The Price: Display It or Not?

Pricing in the application

Price is the amount of money that you should provide in order to receive some products (goods or services). Recently, we have been asked our clients if they should provide the price in the menu of their mobile application. This post will quickly dive into this topic.


The background of the problem

Imagine yourself visiting the store (either brick or online). You fell in love with some product but there is no price displayed. You will probably not take a product to the cash desk and make yourself surprised by the cashier telling you how much you are going to pay.

The most possible scenario is that you will feel a little bit confused if you see no price displayed. This might end up in 2 ways:

  1. You will ask staff for the price and decide if you will buy or not.
  2. You will not be willing to ask for the price and leave with the empty basket.

Have you experienced this situation before? If so, how did you act?

From my point of view, it is easier (and more likely) to abandon the website if it doesn’t meet the expectations users have. In the brick store, some of you are probably willing to ask for the price.


The pricing problem in your mobile application

Now imagine your mobile application with no prices displayed. There are several scenarios that could happen:

  1. Your guest will abandon the ordering process (very likely).
  2. Your guest will ask your staff about the price e. g. via live chat. However, wasn’t the point of direct orders bypassing this scenario?
  3. Your guest will not care about the price during ordering process and she will be unfavorably surprised at the moment of payment (or she will not be willing to attend anymore).
  4. Your guest will not care about the price during ordering process and she will be favorably surprised.

What I see in this list of scenarios is too many “IFs” and variables that cannot be predicted. Do you like uncertainty?


If you display pricing in your mobile application…

… you will eliminate the entropy of your guests. As easy as that. Again, there are several scenarios that could happen:

  1. You will probably receive higher number of orders because guests will know what to expect from the service.
  2. You will receive lower number of orders but with the higher completion rate. The guests who order the service will be most likely to actually attend and pay for the service (please review the scenario #3 in the previous part).

If you provide the price, you will also receive less inquiries from the people who would not attend because of the price. However, if your staff can perfectly persuade your guests and close additional deals, you might want as highest number of guests’ inquiries as possible. At this point, review the scenario #1 from the previous part. Do you see this vicious circle, too?


“What if I have different pricing for several guest categories?”

Yes, this is the reality in a lot of hotels. You might have prices set for regular guests, loyalty program guests or corporate clients, too. From my point of view, I would list all prices (maybe except the corporate one). The first should be the regular price and then other prices with a clear notion of discount (e. g. You will save 20%). This way, you can even persuade more guests to sign up to your loyalty program!

And what about corporate guests? I think they can expect the price to be between the standard price and loyalty program price (or sometimes even lower). In this case, the nice gesture would be following up the guests (e. g. via live chat) and provide her with the exact price of the service.


There is no silver bullet

As you have seen during the whole post, there are several situations that can happen and you cannot say which one it will be. The remedy for this uncertainty is testing. Try to display or not display prices, formats of pricing displayed and compare results achieved. Don’t forget to talk to your guests to ask for their opinion, preferences and suggestions about it, too.


So, would you display or not display the price? Let us know why in the comments below.


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Marketing Specialist and PhD. candidate
Lukáš takes care of questions connected to modern marketing, analytics and optimization of processes.

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