Penetration Pricing and Price Skimming

The two most commonly used pricing methods for new products are: penetration pricing and price skimming.

Penetration Pricing

Penetration pricing is a pricing method that involves setting low prices with the intention of quickly introducing a new product to the market.

Penetration pricing aims to attract customers away from competitors by offering lower prices initially. Once the product has been accepted and has established its brand in the market, prices may be increased to yield greater profits.

Price Skimming

Price skimming involves setting high initial prices to recover costs and make huge profits in the early stages of the product's life cycle. It is very common in technological markets (mobile phones, gaming consoles such as Sony Playstation and Microsoft X-box, etc.).

Once the upper class market has been served, the price is lowered to cater to a larger clientele. Those who were not able to afford the product during its initial offering will be able to buy it after subsequent price adjustments. This results in a larger market share and continuous sales.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Penetration Pricing

Penetration pricing gets the new product diffused into the market quickly. Buyers are enticed by low prices. However, when prices are set very low, it results in low profit per unit. This, nonetheless, may be compensated by higher volume of sales.

Penetration pricing can also help the business establish market dominance. By setting low prices, possible entrants will be discouraged in entering the market. Current competitors may also be forced to leave if they cannot keep up with low prices.

On the downside, setting substantially low prices might cause customers to question the quality of the product. Also, once prices are increased, buyers may not be willing to make repeat purchases anymore.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Price Skimming

The main advantage of price skimming is higher profits in the early stages of the product's life cycle. This is common in technological markets where repeat purchase is uncommon.

Research and developments costs in technological markets are high. These costs are recovered early on by setting high selling prices. Also, customers often associate high prices with good quality.

A business that adopts price skimming limits its sales. Because of high initial price, sales volume is restricted. Also, when the price is dropped later on, customers might not be as excited as when the product was first released.

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