PM is not the Key: Why Putting The Price On Your Post Matters
A few days ago, the Philippine DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) reminded those who offer their products online to post the price on their announcements and offers. The DTI cited Republic Act (RA) No. 7394 or the Consumer Act which mandates all sellers to display prices of products. Goods may also not be sold at a price higher than what is stated.
This was a warning to a lot of online sellers (especially on Facebook) who hawk that “PM is the Key”. Sadly, PM (or Private Message) is NOT the key. When you, as the seller, neglect to include the price on your posts, the comment section will often be flooded by the infamous “HM po?” (How Much). That’s really bad for your business. Here are few reasons why:
1. You want the PM to be the closing part of your sales funnel process and NOT the inquiry stage. You don’t want to waste time trying to deal with people who will be turned off when you tell them the actual price and suddenly they can’t afford it or think it’s not reasonable (remember, price is relative. More on that later).
2. You actually turn off a lot of customers. Personally, when I try to look for a good deal, I only engage with sellers who put the price on their posts. A lot of people, like myself, don’t want to waste their time to send a PM and then wait for the response when all we ever wanted was to know the price. This places the decision-making process hanging. In sales or marketing, this isn’t professional nor is it an acceptable practice. There’s a reason why there are price tags in a grocery or supermarket – you want the consumer to make a decision “there and then” versus other products of the same category.
3. PM is not automated. You’re not awake or doing business 24/7. The fact that you’re limited as a human is bad for the sales funnel already. As stated above, you want your potential buyer to make that decision (to buy or not to buy) as quickly as possible. If I see the price and I think it’s reasonable, then the PM that you will get will actually be a positive one as you will be dealing with CLOSING the sale rather than funneling them one by one.
4. PM for the price is a wrong way of engagement. A lot of sellers will try to defend not putting the price as “I want to engage the customers and every ‘HM?’ pushes my post to the top”. Duh. You’re getting the wrong kind of engagement. You want to engage with eager customers, not anxious or irritated ones and even if those comments “push” your post to the top of a Facebook group, it’s there for the wrong reasons again. You’re not attracting any interested ones as you actually are turning them away from making a decision to buy. If you want a ton of engagement, the best way is to actually invest in paid posts.
5. Price is relative. Some would say “I don’t put the price kasi some may not afford it”. Well, that’s real life for you. Price is relative – it will appeal to some and some will find it too expensive. That’s why businesses like Starbucks can put a premium on their coffee because, guess what? It’s NOT FOR EVERYONE. The office-manager or Call Center guy will see value in a Venti Mocha while the rest of the Philippines population will see it as way overpriced. But Starbucks still makes money and do good business because they, like others, know that value in terms of price is different depending on who’s looking at it (in marketing, this is called the “Target or Core Market”).
6. You distort the Marketplace Algorithms. I think one of the reasons why the Facebook Marketplace isn’t reaching high traction locally is because of the (wrong) practice of putting “P1”, “P123,456,789” or even “FREE” on their offers. A lot of sellers (wrongly) see this as “attracting attraction”. Well, you don’t need to attract attention. There’s a scientific and mathematical algorithm that would ‘suggest’ a product or offer personally keyed to an individual based on our daily Internet activities. Do you wonder why, when you browsed for a pair of headphones in Lazada or Shopee, you will seeing a lot of ads on headphones when you go to Google, other websites or even in Social Media? That’s how it works! For advertisers and marketers (with the help of “cookies” and Algorithms), the ‘Holy Grail’ would be to promote their products to someone who will “most likely buy”.
I hope that with the tips above, online sellers will see the value of putting the price on their posts and listen to consumer feedback (more would like to see that price up front). This, in turn, will lead to more favorable inquiries, and more sales as you can focus your energies on closing sales rather than answering your messenger floods with the “HM?” PM.
I’d rather you will be answering a PM with the question “Pabili po! How do I pay?” – now, isn’t that a better PM than “HM”?. Happy selling and stay safe all.
If you need help on social media marketing for your small biz, Big Ideas PH can help. We are a digital marketing and consultancy service provider that focuses on SME. Let’s talk, Contact us here or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks