When selling products online, a growing trend I see in some niches is to hide the price of the product. In other words, the visitor has to click the order button to find the price. In some cases, there is no price at all, and you have to contact someone to find out the cost.
On marketing forums I see many strong opinions on this issue, such as these real comments:
“I hate it when the price is hidden or I have to ‘hunt’ for it buried somewhere on the sales page…”
“Most of the time if I can’t find the price I assume that it must cost too much and I’m out of there!”
“I don’t like it when the price is hidden… that feels like a manipulation…”
Most people (including many marketers) don’t seem to fully understand why it’s done, so this week I’m going to explore WHY prices are often “hidden”.
This is important to know regardless of how you feel about the issue. You need to understand the thinking behind it, before you decide to do it, or not do it.
Today I want to answer the question, “Why?” Why hide the price from a potential customer? If they’re looking for a price, isn’t that a good indication they’re interested in buying?
Not necessarily. The fact is, most visitors to a site, especially when they are already aware something is being sold, are first of all skimmers.
Let’s say Sally comes to your website. She is there for a REASON. Maybe she’s just clicked a banner ad that promotes your product. Or maybe someone’s recommended your product to her.
Either way, she has an EXPECTATION in mind. That expectation has been formed by whatever preceded the click.
If her friend recommended your product, it’s the expectation that your product is relevant for her. If your banner ad made a promise, her expectation is to find out more about this promise.
Once she’s satisfied herself about her expectation, i.e. that the product is relevant, and/or it is going to deliver on the promise, the next thing that runs through her mind is,
“Can I afford this?”
And this is where she starts skimming to find the price.
This is also where the problem begins…
… because “affordability” is not simply a question of how much you have in your wallet or purse right now.
Tomorrow, in Part #2 of this series we’ll look at how people determine whether something is “affordable” to them or not, and the importance of “desire” to this process. You won’t want to miss this vital discussion, so please subscribe to this blog and not miss out.