Retail pricing strategies: Which one is the right one for your FMCG products?

Everybody knows about the four Ps of marketing. Product, Price, Place, and Promotion are the core of marketing. In this article, we are going to focus on the Price. How much should customers pay to get the product? What impacts the pricing strategy? Which pricing strategy works best for different products? 

We are going to answer all of these questions in this article and give you some tips and tricks on how to select the right strategy for your CPG products. Let’s get started!

The importance of the right pricing strategy

Pricing directly impacts your store's revenue, profit margins, customer perception, and overall competitiveness in the market. Here are some key reasons why having the right pricing strategy is crucial.

Price is often the primary factor that influences a customer's decision to make a purchase. A well-thought-out pricing strategy can attract potential customers and encourage them to choose your store over competitors. Offering competitive prices or value-added pricing can give you an edge in the market.

An effective pricing strategy ensures that you strike a balance between generating maximum revenue and maintaining healthy profit margins. Setting prices too low might attract customers but could lead to reduced profitability, while setting prices too high might discourage potential buyers.

The prices you set can communicate a lot about your brand's positioning and image. Premium pricing, for instance, can create a perception of high-quality and exclusivity, while budget pricing may be associated with affordability and value for money. The right pricing strategy helps align your brand image with your target customers' expectations.

In a competitive retail environment, pricing can be a powerful tool to gain a competitive advantage. By monitoring your competitors' prices and adjusting yours accordingly, you can respond effectively to market changes and stand out from the crowd.

A well-designed pricing strategy can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Consistent and transparent pricing builds trust with customers, encouraging repeat purchases and word-of-mouth referrals.

Retail pricing strategies

1. Everyday Low Pricing (EDLP)

Consistently offering products at low prices to attract price-conscious shoppers.

Positioning: Emphasizes value and affordability, positioning the brand as a budget-friendly option.


  • Builds customer loyalty
  • Reduces the need for frequent promotions
  • Attracts cost-conscious consumers


Example: Walmart is known for its EDLP strategy, offering everyday low prices to compete with other retailers.

2. High-Low Pricing

Alternating between regular high prices and periodic promotional discounts.

Positioning: Creates a sense of urgency during sales events, encouraging customers to buy at discounted prices.


  • Drives traffic during sales 
  • Attracts bargain hunters
  • Maximizes profit margins during regular pricing


  • May condition customers to wait for discounts
  • Brand perception might suffer during regular pricing.

Example: Macy's frequently employs high-low pricing, offering regular prices alongside sales and clearance events.

3. Competitive Pricing

Setting prices in line with or slightly below competitors' prices.

Positioning: Positions the brand as competitive and attracts price-sensitive customers.


  • Remains competitive in the market
  • Can attract bargain hunters
  • Minimizes direct price-based competition


  • May not reflect the product's unique value
  • May lead to price wars with competitors

Example: Target often uses competitive pricing to offer products at similar prices to other retailers like Walmart.

4. Premium Pricing

Setting higher prices to convey exclusivity, luxury, or superior quality.

Positioning: Positions the brand as high-end, sophisticated, and catering to a discerning customer base.


  • Enhances brand image 
  • Increases profit margins
  • Can support a perception of superior product quality


  • Limits the customer base to those willing to pay a premium
  • Can be vulnerable to economic downturns

Example: Apple's premium pricing for its iPhones and other products emphasizes their quality and premium status.

5. Value-Based Pricing

Determining prices based on the perceived value of the product to the customer.

Positioning: Positions the brand as customer-centric, offering fair prices based on product benefits and features.


  • Reflects the product's worth to the customer
  • Enhances customer satisfaction
  • Increases loyalty


  • Requires understanding customer perceptions accurately
  • May not work for commoditized products

Example: Tesla's value-based pricing takes into account the cutting-edge technology and eco-friendliness of its electric vehicles.

6. Dynamic Pricing

Adjusting prices in real-time based on market demand, inventory levels, or external factors.

Positioning: Adapts to market dynamics and customer behavior, maximizing revenue in different situations.


  • Optimizes prices for maximum profitability
  • Responds to fluctuations
  • Increases revenue during peak demand


  • Complexity in implementation
  • Potential customer backlash if pricing changes too frequently.

Example: Amazon uses dynamic pricing for its products. According to research, Amazon changes their product prices on average every 10 minutes. 

7. Bundle Pricing

Offering discounts when customers purchase related products together.

Positioning: Encourages upselling and positions the bundle as a cost-effective option.


  • Increases average order value
  • Clears slow-moving inventory
  • Enhances perceived value for customers


  • Requires careful product selection and pricing
  • May not appeal to all customer segments

Example: Fast-food chains offering combo meals (e.g., burger, fries, and a drink) at a lower price than buying items separately.

8. Psychological Pricing

Setting prices just below round numbers (e.g., $9.99 instead of $10) to influence customer perception.

Positioning: Creates an illusion of lower prices, appealing to price-sensitive customers.


  • Increases the likelihood of purchase
  • Provides a perception of value
  • Is widely used in retail


  • Some customers may see through the tactic
  • It may not work for high-end luxury brands

Example: Most grocery stores use prices ending in .99 or .95, like $19.99 instead of $20.

9. Loss Leader Pricing

Setting prices below cost to attract customers, with the expectation of making profits on other items.

Positioning: Drives traffic to the store and positions the retailer as offering excellent deals.


  • Attracts customers and generates sales
  • Helps clear excess inventory


  • Can lead to losses on the promoted items
  • Relies on cross-selling to recover profits

Example: Grocery stores offering heavily discounted or even free items to attract shoppers to buy other products.

10. Geographical Pricing

Adjusting prices based on different geographic locations.

Positioning: Reflects regional differences in costs and market demand, making prices more relevant to local customers.


  • Tailors pricing to specific markets
  • Accommodates varying cost factors


  • Can be complex to manage
  • May lead to pricing discrepancies if not executed properly

Example: Online retailers adjust shipping costs based on the customer's location.

11. Seasonal Pricing

Adjusting prices based on seasonal demand fluctuations.

Positioning: Positions the brand as responsive to seasonal trends and offers attractive deals during specific times.


  • Drives sales during peak seasons
  • Helps manage inventory levels effectively


  • Can lead to significant pricing fluctuations
  • Requires careful planning and execution

Example: Retailers offering discounted winter clothing at the end of the season to clear inventory before spring.

12. Penetration Pricing

Setting low initial prices to quickly gain market share and attract price-sensitive customers.

Positioning: Positions the brand as a value proposition and aims to establish customer loyalty early on.


  • Quickly gains market share
  • Discourages potential competitors from entering the market


  • May not be sustainable in the long term
  • Profitability may be impacted initially

Example: When launching a new product, many brands choose penetration pricing to be more competitive.

How to choose a pricing strategy for your CPG products?

Choosing the right pricing strategy for your Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) products is crucial for the success of your business. The pricing strategy you adopt will influence your revenue, market positioning, and overall profitability. Here are some steps to help you choose a pricing strategy for your CPG products:

  • Understand Your Market and Customers: Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, their preferences, buying behavior, and the demand for similar products in the market. Identify your unique selling proposition (USP) and how it relates to your customers' needs and desires.
  • Know Your Costs: Before setting a price, have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with producing, packaging, marketing, and distributing your CPG products. This includes both variable and fixed costs.
  • Analyze Competitors: Study your competitors' pricing strategies and how they position themselves in the market. Identify gaps in the market and assess whether you want to compete on price, quality, or a combination of factors.
  • Determine Your Objectives: Define your pricing objectives. These could include maximizing profit, gaining market share, establishing a premium brand image, or capturing a specific target segment.
  • Test Pricing Strategies: Consider conducting pricing experiments or A/B testing to gauge how customers respond to different price points. This can help you find the optimal price that maximizes sales and revenue.
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