Competitive pricing circled on a page of hand-writing
When planning a website, one of the big dilemma questions is whether to display your prices or not. There’s the argument that putting your prices on a website gives your competitors ‘insider’ information; it gives them an edge over you. The other side of the coin is that it demonstrates confidence that the business believes their pricing is competitive, and gives customers the information they need to make an informed decision. 
Tourist booking a hotel website on mobile device

Should I display prices on my website? 

In some sectors, such as goods and accommodation, it is a legal requirement to display prices to comply with the Consumer Protection Act 1987. So, for retailers, they must display their prices and include VAT where applicable, as well as the single item price (unit price) for products sold loose. 
 
But for non-retail businesses, the trend was to leave prices off a website. The problem is trends have changed dramatically. The focus in today’s digital world is very much putting the user experience first. Indeed, usability studies with businesses have highlighted that many B2B websites don’t answer a customer’s primary questions; one of which is pricing. 
 
Studies revealed that when users were asked to prioritise the B2B website information they wanted to see, prices were at the top of the list followed by product availability. Whether it’s a consumer or business customer, it’s an online, demand-driven marketplace. Price transparency is something that customers want and even if you can’t add specific prices, displaying a price guide is advantageous. 
B2B Marketing Services Pricing listed on a website

The pros and cons of pricing transparency 

There are advantages and disadvantages to displaying pricing on a website. The one thing to remember is that adding prices should be within the context of your website content and the type of business it is. 
 
Pros of prices on the website 
 
It allows for easy price comparison by customers. 
It allows customers to qualify themselves before taking the next step. 
It helps to build trust and integrity with your customers and target buyers. 
It allows you to apply voucher codes or time-limited discounts. 
 
Cons of prices on the website 
 
They can be incorrect, if not kept up-to-date. 
They can be misleading if the final quote supplied to the customer is much higher. 
Competitors can see your prices. 
Higher-value clients may feel your price is too low and look elsewhere, or vice versa. 
 
Of course, there are some situations where showing your prices can have a negative impact, such as a business start-up with fluctuating market prices, you are offering a truly unique service that requires bespoke quotes, or the price is not the driving factor for customers. 
 
Illustration of a shopping website with prices

Benefits of pricing transparency 

Ultimately, the decision is down to you but studies do show that consumers want to see at least a price range and here are good reasons why. 
 
1. It promotes trust. Many customers today will decide to avoid a company that isn’t open about their prices or fees. If they can’t see a price, or a ‘starting from’ figure, they will reconsider contacting the business for more information or to ask for a bespoke quote. 
 
 
2. It promotes the thought of ‘unaffordability’. If you were in a restaurant and were handed a menu without prices listed, many people would automatically believe that they can’t afford it. While this may be incorrect, it is a common perception that if no price is shown, it must be too high for them to afford. 
Confused woman concentrating on a menu
3. Boosts sales and efficiency. Customers looking for your products or services will be able to ascertain whether they have the budget to purchase and if so, are more likely to buy from you. If they know the prices already, it speeds up the sales process. 
 
4. A branding weapon. Contrary to popular belief, showing your prices on the website can actually help with raising brand awareness. Pricing can be a powerful and strategic marketing tool. By setting yourself apart from your competitors with pricing transparency tells customers where you are in the marketplace. 
 
5. A budgeting tool. With so many customers buying online now, many will do their homework in as much as seeking out the companies that offer them the best prices. They can manage their budgets more effectively and you will often find that they have taken the time to make sure they can afford what they want to purchase. This will also have a positive impact on invoicing. 
Money bank - Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pixabay
6. Allows for pricing and payment plans. In some cases, it is a straightforward price for a product or service. However, if you’re planning on offering discounts or vouchers, special pricing for certain sectors or payment plans, displaying this type of information gives you an edge over your competitors; and pleases your customers. 
 
7. Gathering information. Often at the beginning of a decision-making process, buyers will initially spend time gathering information, one of which is prices. Displaying your prices on the website allows them to do this without any wasted time on both sides, such as missed phone calls or delays in sending the right information or quotes. This can save days, weeks and sometimes even months in the purchasing process. 
 
8. Providing a price range. Admittedly, in some circumstances, you may not be able to be specific in your pricing; or don’t want to be. In these situations, show a price range that’ll allow your customers to calculate a ballpark figure to work with. 
 
If you’re hesitating about pricing transparency, have a look at what your competitors are doing. If they’re showing prices on the website, it’s time to join them. If not, then it’s a decision on whether you want to be a ground-breaking company and lead the way or do what they do. 
Special prices sign on shop window

Online Price Transparency - FAQs 

How can a business effectively implement price transparency without disclosing too much strategic information to competitors? 
 
To implement price transparency without disclosing too much strategic information to competitors, businesses can provide price ranges, starting prices, or tiered pricing models. This approach gives potential clients a sense of cost without revealing specific details. Additionally, offering custom quotes based on specific needs can maintain transparency while protecting sensitive information. 
 
What are some common challenges or drawbacks businesses face when implementing price transparency, and how can they be mitigated? 
 
Common challenges of implementing price transparency include potential customer sticker shock and the complexity of pricing in B2B transactions. These can be mitigated by clearly explaining the value and components of the pricing, ensuring customers understand what they are paying for and why. 
 
Are there any industry-specific considerations or best practices for maintaining price transparency in B2B markets? 
 
Industry-specific considerations for maintaining price transparency involve understanding market standards and expectations. For example, in industries where pricing is highly variable due to customisation, it might be beneficial to focus on case studies and testimonials that highlight value and ROI rather than fixed prices. This approach can demonstrate transparency through real-world examples while addressing the unique pricing challenges of the industry. 
A man conducting a website audit across two screens
At It’seeze, our network of experienced website experts throughout the UK and Ireland has built many websites that include pricing structures for businesses, whether you’re selling to the consumer market or businesses. We also make sure your website content aligns with your SEO and marketing strategies so you have a website that truly reflects your business. Get in touch with us today to start your it’seeze journey
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