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Should prices be displayed on B2B e-commerce websites?

Zoé Kahn

As a result of numerous studies, we find that buyers are able to leave more quickly a site that does not indicate the price of its products/services. Business customers often report pricing as the most needed information online but many B2B e-commerce websites do not indicate this.

Price: a criterion for competition on B2B e-commerce websites


Most Internet users prefer to find information online quickly and on their own. Don’t assume that potential customers will contact you to find out the price, especially during the initial search phase. Customers can travel far in their shopping journey before contacting suppliers. If they can’t find the prices on your site, they will have to see if they can find them on a competing site.

Companies rationalize the reasons for not disclosing prices online even if is it one of the key characteristics of a B2B e-commerce website: we don’t want our competitors to know, prices vary by customer, prices fluctuate constantly, personalized services have unique prices, etc. These excuses are legitimate reasons in almost all cases. However, not displaying prices goes against the needs of customers and thus creates a hostile shopping experience.

B2B online transactions tend to have high prices and purchasing decisions could have a strong impact. Relieve any tension people might have about doing business with your organization by offering details about products and services in a meaningful way. That means being honest about the price. It’s good customer service. Stand out from your competitors by being transparent. People see companies that hide costs as evasive and unreliable.


Why B2B business users need price information

Businesses need to know the cost (although it’s approximate) for several reasons:

  • • The price determines the product category. The price display tells people whether or not they belong to the right category of products. Companies expect different prices for consumer and professional products. For example, users looking for professional-quality devices could eliminate anything that has a relatively low price, as it probably wouldn’t have the features they need. Knowing the price at the beginning helps users quickly target items relevant to their situation.
  • • Price is a key element in product comparison. Once people select potential candidates, pricing is essential to making compromise decisions. Is it worth paying more to get this extra feature? Why do these two products look the same but, do they have different prices? Without the price, people cannot do effective benchmarking.
  • • The price is necessary for planning. Large purchases often require months and sometimes years of planning. Prices are necessary to make budget allocation decisions and for companies and contractors to submit offers to customers. In both cases, the exact cost is not a concern; even having rough numbers helps in the planning phase and ensures that items are accounted. Professional customers are confident in their ability to negotiate better prices than what is posted online.

Even if you can’t view the exact prices, display price examples, a range, or a “from”. Many B2B products and services are complex. The price structure varies for each customer depending on countless situations. Still, this is no excuse not to post price information. Estimates can often appease prospects during the search phase.


Final Thoughts

Revealing the price on your B2B e-commerce website is a way to gain the trust of visitors. They consider companies that present this key information to be authentic and direct. Transactions are more likely to occur when people feel informed about your offers and trust your organization. Not displaying prices foes against the needs of customers and this introduces hostility into the search and shopping experience. The price is important. Displaying price can be a good practice to increase conversion rates on your B2B e-commerce website.

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