Customer Experience News & Trends

3 common — yet poor — excuses for not showing price info

A lot of companies are hesitant to put price info on their websites for three common (and poor) reasons. Do any of these sound like you?

  • We don’t want the competition to know our prices.
  • The price will vary for every customer due to customization.
  • Prices fluctuate based on material cost or other market conditions.

“These excuses are legitimate reasons in almost all cases, but they’re still excuses,” according to Hoa Loranger, director at the Nielsen Norman Group, a user experience research, training and consulting firm.

She claims that while each of those may be legitimate reasons for not being price-transparent, you can’t assume customers will contact you for pricing, especially early in the research process, because her firm’s research has proven that many won’t.

“In our studies, we watch participants go to competitors’ sites when websites do not show prices,” Loranger said.

Why do they leave when no price info is displayed? Here are the reasons Nielsen’s research has uncovered:

  • It creates a more hostile shopping experience.
  • The company comes across as being difficult to deal with.
  • It makes the company appear as though it’s evasive and untrustworthy.

The solution

So what can you do when prices truly do fluctuate from order to order? The answer isn’t to place your prices behind a barrier.

Instead, show price ranges for typical scenarios. You can even give prospects an estimate of how much prices tend to fluctuate based on market conditions (e.g., “Prices may rise or fall about 7% based on material cost”).

This kind of price info will often satisfy prospects who are comparison shopping and budget planning.

Source: “State the Price to Give B2B Sites a Competitive Advantage,” by Hoa Loranger, Nielsen Norman Group, 12/1/13.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.