My answers are predictably the same: Your competitors probably already know your pricing because they probably shop your store. And two, why would you not want alienate potential customers and not increase your sales volume?
Statista reports that 24.19MM consumers bought furniture online.They did it because the products had pricing on the website so they could decide if they could afford it. You may think that’s only 7.5% of the population, but if you look at this number (as it relates to the population) and you can consider an actual “buying customer”, that number percentage jumps dramatically to 16.5%.
And according to eMarketer, “Retail ecommerce sales of furniture and home furnishings will grow 16.4% in 2017 to reach $35.95 billion and will total $62.36 billion by 2021.”
If you continue to want to buck the trend, you will lose business because you’re failing at providing what the customer wants. Here’s why!
“If you don’t see what an item costs on a website, you move on to a website that does show pricing.”
When was the last time you called a store and asked them what something on their website cost? You probably didn’t. Instead, you likely right clicked the image and saved it to your desktop or copied the image URL, and pasted it into Google image search.
Once you do that, all you have to do is click “Shopping” and you guessed it, the product, the manufacturer, the pricing and what retailers are selling the item pops up in your search results.
How do you shop online? I’ll bet if you don’t see what an item costs on a website, you move on to a website that does show pricing. If the price is fair and you want it, you buy it. You don’t go back to that store and call them for their price.
As for the commerce excuse, virtually every web provider has an ecommerce solution built into it. You can do one-off orders, or you can integrate it into your P.O.S. system. Sure, it takes time and costs money, but a lot less money than losing over 25% of the buyers out there that are buying online.
Math is hard. This isn’t.
So, let’s address the elephant in the room about pricing on your website. I often hear retailers say: “I don’t want my competitors to see my pricing”, or “I don’t want the consumer to ‘price shop me’ via showrooming or webrooming.”
My position is straightforward: put everything you have open to buy on your site. Yes, thousands of SKUs and price them all.
More than 80% of consumers want to buy local. When they search, and you don’t have what they’re looking for, their search results divert to those companies that do: Wayfair, Amazon, Houzz, Overstock and others that have thousands, if not millions of SKUs, that are all transparently priced and easy to buy online.
You may say that you don’t do special order, but consider all those companies I just listed only do special order and they sell a ton more stuff than you do.
Deflecting the Webroom/Showroom Problem
Place a banner on your website, or a video, stating, “We will match any price on any product with the exact same SKU delivered into our market.” My thinking is that if you do have to match a price, making 30% of something, is a lot more profitable than making 50% of nothing.
Five years ago, Best Buy was considered “toast” when it came to competing with Amazon. Most analysts gave up on them. What ended up happening is they implemented a price match guarantee and their business took off. As of March 2018, they’ve had great earnings.
People want to shop local. They want to see what they are considering buying, and see what it will cost instantly. In Best Buy’s case, that was televisions, computers, appliances and other high-ticket items much like furniture.
Consumers demand transparency when they shop online, and they are a Nano-second from abandoning you forever if you don’t give that to them. Why would you allow that to happen in such a competitive market place like furniture? Give consumers what they want: a highly engaging website with prices and an e-commerce option.