Dynamic pricing – an unrealised threat for food brands and e-retailers | Food Navigator

Fixed pricing has ruled the high street since 1861 when John Wanamaker opened a department store in a Quaker district of Philadelphia. He introduced price tags for his goods, along with the lofty slogan: “If everyone was equal before God, then everyone would be equal before price.”​

Ever since then, consumers have expected the prices of durable goods to remain largely stable. They would certainly never countenance the person behind them in the queue to pay less based on supply and demand.

This expectation is no longer a given. Technology has brought dynamic pricing – the practice of pricing items at a level determined by an individual customer’s perceived ability to pay – to the fore. Advancements in ecommerce and real-time information mean dynamic pricing has become more accessible and widespread.

Consumers have come to expect fluctuating prices in the travel and ticketing sectors based on availability – just look at the 400% price surge that Uber’s travellers were subject to when London was hit by tube strikes at the beginning of 2017. However, with the likes of ASOS, Skyscanner and Amazon leading the way, dynamic pricing is influencing the entire ecommerce landscape, and food and drink products are no exception.

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Dynamic pricing – an unrealised threat for food brands and e-retailers.