Pricing is the Website Usability Opportunity You’re Missing

June 26, 2016

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You might think it’s too complicated or gives away too much information, but there’s a big reason you should feature pricing on your website - your customers want it!

A little over a year ago, I did a Business Marketing Association Roundtable presentation on The Top 5 Ways Your Website Annoys Potential Customers. The number one website complaint, as you could probably guess by the title of this blog post, was a lack of pricing on websites. 

Many attendees, as I’m sure you’re doing now, started thinking about all the excuses why their business is different. You can’t put pricing on your website. Right? Wrong.

Why Put Pricing on Your Website? It’s What People Want.
The Nielson Normal Group, the authority on website usability, has written numerous articles over the last decade pushing companies to post pricing on their websites. Business customers report pricing as the top most needed piece of information online, yet many business-to-business (B2B) sites don’t show it. 

Not showing pricing works against customer needs and thus creates a hostile shopping experience. Remember the Halo Effect: people’s impression of one aspect of your brand (“they’re hiding the information I want”) transfers to their feelings about everything else (“they’re difficult to deal with; I don’t like them.”).” 

We have seen the same results first-hand. Over the years that we’ve been doing website usability testing, pricing continues to be one of the most important pieces of content people want, literally every single time. Here is a quote from a recent usability test on our own website: 

“Most important content? I’d say pricing. It lets me know whether or not we can afford this; whether it’s even worth pursing at all.”

     - Usability tester on the 9thWonder website

Additional Benefits of Pricing on Your Website
Aside from the fact that your audience is most definitely looking for it, here are even more reasons to have pricing on your website.

Pricing Places You in the Right Category.
Lower pricing may mean your offering doesn’t have the features or functionality that an Enterprise-level client needs. Higher prices will help weed out unqualified visitors. 

“I liked the pricing immediately instead of wasting my time finding out info that may or may not pertain to my business and then finding out it’s out of budget range.”

     - Usability tester on a Telecommunications website WITH pricing

Pricing is Necessary for Planning.
People try to do as much online research as possible before contacting vendors. Pricing on your website keeps you in the game when potential clients are planning next quarter’s or next year’s budgets. 

“Really like the pricing on the site because I hate looking into contracting someone for services and then finding out the price is way more than we imagined and then we have to start again from the beginning.” 

     - Usability tester on the 9thWonder website

Pricing Builds Trust.
Don’t forget that your website is an important tool for building trust with your audience. Pricing on a website is a huge trust-builder. It shows that you are transparent. That goes a long way with potential buyers. Website usability testing has shown again and again that omitting pricing may send the wrong messages, like you are hiding something or are difficult to work with.

“What’s the pricing for this service? I understand you want to make that contact to talk to the potential client, but something that gives an idea of pricing would be good.”

     - Usability tester on a Geospacial imagery website WITHOUT pricing

Every Website CAN Integrate Pricing.
Most people are looking for an IDEA of pricing, not a detailed quote. You do not need an exact calculator or specific costs per feature. The best way to integrate pricing is to provide a range of costs for the most common scenarios. 

For example, “Companies of XYZ size in XYZ industry, with these common services, can expect to pay between $$ and $$.” 

In our tests, people understand that the products and services they’re looking to buy have complicated pricing schemes. They don’t expect a pricing range to be exact. 

If you truly cannot do this at LEAST provide a short explanation of why you cannot put any range of pricing on your website. Then conclude with a specific call to action for visitors to request a call for a quote. 

See for Yourself
Don’t believe us? We’ll be happy to conduct Usability Testing on your website so you can see for yourself how big of an impact pricing, or lack of pricing, has on your web visitors.  You have nothing to lose (but more web conversions)!

Shay Ruggles

As Director of UX of 9thWonder Shay Ruggles ensures 9thWonder is creating compelling user experiences that balance user intent, client goals and site performance.

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