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You are in business, You are selling something: So, how much does it cost?

Many of my clients are Independent Business Owners that offer a wide range of services and products and one of the first things I do when analyzing their site is this: See how long it takes to find a service or product, check to see if there is a price, and if there is a method of purchasing what is being sold or offered. Customers want to know. How hard do you make it for them to find out?

Listing prices in your store (even though it only exists on the web, even if you only offer services) does matter:

Imagine walking into a grocery store to buy a gallon of milk only to find out that this store doesn’t put prices on any of its products. So your choice is to walk out or carry 3 different gallons to the counter, knowing you only want 1 gallon. Then after all your effort of walking all the way to the back of their store (clever placement in hopes that you will select something else along the way) you are rewarded with the knowledge that all 3 gallons are way over priced and you are still out of milk! You vow that you will never shop at that store again and the re-stocking employee is looking for a new job because they’re tired of lugging gallons of milk (at 8lbs per gallon) to the back of the store. Are you guilty of treating your customers the same way on your website?

Businesses ask me how to get more customers from their web efforts & my answer is the same: Make it easy for the customer to buy from you!

  • Show your prices beside your services.
    Stop worrying if your competition knowing your prices. If they are any good, they already know or can easily fond out. By hiding your prices, you’ve just made it more difficult for the customer to select you.
  • Provide a method for a customer to do business with you while they are on your site.
    Have link to schedule appointment so that potential customer can make contact.
    If you offer free consultations, tout that service and treat it as such. Be sure to give it equal billing with “paying” services.
  • Utilize shopping methods that are easy, secure & trustworthy.
    Stay away from gathering too much information.
    Keep the buying process simple with as few steps & pages as possible.
    If your operation is small, consider 3rd party payment support such as Paypal: No need to worry about protecting cutomer’s credit card info because you never see it. Customers provide the info to Paypal and guarntee the security of the transaction.
  • Accept credit cards online!
    By doing this, you keep up with your competition and continue to make it easier for customers to do business with you.
  • Think of services as products. Your customers do.
    You may have only 1 or 2 rates, but they apply to many different services you provide. Take the time to spell it out for the customer and build a priceguide. This shows you take your pricing seriously through structure.
  • Think of products as services.  Your customers do.
    No I’m not being redundant. The service is in the quality handling of a customer’s request & that includes delcaring processing, shipping and administrative fees that might apply to a products sale. (Remeber the last time you purchased a car? sticker price was just the start. Now, try and avoid creating the same atmosphere for your clients)
  • Think of your website as a storefront & design it appropriately.
    Don’t make your customers walk to the back of the stor to pickup their milk. This works in a retail environment, but doesn’t translate to the web. So do what the big guys do-strategically place your pricing to maximize conversions without being offensive.
  • Keep in mind how important publishing your price really is.
    Walgreens displays their milk price on the front of the store similar to how gas stations publish the fuel prices. These are just 2 examples of how very important clearly presented prices are!


Avoid the pitfalls of not having your prices listed:

  • Services listed on service page, no pricing??
    As a customer, I wonder why there are no prices. Were they omitted on purpose? Is there a sliding scale I should be worried about? or were they just simply forgotten?
  • Pricing listed on FAQ pages.
    It’s okay to repeat your prices or clarify a complicated pricing matrix, but don’t make this the only place you show how much it costs to do business with you.  If you are a consultant and your hourly rate is $125.00 per hour plus an additional $25.00 per hour for consults after hours or on the weekends, Why not publish your hourly rate & consider including the exception on the FAQ under a heading of “Weekend Rates”.
  • Your Services require appointment with no way to schedule.
    Is only way your clients can schedule an appointment is to talk to you or a secretary? Be sure to promote this point and how to interact.  But what about non business hours?
    If your scheduling staff is always online during business hours, consider live chatting to help with booking.
    Consider an automated scheduler that allows potential customers to select for themselves. If you require a retainer, be sure that the scheduler you choose can accommodate that need.
  • Ask yourself why you don’t publish your pricing? Is it hurting or helping your businesses growth?
    Like I said above, if you hide your prices, you only raise questions. Plus, your competition perceives you as a competitor as well, they already know how much you charge or can easily find out.
  • Avoid classifying your business as unable to list rates online.
    Some industries due to regulation or ethical reasons might not be able to list pricing. If that is the case, concentrate on a Free Consultation to be given the opportunity to close the sale.
    If your firm provides detailed bids to secure contracts, provide testimonials from previous clients emphasizing your value and cost effectiveness. Site dollars saved if appropriate and beneficial.

Customers want to buy from and do business with companies that they trust, are easy to work with as well as being affordable.  Value is found in the quality of a product and the manner of service a customer receives as much or more so than in the price of an item. If you provide the first two consistently while maintaining a price is reasonable & competitive, you will be too.

If you would enjoyed this article and found it informative, please let me know!  I would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

Should you wish to have me help you to improve your site’s storefront appeal, I offer a free 15 minute consultation that you can request through the scheduler on all of the AB Digital Solutions pages or contact me directly for more details.

photo by: luc.viatour