Is the Era of Fixed Prices Coming to an End?

This is an image of a dead end sign on a city street.

When stores began introducing fixed pricing, bringing an end to haggling, consumer behavior changed. Rather than consumers bargaining for the price they thought the product was worth, retailers could forecast profits off an item. As the retail landscape began to grow into the eCommerce space, sites such as eBay brought back the “haggling” aspect of commerce that had long been over. Whereas eBay requires consumers to outbid one another in order to get an item, dynamic pricing has provided a unique advantage.

You may notice this when shopping on sites such as Amazon. Items that you save to your cart for future purchase fluctuate in price, and eventually the price reaches a low that you can’t say no to. The advent of big data and dynamic pricing became a tactic for online retailers to decide what the optimal price would be for consumers to purchase an item. Despite sales and clearance, brick and mortar (B&M) stores are still trying to bridge the gap created by big data. Consumers still prefer the instant gratification brought by buying a product in the store, but in order to continue bringing those customers back, B&M retailers need to understand consumer behavior.

Pricing fluctuations can either entice customers or push them farther away. With dynamic pricing online, customers wait until the deal is too good to pass on. Whether or not that price was a good deal seems to a matter of perspective. B&M retailers can test out this methodology as well. With Wiser’s in-store data collection, you can monitor your product’s pricing across retailers and understand buying patterns when promotions occur.

Contributing writer: Gabrielle Winant

Need better data to inform your decisions? Whether in-store or online, Wiser has you covered from pricing to assortment to promotions. Schedule a meeting today to learn how to turn retail data into action. 

Angelica Valentine

Angelica Valentine is the Marketing Manager at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions, and a contributor to VentureBeat, Business Insider, The Future Customer Engagement and Commerce, and more. She holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University.