|Increase in price|
how to announce ...
If certain products of a site will increase in price, what is the best way
to do it? Should you warn people that prices will soon go up or is it better to
just change it without any warning ?
Of course it's best to give warning. You stand to lose users, but you avoid many potential headaches. Plus, you should do what's in the users' interest (especially since you're doing something that isn't: raising the price). If you were a user of your site, wouldn't you want to be notified?
I would not want to be notified by e-mail saying something like 'LAST CHANCE TO GET YOUR WIDGETS FOR 9.99 BEfORE THEY GO UP!' I hate getting e-mail like that, i never buy from the site again couz i think its a gimic even if they say, 'this is not a lie!' ;) You can put notice somewhere on the page, call it a sale price of existing price, sale ends xx/xx/02 origional price ;)
I think it depends on what kind of products/services are having the price increase.
For example, if I were a user with a recurring monthly service (e.g., online banking), I'd want an email notification of the price increase well before it happens.
However, if I'm a user on a general ecommerce site, I won't care that you're increasing the cost of various products.
In fact, if you point out to me that you just raised the price of blue widgets and I were on your site to buy blue widgets, this would probably prompt me to go comparison shopping.
It really does depend upon the products you sell. I use a disclaimer saying, "prices subject to change without notice". I never know when there will be a price increase or change, so I can't notify my customers. That one line says, "buyer beware". If you don't buy it today, it may cost you more tomorrow ... and my hands are clean.;)
I think it depends on the relationship you have with the customer. As Hawkgirl said certain products/services are on going, or you may be a trade supplier and your customers are quoting based on your prices. In those cases imho you need to give a clear and advanced warning of any increase.
A "hit and buy" ecommerce site is another matter, change the prices of your products every day if you like.
I never warn my customers. But then again, I don't know when the prices will change - all the prices are dynamically calculated from a suppliers cost list on a weekly basis for 3000 products.
Some forms of pricing changes I would want to be warned of. eg if Overture/Google AdWords were to put their prices up, if my merchant account were to put their fees up. ie if I have a 'contract' with them.
Yeah, above posts are right. I was assuming you were talking about a monthly service cost. For regular product prices, it really depends.
If you sell retail goods, Most people will never
notice a price increase of 5% of less, Only 1%
of customers complained when we raised prices 8%
one year, due to shipping cost increases.
If you provide a service, on a repeated basis, I
would definitely inform the customer.
Its amazing, how customers will not complain about
price increases in stores, but will go through the
roof if there cable bill goes up 50 cents.
I think it might be a good idea to warn of a price rise on the site (eg. "On 14 Dec prices will rise, so buy quickly!") BEFORE the rise occurs. That way, a customer looking at a product:
1. May be more inclined to purchase immediately as they risk paying more later
2. Is forewarned, so that if they do return to the site later to make a purchase, they are already aware there will be a price difference.
In that sense, it may be a good idea to also include in the msg:
1. A date that prices will increase on.
2. A reason for the increase, IF it won't offend customers (ie. don't say "We want more money" but if the reason is "Increased costs from our suppliers" then a customer is more likely to understand!)
Giving a fair amount of time for the warning might be a good idea also. And how about combining it with a "pre-price-rise sale"? If you have any customers subscribed to mailing lists for brochures etc, it might be a convenient way to inform them of an intended price rise (especially if they are repeat customers - you hardly want to surprise them with increased prices when next they return to your site). That way, existing customers who don't log into your site during the "warning" period are still notified! (No spam though)
However, I don't think it's necessary to tell the customer that you have just increased prices. Then they'd just be kicking themselves for having missed out on the lower price, and as Hawkgirl said, may encourage them to do some price comparisons with other sites. If they pose a query (probably only in the case of repeat customers) as to why prices have increased, you can always claim that you gave them fair warning....
By notifying of a price raise, you will get increased business before the price rise, but your business will drop for a while after the price increase. It all balances out.