Should I Display My Prices On My Website?
Posted on 23rd March 2021
This is a great question and one we’re often asked at it’seeze. You could even say it’s a hotly-debated topic – and certainly one that crops up in social media business discussion groups all the time. In truth, there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s entirely up to you whether you list your prices openly on your website or leave the financial side of things until people get in touch to ask for a quote.
One argument in favour of putting your prices up there for all to see is transparency. You’re being open and honest about what you charge, which lets prospects with a budget make a quick decision on whether your products or services are a good fit. It saves people getting in touch to ask about your prices (although they still will in our experience!) and saves you the time and trouble of patiently reiterating what’s written down in black and white.
.... and the cons
On the other hand, posting your prices online may give you little or no room for flexibility. Take a painter and decorator who charges £250 to paint a room. That’s fine if the room is normal-sized, but what if a stately home gets in touch and wants the Long Gallery redoing for this not-so-princely sum?
Similarly, a content writer might charge £200 to produce a press release, based on the assumption that the client will provide all the information, quotes, images etc. A new client then comes along and wants 3 days of research and a photoshoot included in the cost – which is published on the writer’s website, so it must be accurate, right? The ensuing conversation isn’t likely to go well.
OK, so these are slightly extreme examples! But if you can imagine a scenario like this being a possibility if you list your prices online, it may not be the right decision for your business.
Keeping your options open
You don’t necessarily need to publish a fixed price list that’s set in stone. There are other options to consider, some more upfront than others, that will give prospects an idea of your costs whilst reducing the risk of under or overcharging. Importantly, these approaches retain your ability to negotiate and, where feasible, charge premium prices.
Let’s take a look.
Package or tier pricing
This is what you’ll find on our website – a three tier pricing system for our affordable website packages. It’s clear, upfront and simple. There’s a definitive list of what’s included with each service, so there are no surprises. However, we understand that not every business fits neatly into one of our packages. That’s why we offer extra services such as copywriting, logo design, and photography as ‘bolt-ons’, which makes our services highly customisable and enables us to meet different needs.
One advantage of packages like this is you can label them as ‘Best for…’ or ‘Suitable for…’ to help signpost prospective clients towards the right service for their needs. You could also use the tactic of signposting the medium-priced package as ‘Most popular,’ which tends to psychologically steer people away from automatically going for the cheapest option.
And, whilst your hands are tied to an extent with package prices, remember there’s always the opportunity to upsell prospects to the next tier up (if appropriate), either at the buying stage or as the customer relationship develops. This is especially true if you work with fast-growing businesses whose needs you can continue to meet as they evolve, with enhanced services.
Business types that often use package prices include IT and telecoms providers, marketing agencies, accountancy firms and virtual assistants.
This involves giving an idea of your price range using wording such as ‘Starts from…’ or ‘Typically costs…’. This gives plenty of room for negotiation on individual projects and is ideal if your work tends to vary in scope and complexity. You could give lower and upper ceilings for certain products or services, or just state the starting or typical price.
If you choose this approach, it’s a good idea to say what’s included with the starting or typical price and perhaps list some of the ‘added extras’ people can opt for, with their own ballpark costs. For example:
Basic press release – from £200 (max 750 words)
Research – from £150
Media liaison – from £75 per hour
Photography – by negotiation.
Case study pricing
This can be handy on its own, or combined with the ballpark approach. People like to see ‘real life’ examples and can often make comparisons with their own requirements. It’s also a good alternative to package prices if you sell packages which tend to be bespoke and/or there are big cost variations which wouldn’t work with a simple tier system.
Wedding services are a good example. You could take a real life wedding, include some photos of key aspects such as the cake, reception venue, flowers and so on, and either say how much the happy couple paid for each element, or the package as a whole. You’d need to state clearly that this is just an example and all prices, especially those of third party suppliers, are subject to change at any time.
At the end of the day…it’s your call
The decision is yours, as they say. If you feel comfortable with publishing your prices and you can clearly see how it will benefit your business, go ahead. But if you’re in any doubt, it’s probably best to hang fire and just put a friendly message on your website asking people to get in touch to discuss their needs.
Need expert advice on websites? Just ask it’seeze Nottingham!
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