Top 5 Pricing Trends for the Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us, many retailers are wondering what pricing strategies they should implement to price for profit and growth.

This year, more than ever, the U.S. is a “have” and “have not” economy. On the negative side, consumer sentiment remains low and the unemployment rate continues to sit at 9.6%. However, there is positive news: Personal expenditures were up by 2.6% in the third quarter, the Dow Jones Index is over 11000, corporate profits are on the upswing and unemployment has stabilized (albeit at an unacceptably high level).

Bottom Line: A new opportunity exists this holiday season to serve cautiously confident consumers who, due to pent up demand and an interest in treating themselves, are willing to open their wallets.

Trend 1: Tailor your pricing strategy to your customer:

•In economically-depressed areas, continue the status quo pricing strategy of recent holiday seasons: focus on staple products, offer financing and layaway plans.

•In cautiously-confident markets, there is an opportunity to sell higher margin luxury products and services.

Trend 2: Show customers why they should purchase your product:

Trend 3: Feature upscale “reach” products to cautiously-confident consumers:

Trend 4: Welcome cautiously-confident consumers back with new pricing plans:

•Offer generous financing and layaway plans.

•Minimize risk with “satisfaction guaranteed” pledges.

•Offer lower cost options such as “basic” versions, rentals, and leases.

Trend 5: Offer experiences to cautiously-confident consumers.

Rafi Mohammed, Ph.D. is the author of the  pricing strategy book, The 1% Windfall: How Successful Companies Use Price to Profit and Grow (HarperBusiness).