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A pricing strategy that you might have seen quite often with airline ticket booking is Dynamic Pricing. In this strategy, the price of a destination changes based on the demand. Similarly, based on the profile of a customer, you can create different pricing approaches. However, these strategies are not limited only to airline or accommodation booking. Any eCommerce store can adopt the dynamic pricing strategy to boost sales and customer satisfaction on the site. In this article, we will discuss how you can set up Dynamic Pricing on your WooCommerce-powered online store.
Dynamic pricing is a strategy where you create adjustments on your product prices based on different parameters. Here, instead of offering the same price to all customers, you will strategically change the price based on the quantity of items purchased, the purchase history of the customer, etc.
Dynamic pricing is widely adopted by online stores across the world. Compared to static pricing, it is observed to be more effective in improving your sales numbers as well as customer satisfaction. The simple demand-supply model of dynamic pricing may not work for all kind of products sold by online stores. So, you have to figure out one (or a few) strategies that work best for your products and consumer base.
Online stores invest a lot in monitoring and understanding user behavior. And, that could be the base to decide on a suitable dynamic pricing strategy as well. You can set up a pricing strategy that works for your products and is preferred by your customers. How will you find a suitable dynamic strategy for your store? We will discuss some of the common scenarios where you can make use of dynamic pricing.
Quantity is one of the most important parameters that store owners use to determine pricing strategies. It is almost always more profitable to encourage more quantity of items in a single order. It will increase the average order value on your store and also will help you move your inventory faster.
Certain products will be generally more popular during specific periods in a year. It is important to understand these patterns in product sales so that you will be able to increase or decrease prices during these times. Discounts during the holiday season is an example of this.
Order value is another parameter you can base price adjustments on. If you have a specific goal to increase the average order value on your store, you can create discounts based on the amount of an order.
Now, another major factor that a lot of online stores consider is the customer profile. Based on the customer profile, you can set up prices for your products. In simple terms, you might want to reward a loyal customer, or sometimes want to give a discount on the first order. These type of discounts can be used to improve customer loyalty as well as to acquire new customers.
Let’s look at some of the standout benefits in adopting dynamic pricing strategy on your online store.
Enhance your sales
One of the most obvious advantages of dynamic pricing is that it will help you enhance your sales figures. Customers are always looking for the best available price, and if you are able to consistently provide that, you will naturally attract a lot more customers. If you have a clear understanding of the demand and availability of a product in the market, you will be able to strategically increase or decrease the price. Sometimes, you can use dynamic pricing strategy to achieve periodic sales target by lowering the prices when the deadline comes near.
Boost the sale of a product or category
Dynamic pricing gives you a lot of scope in boosting the sale of specific products. You can always go through sales patterns over a period of time to identify high and low performers among your products. Creating a discount for a short window of time could boost the performance of weak products. Sometimes an entire category of products might not be performing well in your store. In such cases, you should be able to boost the sale numbers of that category by offering a discount on the entire category (we will explain how to set up product or category discounts later in the article).
Helps to increase your profit margin
If you do careful market study and competitor analysis, dynamic pricing will help you increase your profit margin as well. There are times when you understand that there is increased demand for a particular product and you are able to increase your margin, while still able to undercut the nearest competitor. This is often possible when you are able to procure products directly from the manufacturer, or you yourself are manufacturing the product. So, instead of selling at the lowest possible price, you can increase the price a little more, but can still manage to be the lowest available option for the customer.
Gives you the ability to adapt to variable demands
With dynamic pricing, you will be able to create pricing models based on varying demands. This is particularly true for certain industries like travel, hospitality, etc. It is better to sell a seat in an airplane at a lower rate than letting it go empty. The same applies to hotel rooms as well and this is why sometimes you might find lower rates on the day of travel or stay. You will be able to apply the same logic if you have event booking options on your store. Depending on the demand, you will be able to make price adjustments, be it increasing the price or by lowering it.
Gain insights into customer behavior
While dynamic pricing strategies require a lot of research on customer behavior to implement it, you will be able to gain a lot of insights through these strategies as well. You will be able to identify the upper and lower limits in terms of pricing a product. Moreover, you will understand patterns of customer behavior with and without discounts available. With more data available, and more parameters at play, dynamic pricing will effectively help you get better in pricing strategies.
Even though dynamic pricing is a profitable model for many businesses, it may not always be accepted well by customers. This is because sometimes customers feel they are overcharged in a dynamic pricing model. And it can get worse if they know some other customers getting lower prices for the same products. Now, one of the important suggestions by experts in this regard is to combine dynamic pricing with discounts and promotional deals. So, if you are presenting the dynamic pricing model as discounts, the perception might be a lot different than having two different prices.
By default, when you set up product prices on your WooCommerce store, you are able to set up discounts and display a sale price. You can even schedule a time period for which the sale price will be active.
However, with the help of some of the advanced plugins, you will be able to set up much more advanced conditions to offer dynamic pricing and discounts. Now, we will discuss some of the scenarios where you can set up dynamic pricing and discounts with advanced conditions.
1. Product specific discounts for low moving product
Sometimes certain products in your store may not be moving as expected. That means, you will have huge stocks over a long period of time, which impacts smooth inventory management. In such cases, you can offer product specific discounts with a range of conditions like setting a minimum quantity of purchase and applicable time period.
How will you set up product-specific conditions on your WooCommerce store? You can use the free version of ELEX Dynamic Pricing and Discounts Plugin for WooCommerce to manage this. Let’s see how you can configure the plugin to achieve this specific scenario.
Once you install the free plugin, you can configure the plugin settings from WooCommere > Dynamic Pricing and click Add rule button to create a new rule.
On this screen, you can specify a name for the discount and select the product you want to offer the discount. Here, you can also specify the quantity required to purchase to avail the offer. Finally, you can set how you want to apply the discount. You can offer a flat rate or percentage discount, or even a specific price for the product. If needed, you can restrict the offer for a fixed time period, or only for specific user roles. Once configured correctly, you can update the rule.
Now, when a customer adds this product to the cart with a quantity within the range you have set, the discount will be applied.
In this example, we have offered a discount of 15% when quantities between 3 and 10 are added to the basket. As in the below screenshot, the discount will be applied automatically when the conditions are met.
2. Discounts on an entire category
Another common scenario where you can use dynamic pricing and discounts is when you want to offer a discount on an entire category of products for a particular time period. For example, if you have a category of accessories, and you will know the most sales will be in the month of December. So, by October-November you might want to get rid of the old stock to make room for the new stock. For such cases, you need to set up a category discount on your WooCommerce store.
You can achieve this too with the help of the same plugin. Simply go to plugin settings and click ‘Category Rules’. This will lead you to a screen where you can set the terms for the discount. While setting up the discount, you can set different conditions to set up the discount. These are the number of items, weight, price or total units. For this example, we will choose price as the defining condition. And set a price range of 30-100 for the discount to be applied.
When a customer adds a product or products from the category ‘Accessories’ within this price range, the discount will be applied.
For example when a customer adds two products from this category and the price exceeds 30, then the discount will be applied. If the customer chooses to purchase only one product that has a price below 30, this discount won’t be applied.
Also, for products that fall under the price range will have a sale label and price shown in the product page itself.
3. Discount based on customer profile
Offering a different price for different customers based on their profile might be a good idea for some online stores. Though this has the potential to alienate customers, it might help a lot in creating a steady base of loyal customers. You need to carefully analyze your customer base and their purchase patterns to be able to categorize them correctly. Once it is done, you can create different user roles for such customers on your store and offer them different prices and price adjustments.
Solutions to offer discounts based on user roles on WooCommerce
There are different solutions available to create user role based discounts on WooCommerce. We will look into some of the options.
1. Combining two free plugins
If you are looking for a free option to set up user role based discounts on your WooCommerce store, you can manage it easily with these two plugins - PublishPress Capabilities and ELEX Dynamic Pricing and Discounts Plugin. Let us see how.
You can use PublishPress Capabilities to create additional user roles on your store. Sometimes, you might want to offer different discounts to your loyal customers as well as new customers. For example, you can categorize all the customers who purchased a product once as ‘New Customers’ and those who have purchased it 5 times as ‘Loyal Customers’. You can offer a 10% discount for ‘New customers’ and 15% for ‘Loyal customers’ for a week. This can be achieved as described below:
Create two new user roles ‘New Customer’ and ‘Loyal Customer’. Add new users to both these user roles.
Now, set up two product specific discounts for each user role. For new customers, you want to give a 10% discount. Set up the discount first as in the above cases.
Then, go to the ‘Allowed Roles & Dates section and select the user role and the date range as well.
Now when a customer with the user role ‘New customer’ signs into your store and adds a product to the basket, the 10% discount will apply.
You can follow the same settings for the ‘Loyal Customer’ user role as well. So, here when a user with the ‘Loyal Customer’ user role adds a product to the cart, the discount applied will be 10%.
Using this plugin you can create product specific or category specific discounts in this manner. However, if you don’t specify any product or category, it will apply to all your products.
2. A premium plugin to set up user role based pricing
For wholesale stores, role-based pricing will be much more crucial. In a wholesale store, there will be a lot of customer segments where you may need to set individual prices. In such cases, WooCommerce role-based pricing plugin could be much more useful.
Using this plugin, you will be able to set up prices based on user roles. On individual product pages, you will be able to specify different prices for different user roles.
Or, you can specify price adjustments for each user role. For example, 10% discount for one user role and 15% for another. Moreover, you will be able to create new user roles using this plugin.
4. Cart discounts
Offering discounts based on the cart items or amount will be a great way to reduce cart abandonment on your store. It will also help in improving the average order value on your store as well. Depending on the requirement at a time, you can create different cart discounts based on various parameters. When you are trying to move inventory faster, you may want to offer quantity based discounts. When you are trying to achieve a sales target, you can try offering discounts based on cart value.
For this, you can select Quantity, Weight or Price in the plugin settings when creating a discounts rule. As seen above, you can also define a time period for the offer.
5. Discounts based on customer’s purchase history
Purchase history is a good parameter to reward your loyal customers. You can provide discounts to customers with varied purchase history.
You can use the premium version of the ELEX Dynamic pricing and discounts plugin to set purchase history restrictions for each of the discount rules that you create. In fact, this will save you from the hassles of creating multiple user roles to reward loyal customers as well.
6. Buy one get one free
Another great way to clear stocks is to offer ‘buy one get one free (BOGO)’ offers on your store. Instead of offering a 50% discount, you can create a BOGO offer to move certain products faster.
With the ELEX Dynamic pricing plugin, you will be able to set the product you want the customer to purchase and the one you want to offer for free.
7. Combinational discounts
You can also create combinational discounts effectively when you have a set of related products on your store. So, instead of offering individual discounts, you can create discounts applicable only when three different products are in the cart.
For example, you can create a discount that is applicable only when three specific products are in the basket together.
So, when a customer adds all three products to the cart, a discount will be applied on all three products as you have specified in the plugin settings.
Hopefully, this article has provided you an idea on some of the scenarios where you can apply dynamic pricing and discounts on your WooCommerce store. If you have any doubts regarding how a discount rule can be set up on a WooCommerce store, leave a comment below.