The question of whether to include the prices of services on a website is often raised by clients when we are project managing the creation of a new website.

And, it can be a bit of a conundrum. For some businesses it’s critical to include your fees, for others it can be a barrier for customers.

Rather like the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts, when asked this question, we tend to go quiet and look from side to side for a bit before coming up with the answer. The reason for the slow processing of a response is that we need to work through three questions to get to the correct choice.

To help you figure this out for yourself, here are the three things to think about. None of them has higher weighting than the others, but, the answers, when taken on aggregate, should give you a gut feel.

Here goes…

 

Question 1: Are you delivering a service that is easily understood by your audience?

In other words, are you providing a new service, that is unfamiliar to your audience, so that potential customers don’t already understand what is involved, or is it a standard operation, providing a service that has been around for decades? For example, I’m sure you know what a hairdresser can do for you, whereas you might not understand exactly what makes up the services of a happiness coach. The happiness coach market isn’t developed enough by this stage for potential buyers to already have a good handle on what their services typically cost, but you likely know what you can expect to pay for a haircut (within your chosen hair investment bracket!).

If your answer to this question was:

Yes – no need to include prices unless you want to.

No – give some kind of price guide – even if it’s a range.

 

Question 2: Do you often host discovery calls or sales meetings that don’t progress to a sale?

If you are failing to convert on a frequent basis, I mean more than 50% of the time, it could be that the people you are talking to are not even vaguely aware of a ball park price for your service before you kick off the sales conversation. And, if they have assumed that the service is cheaper than it actually is, the confirmation of the actual price during your conversation may come as a surprise (whether more OR less than they expected) and turn your buyer off buying. Better to give potential customers a hint about what you are going to charge on your website or sales materials, and expect those who can’t afford you to opt out at that stage, than waste your precious time on a sales meeting that is never going to go your way.

If your answer to this question was:

Yes – share your prices on your site in some format. A range, or menu could work well.

No – no need to share your prices, unless you want to.

 

Question 3: Are you operating in a very price competitive or commoditised market?

Some services are intrinsically connected to the person providing them, such as consultancy. If you want this work done, you are likely to want it done by the specific person, so you’ll be more prepared to pay what they are charging to get that actual person secured.

Other services, such as car-washing, are ‘commoditised’. The service is relatively standard, and you don’t really care who’s providing it, as long as they do a good job. This means that buyers are more likely to shop around to get the best deal. Having prices on your website allows them to do this.

It’s easy to assume that by sharing your prices in a commoditised market, you’ll be entering into a price war, and this could be true, but, if you are in this kind of market and you don’t include them, customers won’t book you at all. They’ll just click away and go elsewhere, where the prices are clearly displayed. Nobody likes to be embarrassed into admitting that they can’t afford something, so if they aren’t sure what the investment is, they’ll just avoid using your business at all.

To avoid competing on price, showcase on your website how you provide additional value and offer a better service than your competitors.

If your answer to this question was:

Yes – always include prices.

No – Up to you, include your prices if you want to, but may not be necessary.

 

So, there you go. Any other factors that you think affect this decision? I’d love to hear them?

Find this post useful? Share it with your colleagues or friends!