Should you include pricing on your website? It’s one of the questions that sharply divides opinion among wedding pros, and can cause a lot of stress. There’s no easy answer, but there are some important factors to consider when making your decision. To help you, we invited Bernadette Chapman, owner of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners to share her thoughts on the subject. Bernadette brings with her a wealth of experience as both a wedding planner and an industry leader, so read on to learn how she made the call in her business, and her recommendations for finding the strategy that’s right for you.
Over the last seventeen years of being in business as a wedding planner, I have tried both including and excluding prices from my website. In many cases, the price listed was my minimum fee, so clients knew this was my base price. For me personally, I found that transparency led to a higher conversion.
I think a huge part of answering whether you should put pricing on your website is knowing how confident you are with the profitability of your service. When you know your profit margins, and feel confident with the value you give to clients, you are likely to be more comfortable listing at least a base price.
It is also my opinion that you only have seconds to make that first impression on your website. We know competition is fierce, so if a couple visit two websites and love the style on both, but find that one has prices and one doesn’t, will they make that extra effort to contact the second supplier to find out? Thinking about how I buy, the answer is no. I want a guideline before I even take the next step of communication with them.
Here are some of the other factors to take into account when making your decision.
You know who I mean, the couples who are simply shopping for the cheapest price instead of the best supplier for them. They are NOT your ideal client. Having at least a guideline to your prices on your website will stop them (and stop you from spending hours creating a quote only for them to disappear).
You know what it’s like to walk into a shop and see a bag you love, but then to your dismay, there’s no price on it. Do you ask a shop assistant for a price? What if it’s out of your price range? Will you then be embarrassed as you put it back on the shelf? It can feel like a Pretty Woman moment for sure! Having prices on your website can reassure clients. On the other hand, if you’re targeting the high end luxury market, where customers expect to never see a price tag, then removing the pricing from your website might be a better strategy for you.
VALUE VS. COST
Remember that there’s a difference between the price or cost of something and its value. If you are including prices on your website, then your copy should make it clear not only what these include, but the value that your service brings to the couple. Invariably, couples will purchase due to the perceived value a supplier is giving them, not their cost. In fact, conversion is rarely made over the price tag.
If yours is a creative business, then you might want to consider having a price listed for the design creation (stationers and cake makers, I’m looking at you!). Then simply say that the cost of the cake or stationery will start from X, as the price is dependent on the final creation.
There is a lot of research that shows millennial couples do not want to purchase a ‘package’ as they do not want exactly the same as everyone else. Show that you are open to a conversation. Even if you include prices on your website, consider adding a sentence that says: “We are happy to create a bespoke service according to your needs. Pricing will be dependent on your requirements.”
If you decide not to include prices on your website, then make sure you highlight the value your service will bring to a couple’s wedding, show social proof of past work, and include testimonials. You should also state that you provide individual bespoke quotations for every client.
LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD
In recent years, I have seen an increase in wedding suppliers entering the industry with no training and no concept of profitability, who simply pluck a figure from the air to charge. Invariably this is low, and as a result, lowers the industry pricing as a while. Now some suppliers and planners argue that they want their fees to remain confidential to protect their business from competition. I actually believe that community over competition and transparency would stop the lack of pricing knowledge. If everyone charged a fair price for the value they bring to clients through their knowledge and experience, then the industry would become more fair overall.
TEST AND ADAPT
Whenever I train wedding planners and work with my consultancy clients, I advise them to test and adapt. The decision on whether to have pricing on your website is no different. When you have pricing, do you enquiries increase? What is the conversion rate? And what about if you remove them? Any difference? Being a successful business owner is all about learning to take risks, adapt, and be confident in your decision.
Need more help with your pricing? Our HiveTribe members’ library includes podcasts and action plans for pricing products and services, as well as help with money mindset and selling confidence. Find out about these and other HiveTribe membership benefits HERE.