Monday, June 25, 2012

Should I hide my prices?

Pricing your product or service can be a tricky task for any business owner but once you do decide on that magic number - you have to put on your marketing hat and decide when to show it and when not to.

Reasons you might want to 'HIDE' your prices from initial 'investigators'...
• You want to build an initial strong desire and demonstrate affordability - this is where your marketing is focused on the features of your product or service to dazzle a prospective buyer with everything they'll enjoy from the purchase.
• You want to show how the personal value of the product or service is greater than just the price value - this is where your marketing is focused on the emotional value of the sale and addresses the needs your potential customer has.
• You want to change the potential client's perception of the price - sometimes referred to as 'price conditioning.' - it can be tough but price conditioning is an art companies like Audi, Tiffany and Co. and Ethan Allen have mastered. Customers of these businesses believe that the special nuances of products purchased from them are WORTH the additional cost. It's still a car, a diamond ring and a chair that does the same things as the ones you could get at Kia, Kmart or Walmart but their customers want to pay more because their perception of the price in terms of value is different.

Situations when you should NOT hide your prices...
• If your price is a competitive advantage - For example, if you are cheaper than your competitors, or you have a special offer that can make even the quick-glancer recognize it as a good price, then you might want to do the opposite and make your price more prominent.
• If your price is low enough that it could be considered an 'impulse buy', then you might want to leave it on display as normal.
If you are unsure what to do - when in doubt, it is always better to show your prices or a price range than to make the mistake of hiding them because you haven't done your research.

Why you want to be careful at playing too much 'keep-away'...
It should be mentioned that hiding your price can be as simple as offering a new client special, a trial period or making a person click to another screen to see the price. In these cases - you are not eliminating the price from view entirely. However, we have come across several businesses who refuse to put any pricing on their websites or marketing.

We want to warn that this can be dangerous because people like to shop before they buy. If you aren't even willing to show a price range - people might overlook you because your competitor does show prices. You are also making it more work for a potential customer to buy from you because they have to contact you to even discern if they can afford you. Shoppers (on every level) want life to be easier - not complicated, and they definately don't want to spend extra time and energy if it isn't worth it.

So..."Should you hide your prices or not?"
There is no right or wrong answer but here's the real questions you should answer first:
• What do my competitors do?
• Why is it important to hide/show my prices?
• What would my customer want?
• What would I want if I was a customer?

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