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Hiding prices from online shoppers

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday November 27, 2008 )

I was out online shopping for a futon today, ready to buy, and noticed that many of the local suppliers didn’t list pricing. In my opinion, this is a fatal mistake for any merchant hoping to use the web to drive sales.

Out of the ten or so I visited, I think only 4 had pricing and only 2 allowed for online purchase. One didn’t even provide an email address, just a phone number. Considering I clicked on an Adwords ad in a couple of instances, my visit cost them money.

If you don’t display a price, you’re not going to get the same level of inquiries as you would if you did, it’s that simple. Don’t be fooled into thinking that not displaying a price will stir up curiosity. It’s particularly important to show pricing when promotion is costing you cash, such as Adwords. People just expect to see the cost of your products.

Not advertising prices tends to lead people to think your products are expensive and if you call or visit, they’ll be subjected to high pressure sales people. Additionally, many just couldn’t be bothered picking up the phone just to get a price – me included. If you haven’t listed prices simply because no-one in your business can update your site; it’s really time to learn to.

You can’t just state something like “best prices” or “economical” in your marketing copy – you need to put your money where your mouth is. Just because your goods might be a little more expensive than others, if you have a good site, exude credibility and quality and provide valuable information, you won’t necessarily lose sales either.

It’s all about making it as easy as possible for a visitor to make a purchase decision – the more hoops, the less likely you’ll convert that visitor into a customer. In this economic environment, merchants need to use every tool at their disposal to hook a customer – including listing full product details.

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