Optimal Pricing of Seasonal Products in the Presence of Forward-Looking Consumers
AbstractWe study the optimal pricing of a finite quantity of a fashion-like seasonal good in the presence of forward-looking (strategic) customers. We distinguish between two classes of pricing strategies: contingent and announced fixed-discount. In both cases, the seller acts as a Stackelberg leader announcing his pricing strategy, while consumers act as followers taking the seller's strategy as given and determining their purchasing behavior. In each case, we identify a subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium and show that given the seller's strategy, the equilibrium in the consumer subgame is unique and consists of symmetric threshold purchasing policies. For both cases, we develop a benchmark model in which customers are nonstrategic (myopic). We conduct a comprehensive numerical study to explore the impact of strategic consumer behavior on pricing policies and expected revenue performance. We show that strategic customer behavior suppresses the benefits of price segmentation, particularly under medium-to-high values of heterogeneity and modest rates of decline in valuations. However, when the level of consumer heterogeneity is small, the rate of decline is medium-to-high, and the seller can optimally choose the time of discount in advance, segmentation can be used quite effectively even with strategic consumers. We find that the seller cannot avoid the adverse impact of strategic consumer behavior even under low levels of initial inventory. We argue that while the seller expects customers to be more concerned about product availability at discount time, he cannot use high-price "betting" strategies as he would in the case of low inventory and myopic customers. Under certain qualifications, announced fixed-discount strategies perform essentially the same as contingent pricing policies in the case of myopic consumers. However, under strategic consumer behavior, announced pricing policies can be advantageous to the seller, compared to contingent pricing schemes. Interestingly, those cases that announced discount strategies offer a significant advantage compared to contingent pricing policies. They appear to offer only a minimal advantage in comparison to fixed-pricing policies. Finally, when the seller incorrectly assumes that strategic customers are myopic in their purchasing decisions, it can be quite costly, reaching potential revenue losses of about 20%.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by INFORMS in its journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.
Volume (Year): 10 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
dynamic pricing; game theory applications; marketing-operations interface; revenue management; strategic consumer behavior;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Li, Yongjian & Wei, Cansheng & Cai, Xiaoqiang, 2012. "Optimal pricing and order policies with B2B product returns for fashion products," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(2), pages 637-646.
- Khouja, Moutaz & Park, Sungjune & Zhou, Jing, 2013. "A free gift card alternative to price discounts in the newsvendor problem," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 665-678.
- Dirk Bergemann & Maher Said, 2010.
"Dynamic Auctions: A Survey,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1757, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Dirk Bergemann & Maher Said, 2010. "Dynamic Auctions: A Survey," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1757R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2010.
- Dirk Bergemann & Maher Said, 2010. "Dynamic Auctions: A Survey," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000111, David K. Levine.
- Dirk Bergemann & Maher Said, 2010. "Dynamic Auctions: A Survey," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000035, David K. Levine.
- Xiao, Tiaojun & Shi, Kuiran & Yang, Danqin, 2010. "Coordination of a supply chain with consumer return under demand uncertainty," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 171-180, March.
- Choi, Tsan-Ming & Sethi, Suresh, 2010. "Innovative quick response programs: A review," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 1-12, September.
- Zhao, Li & Tian, Peng & Xiangyong Li, 2012. "Dynamic pricing in the presence of consumer inertia," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 137-148, April.
- Mak, Vincent & Rapoport, Amnon & Gisches, Eyran J., 2012. "Competitive dynamic pricing with alternating offers: Theory and experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 250-264.
- Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2009. "Managing Strategic Buyers," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000059, David K. Levine.
- Kuo, Chia-Wei & Huang, Kwei-Long, 2012. "Dynamic pricing of limited inventories for multi-generation products," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 217(2), pages 394-403.
- Mantin, Benny & Gillen, David, 2011. "The hidden information content of price movements," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 385-393, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.