Can’t you just price your products based on costs and target profit margins? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you ignored competitor prices?
You’d have few people visiting your store and even fewer buying stuff. In other words, you’d lose sales. We understand that competitive pricing seems confusing, yet it meets the needs of online retailers.
If you’re ready, let’s break down what competitive pricing is, explain it with a real-life example, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks in the FAQ section.
What’s competitive pricing?
It’s a strategy where businesses take competitor prices into account while setting their own prices.
They do it because online shoppers compare prices before deciding where to buy.
This is an example of four stores that implement this strategy. That means they all keep track of each other’s prices to make sure their own offers are competitive.
As an online retailer, you have many competitors to keep track of. So you need a solid data collection system.
What’s more, you must be able to respond immediately to competitors’ price changes.
Manually tracking 100 product prices from 10 competitor websites takes 12,5 hours, so we strongly advise price tracking automation.
Using a price tracking and dynamic pricing tool, you can opt for:
- The cheapest positioning in the market
- The average positioning where most competitors are clustered
- The highest price positioning where luxury brands are clustered
So the dynamic pricing rules you set determine where you’re positioned against competitors.
When you target high-end customers and offer premium products, it’s better to price above competitors. It’ll result in fat margins but also, low conversions.
But if you want to target a large audience, you must offer competitive prices.
Of course, we are talking about two extremes, so there are thousands of different price points in between these positions.
Pursuing competitive pricing doesn’t mean fixing prices to a competitor’s. Rather it means taking competitor prices as a major factor when testing out different price points.
Like the one we’ve done here, consumers can easily conduct a price search before buying anything, and nearly all do so. That’s why online stores track each others’ prices and try to remain competitive.
But not everyone wants to position as the cheapest.
Take a look at the Fitbit below.
Now, look at a similar company that also sells wearable tech.
In this case, Fitbit is able to charge considerably more because they are an established brand. Thanks to powerful branding, consumers are willing to pay much more than they would for a competitor brand.
Like with most e-commerce strategies, there are advantages and disadvantages to it. But one thing is certain, you can’t survive in the e-commerce arena without a competitive pricing strategy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Competitive pricing is a strategy where a product’s price is set in line with competitor prices. A real-life example is Amazon’s pricing of popular products. The retail giant gathers competitive price intelligence and utilizes it to offer the cheapest price in the market.
You’ll have total control over your positioning.
The competitive intelligence you’ll gather will reveal competitor strategies, which will help you make better decisions in the long term.
If you integrate it with the dynamic pricing strategy, you’ll be testing numerous price points and maximize profits without losing your competitive strength.
Competing solely on price might grant you a competitive edge for a while, but you must also compete on quality and work on adding value to customers if you want long term success.
If you base your prices solely on competitors, you might risk selling at a loss. Instead, combine several strategies in line with your business objectives.