Displaying prices in an online store – how to do it best?
Customers are more likely to return to online stores where all rules are clear and straightforward. This considers the rules regarding making purchases, payments, shipments, as well as returns and complaints. Ideally, it’s best if the prices are also clear and visible. Hiding costs may deter users who initially interested in the offer; they may lose their trust and feel cheated. If the customer adds a product to the basket, he/she should know the whole true value already. Abruptly revealing additional costs that were thus far invisible, especially just before the customer makes a payment is definitely out of place. Thus, the prices should be clear, correct and well exposed. Now, the question remains, how should we proceed with displaying prices in an online store?
Firstly, the price should be placed in a visible place and accentuated with a larger font, in bold or in a distinctive colour
Displaying prices in an online store involves a simple step: exposing them in such places that the customer will immediately know what the cost is for the service/item he’s paying for. He shouldn’t have to waste time looking for the price, because he/she will be discouraged from shopping. Usually the price is located right next to the product name – just below it or around the CTA button in the form of ‘Order’, ‘Buy now’, ‘Add to basket’, ‘continue shopping’ etc. A well-exposed, enlarged or bold price makes it easier to make a purchase decision. The customer is persuaded and tipped over the edge of uncertainty. There’s psychological reasoning behind this: humans are naturally visually perceptive beings and are fond of items that stand out and are visually stimulating. Moreover, it should also be remembered that every final price should be located in more or less the same place as the product being purchased – if the page is disorganised and vital elements aren’t clustered but scattered randomly across the page, then once again the customer will be discouraged and repelled.
In addition to the price, information about certain promotions or discounts may appear next to the price, or specific entries where customers may enter discount codes etc.
Customers will always pay attention to the products where a promotional price is located. The original price can be included and crossed, with the new price overshadowing the old, or something along those lines. This helps the customer notice how much the price has changed, and persuades him/her to go for the deal offer. Of course, we have to highlight the current price more strongly: bold it out or change the colour. And although we may state how much the item has cost in the past, the customer shouldn’t be forced to count. Make it simple, specify how big his savings were e.g. ‘RRP £50 – NOW £40 [Save %20!]’.
Displaying prices in an online store should also include costs of shipping
Some online stores provide product prices along with shipping costs, usually the cheapest option being automatically included. Others provide an option for the customer, of three or four different means of delivery – this allows the customer to choose their own preferable method and its price. E.g. next day delivery parcel = £5 vs standard 4-5 days delivery = £2. The courier options are usually the most popular, because it’s the fastest form of delivery. Many people like to have the items they bought online instantly; this is the magic of todays online shopping.
Bear in mind, however, that shipping/delivery costs can greatly affect the purchase decision. It may turn out that although we have a slightly higher price of a given product than competition, the low delivery cost could mean that we sell more products. A lot of people subconsciously prefer to see a higher price of a product, but lesser price of delivery, even though the price is the same. A recent study has showed that people who saw shoes for £40 & Free delivery were more likely to choose this option than the same shoes selling for £35 & £5 delivery. Bear in mind, though that If the delivery is free, we also need to inform our customers so that no confusion arises, and that they’re aware of the deal you are offering.
It’s always a good idea to provide a price range
If the price of the product depends, for example, on the size or colour (e.g. in the case of clothing) or the choice of additional options/functions/features (e.g. in the case of home appliances), it is worth to provide the customer with such information. Displaying prices in an online store should be clear and specific. In other words, if the final sum of the order depends entirely on the various options that the customer has selected, then provide him/her with the ability to go back and adjust it. They should be aware that switching parameters changes the value of the product, and that they have the freedom to play around with their options. Providing them with an easy and straightforward system of browsing won’t put them off, and they’ll be able to select an option which is the most appealing.
Remember that the customer won’t always choose the cheapest option, but it’s usually the most popular one. So, make sure your system doesn’t automatically select products for your customer that are the most packed with features, and thus most expensive – but at the same time, provide them the freedom to select & deselect certain options.