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Pricing Online. Getting Prices Right on the Web. Pricing Strategy. …critical marketing mix variable actually produces revenue shortest term marketing mix variable. Pricing Strategy. Pricing Objectives survival profit maximization revenue maximization Hybrid model. Pricing Strategy.

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pricing online

Pricing Online

Getting Prices Right on the Web

pricing strategy
Pricing Strategy

…critical marketing mix variable

actually produces revenue

shortest term marketing mix variable

pricing strategy3
Pricing Strategy

Pricing Objectives


profit maximization

revenue maximization

Hybrid model

pricing strategy4
Pricing Strategy

Cost Based Pricing

cost plus, markup pricing

Demand Based Pricing

skimming, penetration

Competition Based Pricing

customary pricing

price-leader approach

Premium approach


Reference Pricing and Price Anchors

  • Every product has a price range, within which changes have little impact on consumer behavior.

For example:

  • Prices for well-known brand-name consumer health and beauty products can be raised as much as 17 % without a change in consumer reaction. NOT SENSITIVE/LOW ELASTICTY
  • Range in which price variations acceptable for certain financial services is less than 1 %. SENSITIVE/HIGH ELASTICTY
consumer demand price elasticity
Consumer Demand – Price Elasticity
  • Conduct periodic price “experiments” to gauge how price sensitivities are changing over time.
    • Offline?
    • Online?
  • Study carefully the pricing strategy of:
    • Amazon (limit to books)
    • Netflix Canada
    • Holt Renfrew
    • Rogers Wireless
    • Futureshop
  • Then write the rationale for their pricing strategy in a single short paragraph.
key questions for setting price
Key Questions for Setting Price
  • Do you sell a commoditized product/service or not?
  • Price vs. quality differentiation?
  • Do you have a strong store brand?
  • Service leader?
  • Penetrate or skim?
  • Bundle strategy?
  • Do you have a new or exclusive product?
internet as advantage
Internet as Advantage?:
  • Price testing can quickly reveal how pricing affects sales at virtually no cost.

For example:

  • A merchant could charge every 50th customer a higher or lower price and track the results over time.
  • Merchants can also change prices instantly enabling sellers to benefit from short-term changes in customer demand and market supply.
  • E-tailers may develop the data and technology to enable segmented pricing, which targets shoppers depending upon their buying history.
the big smackdown
The Big Smackdown:
  • Why is pricing such a challenge in online markets?
    • Product or category (price sensitivity??)
    • PLC
    • # of competitors
  • When should a product/service be free?
  • How do you define value if the product is free?
the big smackdown11
The Big Smackdown:
  • Strategic Consideration:
    • What is “strategic” about frequent price changes online?
    • Is it good enough to be second lowest offer?
    • What are network effects?
      • and indirect network effects?
    • What can be the economic outcome of strong and positive indirect network effects?
      • What are the implications of such a strategic opportunity?
  • Excursion on Network Product Theory
key differences online fluidity of the market
Key Differences Online: Fluidity of the Market
  • ease with which online consumers and rival retailers may access comparative information about seller characteristics and prices
  • customers often search at the product level rather than by store or category
    • Implication?
  • Consumers are more selective in online markets
  • Frequent price changes feasible
still relevant
Still relevant:
  • Brand recognition
  • Firm reputation
  • Store location (placement on the screen)
baye and gupta
Baye and Gupta
  • “online retail industry is an unpromising one for firms seeking competitive advantage”
  • What innovations in pricing strategy are required for a firm to be successful in fluid e-retail markets?
5 innovations
5 Innovations
  • Use price experimentation to learn about your Customers’ Price Sensitivity/Price Elasticity
  • Quickly adjust price based on stage of PLC (price sensitivities)
  • Quickly adjust price based on number of competitors
  • Stay Unpredictable
  • Use Hit-and-Run Pricing to Gain a Temporary Advantage without Triggering a Price War
conclusion on pricing
Conclusion on Pricing
  • Product-specific pricing
  • Dynamic/erratic pricing can be strategic
  • Shortened PLC means higher price sensitivity = requires quicker modulation
  • Free may have value – network effects in two-sided markets!
  • Online pricing often the domain of lower management levels but when doing business online that may be a problem.
  • Managerial Challenges:
    • Best e-businesses set up small functional marketing groups charged with the task of constantly monitoring opportunities to adjust prices based on market changes and customer behavior.
    • Group members should hold an entrepreneurial view of pricing.
    • Group should be empowered to set short- to medium-term pricing strategy and implement it.
network products in networked markets
Network Products in Networked Markets
  • The last decade has witnessed a shift from a focus on the value created by a single product to an examination of the value created by networks of products (product ecosystems or NETWORKED PRODUCT).
  • Network products emerge at the intersection of three types of networks:
    • User network
    • Complements network
    • Producer network

Key Claims:

  • Any or all of these networks add value or enhance the attractiveness of the associated focal product.
  • Consumers allocate resources among competing products based on the perceived value added by any or all of these networks.
The Networked Product:
  • Complements network
  • Services that permit consumption

Focal Product

    • User network
  • Other consumers

Producer network

Other companies producing the same or

similar product or service

Linux as Networked Product:
  • Complements network
  • Application developers
  • Maintenance and Repair
  • Service Companies

Ex.: Linux

Operating System

    • User network
  • number of other companies that are using Linux (moderated by size, reputation, industry, etc. of these companies)

Producer network

Other companies producing the same or

similar product or service

  • If you are dealing with a focal product that is a networked product
    • Consumers allocate resources not only based on the objective and perceived quality of the focal product but based on the perceived value added to the focal product by the networks it has.
    • Marketing of a networked product therefore is no longer limited to developing a marketing mix and a strategic position for the focal product. Rather, marketing needs to support network strength as well.

Focal Product

  • Complements network
  • Services that permit consumption
    • User network
  • Other consumers

Producer network

Other companies producing the same or

similar product or service


Toyota Prius

your task
Your Task
  • Analyze them as Networked Products.
  • Suggest 3 marketing strategies based on your analysis.