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  1. #1
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    Hello -

    I am working on a big sales site and was wondering - does it help or hurt sales to show the price? As a general rule? Any insight on this?

    I have thousands of products, individual product pages, you know the routine...

    Any ideas / past experiences?

    Danski

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    If you can't lead with the price you'd better cover your butt with superior service and a very trustworthy looking site.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  3. #3
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    Personally I don't like to show it. The lack of info keeps 'em curious--curious enough to click that tracking link and set the cookie. If it turns out to be too much for them, I figure maybe they'll find a cheaper alternative at the same merchant rather than start searching from scratch all over again.

    Plus it keeps them from doing that irritating window-shopping behavior on my site. If they want to do that, they can do it on the merchant site--after giving me the cookie.

    And that doesn't even get to the fact that 90% of changes most merchants seem to make are to the PRICES of things, so if you don't put any you've bulldozed the amount of maintenance you'll need to do down to a molehill in most cases.

    If a price is a discount price or something to that effect, I'll put that in the general description without mentioning a specific figure.

    BTW there's no service on my sites (that is the merchant's j*b!) and trustworthiness is more for the merchant to convey as well. After all, it's on the merchant site that a person has to be confident enough to actually punch in that CC Number.

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    If the merchant raises the price and you haven't updated the page the customer will be screaming.

  5. #5
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    As an online shopper, I get turned off by online stores that don't show the price right away .

    I don't appreciate the extra steps involved, and when there is no "proudly displayed price", I get the impression that it's not a competitive price , it's not on sale at all, and probably a rip-off . From my own past experiences, in most cases, it was just that -overpriced or a total rip-off.

    As an affiliate, I have thought it through many times, for the work involved , and I do post REGULAR prices - even if the item is on sale when I create the link - in big and bold RED font !

    Somehow, that red font seems to give off the impression that it's a good price , even if it isn't so hot , at least it does to me anyway.

    While it may be a sales killer when a price increase goes into effect , I can tell you that the loss is more than offset when items go on sale for less than what you have posted .

    With the exception of Stacks and Stacks that have been getting out of hand with constant price increases , I don't see too many increases overall.

    I have made the mistake of posting sale prices, and forgetting to change them back, I'm not doing it anymore . I figure, If I can get a shopper comfortable with a regular price , then they are going to LOVE the price drop that may be in store for them .


    The real truth be told, I decided to post prices because I researched this very question myself , and the marketing experts have said that there research showed a higher response on product links with prices posted .
    What can I say ? When E.F.Hutton talks ...

  6. #6
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    Awe shux, I was hoping it would be unanimous! Two great answers by two successfull (I'm assuming) marketeers.

    Thanks for the input, I'm sure both ways will work, and to be honest I'm leaning towards not showing the price...I can see a customer being curious, and clicking on the tracking link because they want to find out what the price is - that is the goal here, to get the person to click.

    If there is a link there to the product page on the merchant site, it seems most users wanting to know the price would click on the product link, rather than exiting the site and doing another google search or whatever to find the same product on a different site...

    Thanks for the input guys!

    Danski

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Thanks for the input, I'm sure both ways will work, and to be honest I'm leaning towards not showing the price...I can see a customer being curious, and clicking on the tracking link because they want to find out what the price is - that is the goal here, to get the person to click.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Danski, That does makes sense, but really think about that bolded part of your statement for a second .

  8. #8
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    "I can see a customer being curious, and clicking on the tracking link because they want to find out what the price is - that is the goal here, to get the person to click."


    Your goal is to get them to buy. Them clicking on links means nothing.

    A curious person clicking on a link means nothing. If they don't like the price the first time they see it on the home page, clicking on the link that takes them to that price won't change his/her feeling. All you did was had them take an extra step before leaving your site if they don't care to buy it.

    I'm with Lisa. I don't like going to a page and not seeing the price next to the product.

    SHOW IT! But, give the retail, and have the sales price right underneath it. Have the words, "GREAT PRICE!!" Or soemthing like that.

    ClickMagazine.NET

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Them clicking on links means nothing. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Wrong! It means a lot!

    If they click it, the cookie is set. Then if they go all over the net price-shopping, but end up buying at YourMerchant--you still get the commission, provided some other affiliate hasn't gotten the click after you.

    But if they never click your link (because they originally thought the price you showed was too high), but still end up at YourMerchant in the end--you get El Zippo!

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  10. #10
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    Understood.

    But, if those supposed "curious" visitors clicks on it to see the price, and doesn't buy it, VERY few, probably none, are going to buy it if they see it at another site.

    And, more people will click on a product if the retail price is shown, with the sales price underneath it. Espeically when you throw in a few action words. "Fantastic Price!!" "50% Cheaper than Office Depot!!!"

    ClickMagazine.NET

  11. #11
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    The argument can be tainted either way.

    No price = potentially more of a chance for a cookie by a curious consumer and less overhead in maintenance and time is valuable.

    Price = less of a chance for cookie, more work but there is value in bookmarks and having returning visitors. I myself would never bookmark a site that didn't show prices but would one that had a nice presentaion along with prices.

    Both ways have advantages and disadvantages for the short and long term. You decision should largely be based on your design skills and how much time you put in it towards retaining visitors. As you do more and more sites you may just find yourself doing both .

    Another thing to consider is how often the datafeed is updated as well. If it's not updated frequently showing prices may not be that much more work. Then again, if they update weekly or more and constantly change a no price policy may work better.

    One thing is for sure..... as more and more sites do adopt a no price policy you can bet that eventually some merchants will come out and only accept affiliates that show prices. Don't put all of eggs in one basket!

    ===================================
    Child labor laws exist yet, parasite partnering merchants (PP Merchants) and the COC allow an adult affiliates income to be diverted into the pockets of parasites and consider it normal business!

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants and the COC directly supports what many consider unfair trade practices, identity theft and thievery!

  12. #12
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    I'm actually part way through an experiment with one of my sites.

    Last month I showed prices, and this month I removed the prices and replaced them with a BestPrice comment.

    It's probably a bit early to be sure, but so far, this month I've seen about 50% more click-thrus, and sales are running at about 3 times last month.

    To get a true picture, I intend to try again next month with prices to see if sales drop back down before making a decision.

    “There are only two settings, stun and kill...it would be best not to confuse them.”
    --Malcom Reed

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> But, if those supposed "curious" visitors clicks on it to see the price, and doesn't buy it, VERY few, probably none, are going to buy it if they see it at another site. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I've had sales come in on cookies for quite a while after the original link was clicked. I can only assume that they shopped around before deciding to buy, especially on competitive items.

    Usually it's hard to tell which sales came from cookies, but in the cases I'm speaking of it was easy--I had changed the banners from one design to another, so all the sales still coming from the old design were from cookies. I see this effect whenever I update banners.

    Usefulwebs--please keep us updated!

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  14. #14
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    Will do.

    This is actually part of a bigger experiment concerning Adsense, Ebay, specific merchants, link cloaking, and a few other variables as well as prices, but I've broken it down into several parts so that I can hopefully get some meaningful data. I've also got a similar site that I've left alone as a control.

    I'm not sure yet that I would want to share all the data that this gives (and it will likely take some time to try every variable), but I'm certainly willing to share the price / no price data, though obviously it may well be different for different products, site demographics, etc.

    “There are only two settings, stun and kill...it would be best not to confuse them.”
    --Malcom Reed

  15. #15
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    I've decided to go with prices, but I'm also implement an easy way to maintain them. I've created a database with two tables one for products and one for sources. Maintenance shouldn't be too difficult.

    I do have a pricing related question. I can have multiple sources for a product and can easily output these multiple sources there by show the customer not only my best price but the prices of other sources to compare them to. Just because I can do this, should I? I don't think I'm violating any of my affiliate agreements but...? Should I use the merchants like that?

  16. #16
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    I think B*zRate does it...

    Unfortunately, if you're going to do a comparison shopping site (which is what it sounds like, since there isn't much other reason to show lots of merchants selling the same product), it stands to reason that you're stuck showing the prices, since that's one of the main things that people compare.

    Whether that will get you sales at more than one merchant per category, though, is another story--unless you can give people a compelling reason to go with a higher-priced store!

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Whether that will get you sales at more than one merchant per category, though, is another story--unless you can give people a compelling reason to go with a higher-priced store!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    True, but I wouldn't have anything in my database but Affiliated Merchants. So if they buy from any of them it's a commission. That might be the crux of the moral dilemma?

    I think I'll use the multiple source option on my c*ntent site without prices and display the best price on my sale site. That should avoid confusing the customer, let alone decieving them into think it's a comparison site.

  18. #18
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    Yeah, I have to agree with that "don't put all your eggs in one basket," but with some things, you don't have to.

    On many of our items, we show the retail prices, with the sale price right below it. We make sure our pics are sharp, and the info. on the product is good, and, we throw in some action words....all on one page. If they don't buy it, the chances are pretty slim that they won't buy it elsewhere. Of course some do, but they are in the few.

    Many are foolded into thinking that the reason they get more sales is because they don't show the price right away. Well, the reality is that in just about every single case, it's because the page that has the price, ALSO has the products info., or MORE info. right along with it.

    Of course this isn't set in stone, but you get the gest of it.

    The bottom line is that I'd rather cater to the majority, than the minority.

    Take this for what it's worth.



    PUT THOSE PENNIES BACK IN YOUR POCKET!!

    ClickMagazine.NET

  19. #19
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    Just a quick update on this -

    for the last few weeks I have removed all prices on one site. click-thrus are currently running at 3 times the previous level (traffic is pretty much the same) and sales are running at twice the previous level. My control site is slightly down from normal both on click-thrus and sales.

    It's still too early to be definite, but at least on this site, I am now inclined to keep prices off the site for a longer period than I had originally intended.

    “There are only two settings, stun and kill...it would be best not to confuse them.”
    --Malcom Reed

  20. #20
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    Mr. usefulwebs,

    My partner and I were having a discussion on this very thing.

    One question for you. On the page that has your product without that price, does it show just the picture, the name of the product and the link going to its page that has the price?

  21. #21
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    &gt;&gt; for the last few weeks I have removed all prices on one site. click-thrus are currently running at 3 times the previous level (traffic is pretty much the same) and sales are running at twice the previous level.

    Uh-huh. Unless you are in a very price-driven market (web hosting, software, domain registration etc) displaying prices right there on the product page will probably lose you sales.

    However, when you DO get around to showing prices (typically at either "more info" and / or "add to basket") be VERY clear about what the price displayed includes, taxes, shipping, surcharges. Otherwise you'll get a lot of abandonded baskets

    Also, don't be afraid to play with your pricing. Prices ending in 9 (£19.99, £9,99) convert well, then ending in 5, then ending in 8. Alternatively, for prices in the 100+ range, try pitching at a "wierd" price point, ie not £129.99, but £137.56. Conversions may rise again, DEPSITE the price rise, as unusual prices can look like a cost+% effect, implying that you are displaying your rock bottom offer

  22. #22
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    Very good to know, thaks a lot!

    Dan

    So many ways to make a buck, so little time...

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Last month I showed prices, and this month I removed the prices and replaced them with a BestPrice comment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Test in parallel, otherwise your results won't be accurate. There are a lot of factors that affect conversion and are out of your reach. Different time of day, day of week, month of the year also affect conversion rate.
    A decent programmer (dime a dozen on elance) can write a simple content alternator in a matter of hours, and getting a few accounts from the same merchant should not be a problem. So display different content on random, work your cookies to make sure the content appears persistent for any given visitor and use different accounts with that merchant for each version of the content.

    That way, you would get close to perfect results and will save a lot of time.

    Konstantin,
    www.GenericGifts.com
    "All your affiliate are belong to us"

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    In most cases I can't post the price because the merchant may change it. I have just done a search for a product I promote that is on Amazon. Amazon has the number 1 position several other merchants are on the first page, I am on the first page and most of the other top 30 pages are Amazon data feed. They look exactly alike and have the same product info. No reason to click, the price is the same and the info is the same.
    A datafeed used to pull in current price info on custom pages is a good thing, but all these duplicate pages seem to be a waste of space.

  25. #25
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    Ok, what if you're a merchant and you think that if someone can understand and appreciate the value of your product they will buy at price X.

    But without the value of the product being established before they see the price you are not sure that they will buy.

    Do you show them the price up front and say something like find out why we charge this price?

    Or in this scenario do you let them see the price after the pre sale?

    Chris Wesson
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    Gamesys Ltd
    www.jackpotjoy.com
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    & 20% profit share
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