales in the changing digital economy is this: “put pricing on your website”.


Read This Before You Skim The Rest

The discussion of adding pricing to the website is an emotional one for many. Especially companies with a traditional sales system that requires buyers to talk to the salesperson before getting pricing information.

Buyers want to see pricing on your website and will quickly leave if they don’t see it. The buying habits of today’s customers are changing. Transparency is winning. Sharing is winning. Educating is winning. Adding ways to help buyers understand at the very least the price ranges for your products or services is crucial to connect to the needs of today’s buyers.

Studies show that on average, 80% of the buying decision for major purchases is made by the customer today before they walk in your door, fill out an inquiry form, or make a phone call to a company or salesperson.

Five years ago it was closer to 70%. What will it be five years from now? Not lower.

Buyers are researching on their own to address questions, problems, ratings, reviews, options, and yes, price.

In a recent research study we conducted here in Maine, we found 72% of respondents sharing ‘no pricing’ as the number one frustration of their online research efforts. That same survey revealed that 84% think the pricing on a website is the most important component when looking at companies to choose from.

The data doesn’t lie. Pricing is important.

But still so many are resistant to the idea of pricing being on their company website.

If you’re challenged with the notion of adding pricing to your website – or if you’re challenged with trying to convince someone to add pricing to the website – the following points were developed to help you make that decision with confidence.


BIGGEST BUYING FRUSTRATION

In a recent audience insight study, we found that 72% of respondents listed “no pricing on website” as the single greatest frustration when researching companies, products, and services online.


Why You Should Put Pricing On Your Website

Trust
At its core, the process of a buyer transferring money to someone they have never met is rooted in trust. Trust comes from being helpful, answering questions, providing information, and demonstrating how you solve the problems or help a buyer best fulfill their need.

Trust comes from transparency and authenticity. Think about your own buying experiences. When you feel folks are hiding things from you, does that increase or decrease trust in that person, company, or process?

Your buyers feel the same way.

Sales Efficiency
When talking to business owners and sales managers, I often ask what are the top three questions they get on a regular basis. Guess what is always in the top three? Price.

I then ask how much time would they save and how much more valuable the call would be if the customer already had an idea about the price. Not even the actual price. Just an idea of it. That’s when the lightbulbs tend to come on.

Question – how much time is wasted in our sales process trying to sell features and benefits to buyers that don’t have an idea of what the price range is?

Customer Respect
(See trust.) Today’s buyers have more information, more tools, and more options to help them make decisions on what, where, and who to buy from. Making that decision as easy as possible is what we need to be doing as business owners and sales manager. Knowing that a buyer is going to make a decision anyway, helping them make the right one should be the focus of your content efforts.

Competition
We look at competition through two lenses:

  • Companies that do what you do
  • Companies that buyers see as being able to solve their problems.

For the sake of this paragraph, we’ll focus on the second. You see buyers don’t have a preconceived notion of what the ‘right’ options are. What a buyer sees as an option may be very different than what you see. So it’s on us as businesses to educate buyers as to not only what options are best for them, but what the difference is between is, and why they exist.

And the price is one of those differences. For instance, when looking to build a website, hiring an agency like ours is one option. And yes there are other agencies. But included in the list of ‘competitors’ are free and low-cost services, like Wix, GoDaddy, and Squarespace, as well as the local media stations. Even someone’s 17-year-old niece who “knows a lot about computer stuff” is competition.

Explaining the cost difference as well as the value difference helps the buyer better understand their options as well as better attract right-fit buyers for your business,


WHAT DO THEY WANT?

That same survey revealed ‘pricing’ as the most important info on company websites when researching major purchase decisions.


Why Don’t People Put Pricing On Their Website?

Competition
Defined in this section as the other companies that do what you do. If we put pricing on the website, then the competition will see it.

Question – do you know what your competition charges? The answer is probably yes. Or at least you know the price ranges of your competition. Guess what? They do too. If a customer asks you in person or on the phone, do you do a background check, get their email address, and make them fill out a lead form before giving them a price range?

Heck no. You most likely tell them “it depends” and then give them ranges.

So why don’t you do that on the website?

Customized Pricing
Businesses will share with us that pricing just can’t be shown because each sale is developed to the specific need of the customer and requires a very detailed examination and insight process … you get the picture. Maybe this sounds like your business. No two clients are ever the same and situations do differ with all buyers. Again – “It depends”.

However, surely there are components that you can share and ranges that can be developed to help frame the discussion for the potential buyer to help them understand why “it depends” and what “it depends on”.

Value Strategy
You don’t want to share pricing because your approach can’t be defined or boxed in by a package or a number. It’s worth more than people know and in order to give the number, you have to explain to them all you do and why it’s valuable to them. Then and only then can you talk numbers.

This works well when money is no object to the buyer and when the reputation of your company makes you an elite option.

For the rest of us, it’s really a roadblock to building trust with potential buyers. For companies where pricing is complex and has a wide variety, the more that can be explained on your website, the more informed a potential buyer is and the more efficient and valuable the sales call becomes.

We’ll Scare Customers Away With Price
We’ve already identified that today’s buyers are comfortable doing their homework.

And we’ve acknowledged that sales folks would rather talk to prospects that have an idea of pricing so they don’t waste valuable time.

So its really a win-win if the customer has an idea of the price range before they talk to your company.

They are looking for information. They are looking for answers. And they are looking for someone to trust. And we know they are going to find information.

Two primary questions:

  • are they going to find the right and helpful information?
  • are they going to get that from you or another source?

The thinking that providing pricing, combined with other helpful information to help a buyer make an informed decision, is going to scare customers away runs contrary to everything we know to be true.

Remember – we’re talking about building trust.

Insecurity
I don’t know what will happen if we put cost and pricing on the website. What if the phone stops ringing? What if leads dry up?

There’s no end to the list of worries and anxieties that come from the discussion of putting cost and price on the website. But let’s be honest, as business owners and decision makers, there is rarely a decision made that doesn’t have its own list of valid doubts and alternatives.

But know this – if you have worries, concerns, or anxieties about adding cost and price to your website, you’re not alone. It’s normal. And guess what? It’s normal for the buyer too.

The good thing is, there are ways to approach this topic to help you become more comfortable with the decision and see how it can be helpful to your customers and your business. We outline them for you below.

How To Add Cost and Pricing To Your Website

It Depends / Price Ranges
The first thing that comes to mind when many businesses hear “put cost and price on the website” is an actual price list of products and services. If you have such a list for your business, then by all means add it to your website.

But more than likely you don’t operate that way and therefore that’s not an option.

Not a problem.

Think about the last time someone asked you “what does it cost to do xxx”. You may have answered “It depends…” and then went on to explain what factors are involved. You may have given a price range with a lot of room in the middle.

What you did is frame the answer for the buyer and set up the conversation to help narrow in that range based on what you know and what they need.

That answer is perfect for your website as well. The truth is, “it depends” is a real answer. But it’s how you explain what it depends on that helps you build trust with the potential buyer.

Options
Chances are, following the “it depends” answer, you have experience in sharing what options are available to impact the cost and price of the product or services. Discussing those options with the buyer helps them to see not only what’s possible, but helps them become more informed and see that you are helpful in their search for answers.

Why It Costs More
Knowing the range or average price of something is a good start. Explaining what factors or situations would increase costs is great information for the website. Maybe it’s add-ons, time, supply constraints, travel, size or any number of elements you’ve experienced that increases costs. Communicating and sharing what you know again helps to inform, educate, and form trust with the buyer.

Why It Costs Less
If you can define what factors can increase the average cost of the item or service, then sharing what can help decrease the cost is equally as important.

The Final Test Is Personal

A simple question to close the article out. Put yourself in the buyer’s position. Maybe you’ve been there. You need to make a major purchasing decision for the first time. What do you do? Who do you turn to?

Will the company you choose be the one that hides the information you’re looking for.

Or the one that helps you the most by answering the questions you have, helping you understand your options, and yes, even telling you what you expect the cost and price to be?

Be the company they trust so you can be the company they chose.


Examples Of Adding Price / Cost To Your Website

Online Examples:

  1. Maine Solar Solutions – A busy and growing solar installation company in Maine. With electrical prices soaring and insecurity in fuel prices, inquiries have skyrocketed and the sales team needed help. The buyer’s guide and online resources were developed to provide newly interested homeowners with the information they needed for purchasing consideration on their own. The online resources also allows sales to respond faster and with more value to new offline inquiries. See the Pricing answers and homeowners buyers guide here.
  2. Herrick & Salsbury – A boundary survey company serving a growing residential market along the coast of Maine. A typical request for a boundary survey estimate can take a half-hour or more of the company’s time. Making time for estimates as well as doing the survey work was becoming a challenge, especially as many inquiries are from property owners with no understanding of boundary pricing. Creating an online tool to help customers get instant price ranges for their individual property needs serves the company well in two ways. One, it enables price-seeking customers to get information of the project cost faster and two, it enables the company to spend more time with prospects that have an initial idea of project costing. All online inquiries become part of an email list with which the company can continue to communicate. See the Online pricing estimator with price ranges here.
  3. Sandollar Spa & Pool – A hot tub, pool, and spa company in Central Maine with workforce issues that look and feel like every other company you know. Like you, they are dedicated to providing top-notch service and attention to their buyers and customers alike. But workforce challenges, growing demand, and supply chain constraints make that commitment difficult at times. So they decided to provide as much information about the buyer process on their website. And this includes pricing, as well as the cost of ownership, maintenance considerations, and what types of hot tubs to consider. You can see the result of their work here. This content now helps sales be more efficient and helpful with new client inquiries and has become effective copy for their email marketing and social media efforts.