SwiftERM Hyper-personalisation for ecommerce email marketing
SwiftERM logo
The ultimate guide to dynamic pricing

The ultimate guide to dynamic pricing

Dynamic pricing is when a company or store continuously adjusts its prices throughout the day. The goal of these price changes is twofold: on one hand, companies want to optimise margins, and on the other, they want to increase their chances of sales.

Dynamic pricing is a pricing strategy that applies variable prices instead of fixed prices. Instead of deciding on a set price for a season, retailers can update their prices multiple times per day to capitalise on the ever-changing market. Dynamic pricing often gets confused with personalised pricing. But these two different types of pricing are extremely different from one another.

To put it simply, dynamic pricing looks at your products and their relative value to the rest of the market. Personalised pricing, on the other hand, looks at individual consumer behaviour and gauges (and changes) a product’s value based on past shopping experience.

Personalised pricing is controversial because it uses individual data and shopping experiences, information that many consumers consider private and personal. It’s also somewhat risky in an age where consumers can interact with and talk to each other like never before. If Consumer A finds out they paid more for the same product than their best friend, their trust in a company will erode.

Dynamic pricing, on the other hand, allows you to capture extra sales and take advantage of a changing market without invading consumer privacy or trust.

The ultimate guide to dynamic pricing

Dynamic pricing in ecommerce

Dynamic pricing and ecommerce co-evolved together. As the internet became more sophisticated and online shopping grew, so needed dynamic pricing.

Consumer electronics was one of the forerunners in the retail landscape in terms of the trend towards online. As a category of elastic products that are sensitive to price changes, it makes sense. Retailers need dynamic pricing to stay on top of the market and continue to offer competitive prices.

But as consumer spending rises in this category (and with it the online market share), two developments that affect dynamic pricing have emerged:


As more people shop for consumer electronics online, the amount of comparison shopping also increases. Consumers are now far more likely to evaluate a retailer’s prices against the company’s competition.

This shines a spotlight on your product price and makes it the most important part of each sale. Since consumer electronics are typically highly elastic, a 5%-10% difference between your price and your competitors could be the deciding factor for a consumer.


Because of this increased demand for price transparency and matching, the number of price changes every day has increased dramatically since the dawn of e-commerce. Traditionally, the supplier or the manufacturer would determine the price of a product with a consumer-advised price (CAP). However, this CAP quickly became irrelevant with the growth of comparison shopping online.

Today, prices are determined by the retailer instead of a supplier and are based on a variety of variables, including general market trends, competition prices, and stock levels.

A variety of other categories, such as Toys and Games, for example, follow the same pattern: when online spending rises, so does the demand for price transparency. This, in turn, leads to an increased frequency of price changes and the use of dynamic prices.

This trend often also attracts new players to the market without physical stores, which makes it difficult for traditional retailers.

Although traditional retailers have the first-mover advantage, they are generally less flexible in adapting their (pricing) strategy. However, the retailers that do capitalise on their omnichannel advantage can move ahead of the pack.

What are some dynamic pricing strategies?

Traditionally, there are twelve successful ways retailers can set their prices.  Of these, there are 3 basic ones the cost-plus method, the competitor-based method, and the value-based method.

The cost-plus method is the most simple out of all three. All you need to do is take the cost of your product and add the desired margin on top of that cost.

The competitor-based method follows your competition. If your competitor changes their price, you’ll change your price as a result, whether that’s to be lower or higher than your competition.

The value-based pricing method follows the price elasticity of a product. Different consumers value items differently, so everyone has a certain threshold that they are willing to pay for a product. A value-based pricing method capitalizes on the public’s perception of the value of a product and charges accordingly.

Dynamic pricing software allows you to combine different pricing methods at the same time. Some software also allows you to incorporate other useful information, such as your stock levels, popularity score, and even the weather forecast.

The ultimate guide to dynamic pricing

How to implement dynamic pricing

Implementing dynamic pricing is a journey, one that has a lot of twists and turns. And it does create a big change in your organization. That’s why you should view the adoption of dynamic pricing as an opportunity to improve your overall pricing strategy and internal systems, as well as your overall margin.

Is it hard to get started with dynamic pricing?

After hundreds of implementation projects, we’ve come up with a five-step process to successfully implement dynamic pricing:

  1. Define your commercial objective: Your commercial objective is like your company’s compass: it’ll help you navigate any institutional changes and keep you heading in the right direction. The commercial objective applies to more than just pricing and marketing, it’s the first step for a successful dynamic pricing strategy. 

  2. Build a pricing strategy: Your pricing strategy takes your commercial objective, and then translates it into a strategy that your team will use to sell products. An example? Say your overall commercial objective is to be known as the cheapest retailer on the market. Your pricing strategy would then be to make sure every product in your store is cheaper than the competition’s offering.

  3. Choose your pricing method(s): Your pricing strategy tells you what you want to do. Your methods are how you’ll achieve those pricing goals. Your pricing methods are more specific than your pricing strategy.

  4. Establish pricing rules: Pricing rules tell your dynamic pricing software what to do. You should set a rule for every product that the software needs to track and change.

  5. Test and monitor: The final step for getting started with dynamic pricing is to test and monitor your software’s changes.

Share :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *