Is Uber-Inspired Surge Pricing Making its Way to Supermarkets?

Is Uber-Inspired Surge Pricing Making its Way to Supermarkets?

Keeping up with prices has always been a tricky thing. Apart from tracking competitor prices, there is the issue of keeping up with consumer demand while providing an enjoyable customer experience.

As the supermarket business begins to expand, there have been plans to introduce “surge pricing” to the market — a pricing strategy where customers pay more or less for an item depending on how the demand rises and falls. What could the pricing strategy entail for consumers and businesses, though?

Price Fluctuations: Not a New Business Concept

Some goods are already subject to demand and price volatility. A majority of customers are already familiar with the dispiriting feeling when their prospective holiday flight changes prices as soon as they book the ticket. Moreover, ride-sharing app Uber is notorious for surge pricing, which received criticism following the London Bridge terror attack.

In the supermarket, fresh goods such as fish already have price fluctuations, and bread prices also go down at the end of each day. The idea of constantly fluctuating prices, however, is a different story.

Surge Pricing Allows for Flexible Pricing Based on Consumer Demand

Supermarkets operate in a competitive space where price is one of the focal points. Experts claim, therefore, that an electronic price-changing system can allow businesses to stay market-driven and competitive in spite of shifting consumer demands. The idea of price changes at the click of a button could present numerous opportunities. They could, for instance, offer customers special offers and target particular groups by raising prices of certain products.

Creating Pricing Strategies for a better Shopping Experience

Consumers might balk at the idea of rapidly shifting prices, however. But the pricing strategy does not result in consumers ending up on the losing end. Coca-Cola, for instance, uses Google’s cloud platform to send discount coupons to customer smartphones in Albertson’s grocery stores. Together with consumer data, the pricing strategy could pave the way towards a more convenient and personalized shopping experience.

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Dynamic, in-store pricing might be the future of the supermarket. The trick to getting the strategy right is getting the right content, price, and messaging at the right time to stay on top of the price competition.