That is the e-commerce question

By Anastasia Stefanova, AVB Marketing

With Google often being the first stop on the customer journey for a furniture shopper, it’s more important than ever to provide transparent pricing and an easy checkout process online.

This key ingredient in the sales process is a cost-effective way of boosting revenue, tracking and streamlining marketing efforts, improving customer satisfaction and gaining market share.

See: The Price of Not Pricing Furniture Online

However, some furniture retailers still express hesitancy around putting pricing online or adding payment gateways to their website. Legitimate concerns around competitors with razor-thin margins, sales team incentives and other fears keep the local retailer from transparent online pricing and payment options.

Yet in the attempt to keep their cards close to the vest to stay competitive and own the sales process, quite the opposite is actually being achieved. In this article, we’re going to cover the second of four notable challenges expressed by non-transactional BrandSource members and offer insight into why their concerns are surmountable.                                         

Member Concern: “My competitor has razor-thin margins and will just beat me on price. At least if I keep the pricing off the website, they won’t see what I’m doing.”

This reasoning only works if you truly believe you must be the lowest price to be profitable. But if that were the case, then the majority of furniture retailers across the U.S. would be out of business!

There are numerous factors that go into a purchase decision outside of price, such as service, quality, inventory, availability, proximity to the store and so much more. Trust in your unique selling points, which have built your business! 

Sometimes just providing exactly what the customer is looking for online is enough. Maybe you’re running the right sale or are simply the first place a customer visits. This is the very reason it’s important to provide transparent pricing on your site, along with a way to purchase online to make it as easy as possible for someone to buy from you.

By providing fewer obstacles to the customer journey, you increase your chances of getting that sale over your competitor (regardless of their pricing). 

A competitor who is truly looking to snoop on your sales strategy will be able to find your pricing without you having it online. But in the effort to keep the competition from seeing pricing, we’re also impeding potential customers from seeing pricing. It is possible that a customer may see your prices and go to your competitor to see what their prices are. This customer was unlikely to have bought from you if they are truly looking for the lowest price, whether you show the price online or not.

However, it’s also possible a customer sees your pricing and doesn’t visit the competitor at all. What if they are able to purchase the product right on the site immediately? Unfortunately, without any pricing available online, it is almost certain that they will visit another site to check out pricing they could not find. 

In other words, not pricing the website to get a leg up on the competition is actually pushing more customers straight to their doors because customers can’t find what they are looking for and move on. 

Turns out not pricing the website is contributing to the complete opposite of what we wish to accomplish by not pricing the website.

If you’re curious about how pricing your website or adding a payment gateway might impact your business, email me at or contact your dedicated AVB Marketing account representative.

Anastasia Stefanova is director of marketing/home furnishings at AVB Marketing, the advertising, e-commerce and digital marketing arm of YSN publisher AVB BrandSource. Contact Ana at

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