High-Ticket Retail: Should you hide prices online?

Interestingly enough, quite a few high-ticket retailers feature products online without any pricing. One common idea behind this is that it will lead a potential customer to call or visit the store for information. And if a customer calls or comes in store, the chance for a sale is much greater. The logic is certainly there, but is the reality a different story?

There are occasions when hiding prices is necessary. However, putting the price in front of potential customers is going to be better for your business almost every time.

should you hide prices online? A look at this retail pricing strategyWhat Customers Demand of Online Shopping

First, let’s talk about what a customer wants when visiting an E-commerce store:  Information. In fact, 95.5% of consumers expect pricing and shipping information to be clearly stated when shopping for products. And if shoppers don’t see what they want online? According to Pimberly, 94% of consumers either abandon a site or just give up if they can’t find the information they want. If a customer comes to your site and it lacks transparent product pricing, it is very possible they will move on to a competitor’s site where they have access to the information they’re looking for.

The Right Price for the Right Customer

But this is the real question: is high-ticket retail the exception? Perhaps you’re concerned that a customer will be scared off by the high number on the price tag, so you hide prices online.  As crazy as it sounds, scaring off some customers could actually be a good thing for your business. That’s because transparent pricing is the best way to get not just any old leads, but legitimate high quality leads.

If your retail pricing strategy is competitive and accurately matches your target consumer as it should, the right shoppers shouldn’t be scared off by the number. Alternatively, hiding prices just creates more work for either you or your sales team. You may get a lot more calls with a hidden pricing strategy, but you’ll also get a lot of low-quality leads. In this scenario, low-quality leads are calls from shoppers with a substantially lower budget than your product’s price. It’s pointless to receive 100 calls from a customer who has a $300 budget when your product costs $15,000.

Putting the price of products upfront helps potential shoppers self-identity. And if you’re presenting your products and value proposition effectively, you’ll make the sale to the customers with budgets that actually match your product offering.

Build Trust with Shoppers

Lastly, think transparency and customer confidence when it comes to the hide prices/show prices debacle. If a customer goes to your site and gets all the information they want and expect, this leads to a positive user experience. If a customer goes to your site and key pieces of information are missing, this may look a bit fishy. We’re now in a world where more than half of people’s purchases are made online versus in-store.  In other words, give the people what they want!

The Retail Pricing Strategy Exceptions

Of course, there are always the exceptions. One exception is if you offer products that are extremely variable in cost, such as a custom product. In this case, you can’t just throw any price out there, because you need more information from the customer to get an accurate quote.

As with anything concerning a strategy, it’s important to test; getting pricing right is a marathon, not a sprint. Use data to figure out what the right price points are for your customer base, and when in doubt, take the road of transparency.
RM Innovation provides powerful technologies and platforms for Home Furnishings retailers. You can learn more about their E-commerce solutions here.