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Is it always price alone?

Or what other factors come into play?



5:03 am on Jan 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I just recently started selling products from my site. When I do a search for a product by name, I'll find all sorts of prices in the Google Products section.

I'm just wondering if it's been your experience that people shop price alone, or if other factors come into play. If so, what would those factors be?

I've also noticed that many of the sites that have their product listed with a lower price make up the difference in high shipping costs, which the customer doesn't realize until the end of the checkout process. One online merchant does a bait-and-switch, posting one price in the search results but, when you get to the site, you find that the price is for a different model, and the price for the model advertised is 25% higher.

At any rate, opinions are much appreciated.


5:15 am on Jan 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

When I shop online price is no where near the most important factor.

First is Trust.

Second is transaction flow.

Third would be shipping info/options.

Fourth would be payment options, etc.

Fifth would be price.

If you don't get the first four right, the last doesn't matter.


2:18 pm on Jan 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I bet if you keep looking the price is almost the same in the end.

Most of the "Cheap" shops in froogle are going to have HUGE shipping fees.

I see it all the time.. a 79.00 item lest for 40.00 and then a 35.00 shipping charge while at another store you can see it for 59.95 + 7.95 shipping charge (which comes out to less) but if all you look at is the price they show its probably wrong (or too good to be true as they saying goes!)



2:50 am on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

We think presentation is important, then trust in the site. Repeat business and word of mouth is right behind that. Just work on making the site better all the time for your repeat business and you will prosper!


4:38 am on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What ken_b said. Price is not the first factor people consider. Your site must feel trustworthy, not cheap, with a logical product organization that works for them (not the programmer who set it up).

Search is also important. Customers search for "plurals" (e.g. Widgets, not Widget), they misspell, they phrase things funny, and they use slang in their searches. You must correctly handle these cases. Full-text searching is required, not just SQL LIKE '%searchTerm%' matches.

Regarding high shipping rates, the average internet shopper has a sense for what is "fair" for shipping costs. They will not hesitate to click away the moment they think you're trying to gouge them.


9:25 am on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


"I bet if you keep looking the price is almost the same in the end."

But the OP in this situation will be at a disadvantage, because when customers come do a comparison shopping, they do it at the pre-add-to-cart stage, and given that the few sites selling the widgets, with everything being equal(no bad, good reputation), he will lose the sale.

Web-savvy shoppers will spot the high shipping scheme, and will perhas abandon cart, but there are so many human logic factor that comes into play when it comes to the check out process, that lower product prices will make more sales. Given everything being equal, again.

Also consider that the competitor can use an additioanl "lowest price GUARANTEED" hook, and he will attract the bulk of the market pie.

I do not have a positive solutions to contribute to dickbaker though.. the optimal solution would be Branding, but achieving that is a very long flight of stairs ...


1:32 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


True, those shipping heavy sites will scam some traffic but the business side doesn't change and most likely they will not be around a year or two from now.


3:32 pm on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Price.........not anymore. Its the trust between you and your customers that counts.
I am not the cheapest in the market and some of my customers tell me this on face but they still stick with me for the simple reason that I take good care of them of their needs. One of my customers lost alot of $$ due to a shipping miscalculation by him. I truly felt his pain. I made him such an offer on his next shipment that made him like , "you must be joking.....................................well, I really dont know what to say".
You have got to take care of your customers. Its the customer care that counts these days.


1:50 am on Jan 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Trust is Excellent! To retain your current customer base. You've gained their trust, due to your great customer service or product. But that's only AFTER they initiate contact with you! How are you going to attract them to stay long enough at your portal, to buy/contact you?

How would you know, if your competitor also offers great customer service? We all know the power of viral marketing. That amounts to a good percentage of sales referral in an ecommerce site. Putting other considerations aside, and given equal customer service, the site with more sales will gain more referral chances, thus more future sales thus referrals etc etc.

I referred the above point, with a strong emphasis on leaving out other considerations. Now..it's these considerations we should explore, in how to establish the OP as the industry leader.



2:53 am on Jan 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

everyone rushes to a lower price, but what they are really in seek of is the best "value." value is inclusive. the price has to be competitive, (and price does include shipping in comparison theese days) but its not just the item that you want. If the item is a gift, can i get free giftwrap; does the company do enough volume to have an order tracking system and email a shipping conf with tracking number. or are you buying something from someones basement.

are there reviews, not just in general, but for the item, or similiar items which ensures you that there are people who hapilly bought the item(s) you want from the site. will your purchase be delivered on time, properly shipped. Is the image of the product a stock photo or a real life photo.

IS THE ITEM ACTUALLY IN STOCK - a good indication is if you put a qty of 100 of the item in your cart, do you really think the company is going to have 100 to give to you? they would have to wait for their "suppliers" to give them 100 units, probably off the boat from china and you, wait....... a long wait --- check their shipping policy - e-tailers should ship out the next day if they are cataloging their "stock"

basically, a bigger site, like amazon, will gain the most trust, thus conversion, simply because their big. You know that they do enough volume to have a smooth fulfillment, and extras.

My unique gifts site offers 9 choices of free designer giftwrap, simply because we do enough volume to offer it. a little ma and pa cant afford to offer that when they do 1 sale a week with their small site.

id say that price is just a prerequisite to choosing a site that represents a large volume or share of the product-market you are seeking.


6:06 am on Jan 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Very good post hellraiser1.

Your homepage, category page and product page are what can stand you out amongst your competition. What kind of additional reassuarance, guarantee or confidence can you add to these page to outdo them(I'm not talking about hackersafe stuff..)? Or do you have better content to offer? Do you sell blender, and placed up a video that uses your blender to grind up your brand new IPhone?

How do you spread out the message, that you are the LEADING choice, for your niche's widgets?



7:33 am on Jan 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Ive always found that having nice clean pictures and pro designed buttons increases sales.

A very simple step to take.


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