According to pricing strategy consultant Rafi Mohammed, the dynamic pricing model implemented by online retailers this Christmas season is likely to fail in the long-term. Dynamic pricing, which is price changes in real time depending on demand, is what airlines use to set prices for tickets. In that industry, consumers are willing to accept fluctuations in price because they can understand that buying a last minute ticket costs more than buying one months in advance. Demand is very unpredictable and dynamic pricing is warranted. But the same understanding doesn’t hold for retailers. Consumers who pay higher prices for a new phone or appliance will feel cheated as they see prices go down on something they just bought. Apple experienced this backlash with its iPhone when it dropped prices by $200 just a few weeks after launch in 2007. They had to make amends with consumers. Think twice before implementing dynamic pricing at your business.
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