3 MIN. READ
With the cost of materials still rising, finding effective pricing strategies for B2B is crucial for keeping manufacturers afloat. As interest rates increase along with production costs, your pricing window narrows. Competition for reluctant purchasers is an additional complication to your price-setting dilemma. So how do you set prices in this challenging environment?
It would be best if you gained insight into your customer's behaviors and preferences. Whether your competitors are doing well or poorly, you will determine what works and what doesn't by analyzing their pricing strategies and positioning.
Others in your industry segment may have advantages such as well-respected branding or geographical locations. Take note of these and use what you can, but keep in mind the four most common pricing strategies:
1. Value-based pricing.
2. Competitor-based pricing.
3. Cost-plus pricing.
4. Dynamic pricing.
Let's examine each of these in turn.
In this context, "value" refers to the worth a customer assigns to a purchase. Those prices are often higher than what the materials involved or the production costs would dictate. Setting them involves researching a customer's pain points and how much they will spend on a cure. Your customers may also consider high-quality service and the availability of upgrades as added value.
This strategy has drawbacks. It may not accurately reflect your costs in time and resources. In addition, you'll need to segment your customers into various pricing levels and determine the optimal price points at each level.
If you pursue this strategy, you'll examine what your competitors do and use it to peg your pricing structure. The advantage of this method is that the information is relatively easy to come by. Unfortunately, that data gives you no insights into customer needs or other marketplace factors. If your segment crashes, you'll crash with it.
This strategy is very straightforward. You figure out the cost of production and add your desired margin. However, it doesn't take into account that it may leave your customers strapped. Your prices may be more than they can pay.
With this strategy, you offer prices that change according to customer demand. Most of your data will deal with your customers' needs or wants. You will maximize your profits by giving it to them. You can also drop your prices to stimulate sales during slow periods. Still, unpredictable pricing promotes frustration which can have negative consequences.
How do you choose among these options? Explore pricing psychology for your industry and your customers.
Different customers view pricing with different eyes. Your customers might see themselves as cutting-edge. Those companies are often early adopters. They are willing to buy a new product at a higher cost rather than wait for the price to drop as the item becomes more mainstream.
Some customers prefer bundling, getting a bargain for making several purchases simultaneously. If you offer an array of products or services, the volume you achieve through bundling may offset the effect of the lower pricing.
You can also offer then tiered pricing. The more a customer buys, the less you charge them per piece. With this model, you also profit from increased sales volumes.
Price anchoring is another strategy to make your customers believe they're getting a bargain. You set a price and then offer a discount. Say your anchor price for a piece of equipment is $1,000, and you sell it to a customer for $7,500. They think they've scored 25% off. You must set your anchor price high enough not to lose money when knocking off a slice.
While you can differentiate your customers by their preferences in pricing structure, you can also use pricing strategies to differentiate products.
You can offer the same product at different price points. This strategy targets a broader range of customers, identifying them by their differences in purchasing power. Once you've categorized them, you can return with other products priced to fit their needs.
When you are transparent about your pricing, your customers know they will avoid rude surprises. Transparency promotes customer loyalty and repeat purchases. Being honest in negotiations cements the seller-buyer connection. The next time purchasers need something, they won't hesitate to return.
No matter how loyal your customer base is, your business needs a pricing strategy that yields profits. Conducting a cost analysis of your pricing strategies will help keep your bottom line in the black. Monitoring your pricing structure and adjusting when sales fall off keeps your revenue stream flowing. Functional analytics will keep your changes on target.
Finding the combination of value-based, competitor-based, cost-plus-based and dynamic pricing that is right for your company will boost your sales. As conditions in the marketplace change, your pricing strategies can evolve to fit the new demands. Managers implementing customer-driven and data-centric pricing will penetrate the market and garner customer loyalty.
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