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Dynamic Pricing

Winning the “Dynamic Pricing” Duel with Customers

Recently, I was quoted in US News and World Report, in an article by Geoff Williams entitled What Consumers Should Know About Dynamic Pricing.

Mr. Williams highlights a number of techniques that shoppers can use to get the upper hand in finding deals in an age where much of the wheeling and dealing happens online. Some of these include the judicious use of cookies: either blocking cookies so that the retailer doesn’t know who you are, or maximizing their accessibility, precisely so that the retailer does know who you are. He also mentions shopping online with different browsers and leaving items in the shopping cart for a day or two, in order to prompt the store into offering a better deal rather than face cart abandonment.

These are all sound and practical techniques, and they point to an ever-growing sophistication among the online buying public in terms of working the system to ensure the best price at this very moment. 

Looking for a deal is a transactional practice as old as humanity itself, but this time around the shopper knows more about price comparisons and leverage than at any time previously. Consumers are learning to play their PCs and mobile devices more like instruments rather than fearing their mystery.

Tweaking cookies or using shopping carts in this way are components of this skill set and have consequently become a part of the act of shopping. 

This does not mean the consumer holds all the cards. Two techniques that retailers can easily embrace involve trust and loyalty – both very human attributes. The trust factor comes from transparency.

Dynamic pricing is a reality, but this demands that stores be transparent about how it will be used.

Uber has set a standard of price transparency by alerting its customers to upcoming surge pricing. The modern consumer, being vigilant and in constant contact with brands across multiple channels, will become aware of these changes regardless, and will choose to trust vendors who treat them with respect in a changing marketplace.

The second technique is that of generating loyalty through an app. Brands that adopt dynamic pricing should strongly consider incentivizing consumers to download their native branded app through which the best prices and special deals are offered. This app is a consumer’s remote control for their favorite retailers, and one of the biggest signs of loyalty by a customer toward a brand. It is a two-way remote control – retailers can better influence the purchase decisions of customers while the shoppers themselves ensure a degree of privilege in terms of pricing and service. 

The data is available everywhere. More and more consumers are doing more and more of their shopping via their portable device. They are not waiting to get home and check things out on the home PC (if they still have one), nor are they waiting for promotions in the mail, electronic or otherwise. They exist through their devices, they research, compare and decide through them, and as single-click payment technologies expand and penetrate deeper into the retail sphere, they also prefer to pay, immediately, with those same devices.

By rolling all of these preferences inside a native app, a retailer can turn dynamic pricing into a double win, inspiring new customers to visit and shop, while retaining and growing the trust and loyalty of its existing customer base.

To read the full US News and World Report article by Geoff Williams entitled What Consumers Should Know About Dynamic Pricing, click here >> . 

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Stephan Schambach, Founder & CEO

Stephan is a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record of creating and growing successful tech companies in the United States and Europe. Under his leadership and vision, he brought Intershop and Demandware to IPO's with multi-billion dollar market caps. As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NewStore, Stephan is setting out to change the market once again. This time by solving the omnichannel problem facing so many retailers and brands.

Topics: Dynamic Pricing

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