This is usually a thorny subject for wedding suppliers. It’s certainly not a new dilemma because it has existed for as long as websites have themselves.
In the majority of cases, I believe the entire issue of ‘to publish or not to publish pricing’ is something that most suppliers face when they first create their website. Most will probably stick to their initial policy – whatever they decide. Others may change their minds about publishing their prices online depending on what their competitors do.
Sometimes, suppliers will offer excuses as to why they cannot publish their prices e.g. “there are too many unknown variables in my business“.
Bullshit! (in 99% of cases).
Let me explain. Every wedding vendor has a thought process that works out a fair price to charge for their wedding service. There is no reason why this thought process cannot be explained and disclosed on a website.
Let’s take an example. A wedding car company who charge based on the type of car they provide, number of cars provided, length of time required and the total distance involved (fuel costs, tolls etc.) could easily publish this detail on their site so that couples could work out how much it is going to cost them. Same goes for makeup artists, church musicians, photographers, videographers and so on.
Why not publish this info on their site in a clear and easy to follow guide? Why not include a downloadable PDF file that takes them through the detail? Brides and grooms are intelligent beings – if they contact you after going through your pricing in detail, chances are that they are genuinely interested in your service.
Another reason which may dissuade a supplier from publishing their prices online is that if a bride or groom are put off by the price, they’ll never make contact and thus, the supplier will never have a chance of conversion. Well that’s a fair point, but chances are that your conversion rates for these type of enquiries to your business are likely to be much lower than those initial leads that have the necessary budget for your service. The time and effort trying convert these ‘weaker’ leads into sales surely would be better spent targeting your service towards the couples who can afford your service and if happy with your professionalism will book you quicker?
OK, fair enough, there is almost always an exception. A bridal gown designer or a custom-made jewellery designer would have a tough job displaying prices on their website. But, how about a compromise? Their website could give some sort of an indication as to whether pricing begins at €500 or €5,000! This brings me neatly on to my next point.
I’m not picking on bridal gown designers, they would have good reason for displaying price brackets. However, as a wedding videographer, there is no reason for me to simply state that my prices begin at €X. Personally speaking, I’m not crazy about websites that say “prices begin at €X”? To me, this is almost a condescending way of telling a bride or groom that they won’t be able to absorb the detail of a structured pricing plan if it was presented to them online. It can also be perceived as a way of telling the couple to kindly go away if they don’t meet the minimum financial entry requirement!
I’ve put together the following list of 5 reasons why wedding suppliers should publish their prices on their wedding websites:
- It immediately shows that you have nothing to hide and that every couple is going to be quoted the same price upon enquiry (as long as their circumstances and requirements match).
- It eliminates the notion (in some couples’ heads) that certain wedding suppliers simply pluck a figure out of their head for each wedding enquiry.
- It saves a lot of admin time dealing with ‘tyre-kickers’ and those enquiries whose budget is simply not enough to afford your service.
- It allows you to spend more time on those more informed enquiries once they make contact with you. They already know how much you charge, now they want to find out more about the actual service supplied. You’ve a better chance of conversion now.
- Brides simply prefer when suppliers display their prices. I know this from reading their feedback in various online wedding forums.
Have I forgotten anything? Please leave a comment below
What’s your pricing policy? Do you publish your prices online or not? Why did you take that decision? Any regrets? Please comment on this blog entry below, I’d love to hear your comments on this topic.