Competitive Pricing

What is Competitive Pricing?

Competitive Pricing is a pricing strategy where businesses set the prices of their products or services based on the prevailing market conditions, particularly the prices of competitors' offerings. This approach is commonly used in markets with high competition and similar products, where price is a significant factor in consumer decision-making. Competitive pricing aims to capture a larger market share or to maintain a competitive position by strategically positioning product pricing relative to the competition.

Key Aspects of Competitive Pricing

  • Market Research: Extensive research is needed to determine the pricing strategies of competitors, which involves analyzing their price points, discounts, and special offers.
  • Pricing Below Competition: Setting prices slightly lower than competitors to attract price-sensitive customers.
  • Pricing At Par with Competitors: Matching competitors' prices to suggest similar value and quality.
  • Pricing Above Competition: Setting prices higher than competitors, typically when trying to position a product as higher quality or more exclusive.

Role and Purpose of Competitive Pricing

  • To Attract Customers: By offering lower or similar prices compared to competitors, businesses aim to attract customers who make purchasing decisions primarily based on price.
  • To Increase Market Share: Competitive pricing can help a company increase its market share by making its products more attractive in terms of price.
  • To Respond to Market Changes: This strategy allows businesses to remain competitive and relevant in a market where prices are constantly changing due to competition dynamics.

Importance of Competitive Pricing

  • Market Positioning: Helps in positioning the brand in the market. Pricing products too high or too low can send unintended signals about a brand's value and quality.
  • Profit Margins: Must be carefully managed with competitive pricing to ensure that lowering prices does not negatively impact the overall profitability.
  • Customer Retention: Maintaining competitive prices helps retain customers who might otherwise switch to cheaper alternatives.

Benefits of Competitive Pricing

  • Increased Customer Base: Attractive pricing can draw customers away from competitors.
  • Flexibility: Allows businesses to quickly adapt to market changes and adjust their pricing strategies accordingly.
  • Simplified Marketing: If prices are competitive, marketing efforts can focus more on product benefits rather than justifying the price.

Challenges of Competitive Pricing

  • Profit Margin Compression: Competing on price can often lead to reduced profit margins.
  • Brand Perception: Constantly lowering prices might lead to a perceived loss of quality in the eyes of consumers.
  • Price Wars: Can lead to destructive price wars with competitors, where constant undercutting damages all players in the market.

Examples of Competitive Pricing

  • Retail Stores: Major retailers often engage in competitive pricing, especially for key products that drive traffic to the store. They may adjust prices frequently based on competitors’ promotions and discounts.
  • Airlines: Airline companies frequently adjust ticket prices based on the pricing strategies of other airlines flying similar routes.
  • E-commerce: Platforms like Amazon monitor competitor pricing in real-time and adjust their prices to maintain competitive edges.


Competitive Pricing is a dynamic pricing strategy that requires continuous market monitoring and quick responsiveness to changes in the competitive landscape. While effective for gaining market share and attracting price-sensitive customers, it must be carefully managed to ensure it does not erode brand value or profitability. Businesses employing this strategy should balance competitive pricing with other factors such as product quality, customer service, and overall brand strategy to maintain a sustainable business model.

See Also

Competitive pricing is a method used by businesses to select strategic price points to best take advantage of a product or service based market relative to competition. This strategy involves setting prices based on the prices of similar competitor products, aiming to capture market share by offering more attractive prices without significantly undercutting profit margins.

  • Market Segmentation: Discussing how businesses divide a broad target market into subsets of consumers who have common needs and priorities, helping to determine which segments are most sensitive to price changes.
  • Pricing Strategy: Covering various strategies businesses use to set prices for their products and services, including cost-plus pricing, value-based pricing, and penetration pricing.
  • Cost Leadership: Explaining a business strategy aimed at achieving the lowest operational costs within an industry, which supports a competitive pricing approach by enabling lower price points.
  • Price Elasticity of Demand: Discussing the economic concept that measures the responsiveness of the quantity demanded of a good or service to a change in its price.
  • Brand Positioning: Covering how a brand is positioned in the market and how pricing affects its image; competitive pricing can be a tool for positioning a brand as an affordable alternative to established competitors.
  • Marketing Mix 4P's 5P's: Explaining the combination of product, price, place, and promotion strategies in marketing management. Pricing is a crucial part of the marketing mix that directly impacts sales and customer perception.
  • Consumer Behavior: Discussing how pricing influences consumer purchasing decisions and how competitive pricing can be used to attract price-sensitive customers.
  • SWOT Analysis: Explaining the method of assessing a business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, where competitive pricing might be considered as a strategic response to external market pressures.
  • Revenue Management: Covering strategies and processes involved in optimizing the amount of revenue generated from a fixed, perishable resource, such as the pricing of airline seats or hotel rooms.
  • Value Proposition: Discussing the value that a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to buy their product, and how price is a major component of value.