Price competition is a form of competition by which a product or service can compete with other products or services in the market only on the aspect of pricing. The competition or rivalry between the products is related exclusively to the pricing of the products.
It may be related to different types of pricing, like retail price or customer price. The primary aim of price competition is to differentiate the products against competitors and to achieve an increase in sales.
The price competition is carried out in case of similar or identical products or services, and it is considered as a push to increase the sale of the product.
Price competition is also common among rival companies to increase the sale of their respective products and be a market leader by having a large customer base.
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What is Price competition?
Setting the price of a product is often the biggest determinant for the success or failure of a product. When two or more products which are similar in characteristics and more or less are substitutes of each other, then the purchasing decision of customer rests solely on the price of the product.
Some companies compete in price competition by merely pricing the product lower than a competitor but do not pay attention to the features.
The product is considerably low priced than the competitors but lack features. Even in terms of quality, the product may not be up to the standards or market leader.
The other companies which compete in price competition price their product lower than the market leader but higher than the lowest priced competitor.
These moderately priced products neither have full-fledged features like market leaders nor do they have the lowest standards. These are moderately priced, optimum featured products or services.
Theoretically, it can be graphically represented that as the price of the product decreases, the sale increases, and thereby profit increases.
The profit is the difference between the selling price and production price, but as the difference in both decreases, the profit should decrease, but due to bulk selling, the lower profit margin can yield good results for the organization.
This holds up to a certain level beyond which the organization starts to incur losses because the difference in selling price and production price is negligible or zero. If the price is further lowered, then the sale will surely go up, but since the product is priced way below the market average, the firm would go into losses.
The other aspect of price competition is price matching and competitive pricing. To understand this, let us consider an example:
A packet of Kellogg’s Cereals is priced at $5, and Cheerios is for $6. In terms of price competition, it is clear that Cheerios is priced more than Kellogg’s and it would be the first choice of the customers when buying the cereals.
But to match the competition pricing or even beat them, Cheerios would have an offer which would be like Buy 2 Cheerios for $10 or 3 Cheerios for $14.
In the first scenario, the price of a per-packet of Cheerios is matched with that of Kellogg’s which comes to $5 per packet an in the second scenario the packet comes to about $4.67 which is cheaper than Kellogg’s.
In both cases, from the customer’s point of view, there is price benefit, and from company’s point of view, apart from beating the competition at a price, there is bulk buying from customers which helps them to finish the stocks faster.
Types of Price Competition
#1. Loss Leader:
Loss leaders the situation in which a company or a shop for an eCommerce website prices one of the product cheapest than others. This is done in the hope the customer will buy other product while buying the loss leader.
This is expected to cover for the losses incurred if any while applying a loss leader strategy. To know more about Loss Leader, click here.
#2. Market Penetration:
A product or brand is priced at a low cost compared to their competitors to gain access and establish a base for the customers and establish brand awareness. Market penetration is a commonly used price competition strategy by buying new brands in an established market.
#3. Premium Pricing:
Products or services are better concerned about the causative and brand image use a premium pricing strategy. Budgetary of pricing premium is also considered as a price competition because the form for the product-wise to differentiate itself from others by being premium.
Having a high price gives a feeling of luxury to the customer and appeals to quality-conscious customers. Companies like Apple have been using premium Pricing for a long time now.
In the case of dumping the intention is to ensure that the competitor is out of business which is why the pricing that is followed in dumping is extremely economical compared to the other competitors. The price of a product or service is way below the average price of other products.
#5. Predatory Pricing:
Predatory pricing is implemented with the intention of creditor pricing is to discourage computers from entering the existing market. It is also considered as a form of price competition.
Free products offered with the purchase of an existing product which gives an edge over the competitors.
The price of the free product is compensated in the price of the product, but the fact that it is given for free of cost gives the psychological impact of the product being good and attractive to the customers.
Price Competition vs Non Price Competition – Key Differences
There are various such differences between brands using price competition vs brands using non-price competition or differentiated marketing. Here are 12 differences between price competition and nonprice competition.
|Majorly Uses a penetration price strategy
|Uses a differentiated marketing strategy
|Mostly uses “Me too” types and late entrants in the market
|Mostly have the first mover advantage
|Price is the most competitive advantage for such firms
|Technology and design is the best competitive advantage for such firms
|Sales volumes are high but margins are low. Bottom line might be high, but per product margin is low.
|Sales volume is low but margins are high. Total bottom line might be low because it is not a mass product. But cost is low too.
|A large product portfolio is common
|A small product portfolio is sufficient but it should be differentiated for
|Always in a fighting stage and plotted as Stars in BCG matrix. Because of the penetrative strategy itself, competition keeps fighting within themselves.
|Many a times the differentiated and non price competition products are cash cows. The competition is less and hence they are leaders in their market.
|Quality of product may or may not be low to achieve price advantage
|Quality of product is always high because of the price quality matrix.
|Would have various similar brands in the market with which they compete.
|Would have very few competitors and a higher market share.
|Focus is on distribution – The more the volumes, the more the bottom line.
|Distribution is niche and prestigious, determined by the placement policy of the brand.
|Market communication focuses on the price tag of the product.
|Market communication focuses on the features of the product and how it is different.
|Entry barrier is low because every one tries to enter the market with price advantage (Example – the rise of China)
|Entry barrier is high because differentiation and values are created over a period of time and not easily beaten (example – Apple)
|Price competition commonly uses the demographic and geographic segmentation because it targets the complete market.
|Non price competition uses the psychographic, benefit or lifestyle segmentation to make a difference in the market.
So as we can see from above, there are many ways that price competition and non price competition can exist in the same market. Both the strategies have their own advantages and disadvantages.
There are two aspects of Price Competition, for customers and retailers or companies.
For customers, price competition is beneficial because it gives them the comparative prices of different products and they can choose which is best suited for their needs and which is priced at a low cost.
From the point of view of companies, many companies or retailers follow the concept of multiple pricing in which they provide both low priced product as well as the high-end product.
This is done to cater to every category of customer. Having a price competition with different products is useful for companies so that they have different products in their offerings.
Also for the products or services which are priced at a lower cost, they witness a fantastic growth in sales. This is helpful, especially for the new entrants in the market and the new companies who want to penetrate and establish a customer base in the existing highly competitive market.
From customers, price competition gives multiple options to the customers, and it is not necessarily true that a low priced product will be good in terms of quality. For customers who choose the lowest priced product, it may turn out to be a gamble.
For companies, the primary disadvantage of price competition is that price reduction reduces the profit margins.
The more the difference between production cost and the retail price, the better is the profit, but in the case of price competition, it is necessary that this difference is reduced to have a better sale.
Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Pricing