mark fletcher brown nN5L5GXKFz8 unsplash v2

Competitive pricing strategy: Gaining an edge in the market

18 Nov 2023

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on mastering competitive pricing strategy, a crucial tool for thriving in today's dynamic market.

In the business world, setting the right price for your products or services is more than a mere financial decision; it's a pivotal element that can define your market position, brand perception, and, ultimately, your success. Understanding and implementing an effective competitive pricing strategy is vital for all business owners. This strategy not only helps in staying competitive against local and international rivals but also aligns with the unique consumer trends and economic factors.

In this guide, we'll delve into what competitive pricing strategy entails, why it's crucial for businesses, and how you can leverage it to gain a competitive edge. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting your new company, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you navigate the complexities of competitive pricing.

Understanding a competitor-based pricing strategy

A competitive pricing strategy is an approach to setting the prices of goods or services based on your competitors' prices

This strategy is widely used in markets with high competition and similar products, where pricing is a critical factor influencing consumer choice.

Unlike cost-plus pricing, which focuses on covering production costs and adding a profit margin, competitive pricing is externally oriented, emphasising the market context.

In implementing a competitive pricing strategy, a business closely monitors the prices set by its competitors and adjusts its prices accordingly. There are three ways to apply this strategy: pricing lower, equal to, or slightly higher than competitors, depending on the business's goals, product quality, and market position.

For instance, pricing lower can attract price-sensitive customers and increase market share, but it may also reduce profit margins. 

Conversely, pricing higher might signal superior quality or a premium brand image, targeting a different customer segment.

This strategy requires thorough market research and continuous monitoring. It’s crucial to understand not just competitors' prices but also their value propositions, customer service, and brand perceptions. Additionally, businesses must balance competitive pricing with their cost structures and financial goals to ensure profitability.

The market landscape

Effectively navigating any market, regardless of geographic location, is critical for creating and implementing a successful competitive pricing strategy. Understanding your specific market involves:

  • Recognising its unique characteristics
  • Consumer behaviours
  • Economic factors

These all directly impact pricing decisions - let’s dive into these areas now and how they can affect your competitive pricing strategy. 

Unique market characteristics

Markets vary widely based on consumer demographics, economic conditions, and competitive landscapes. For instance, some markets might be highly saturated with competitors offering similar products, necessitating a more aggressive competitive pricing strategy. In contrast, markets with fewer competitors or more differentiated products might allow for greater pricing flexibility.

To find the unique characteristics and trends of your target market, and to gain a strong competitive advantage, you’ll need to conduct thorough market research to identify key demographics, purchasing behaviour and competitors within your niche - from interviews to data analysis(More on this later in our blog!)

Consumer behaviour

Consumer behaviour is another vital aspect. Consumers may be more price-sensitive in some markets, prioritising cost over brand or quality. In others, consumers might value quality, brand reputation, or customer service more highly, allowing businesses to price their products or services higher. Understanding these preferences is critical to determining an effective pricing strategy.

Economic factors (and the magic of e-commerce platforms)

Economic factors also play a significant role. Inflation rates, purchasing power, and general economic stability can influence how consumers respond to pricing. Additionally, understanding the regulatory environment of your market is crucial, as it can impact your pricing strategy, particularly in terms of compliance and competitive fairness.

Moreover, technological advancements and the increasing prevalence of e-commerce have made markets more dynamic. Consumers now have more access to price comparisons and product reviews, making transparent and competitive pricing more important than ever.

To thrive in any market, it’s essential to conduct thorough research, understand the unique dynamics at play, and continuously monitor changes. While this involves a lot of work, the deep understanding from taking this approach means you can create a pricing strategy that appeals to your target audience and also positions your business competitively in your specific market environment.

Sign up to our newsletter

By submitting your details you agree to our terms and conditions & privacy policy.

Benefits of competitive pricing strategies

Adopting a competitive pricing strategy offers several significant benefits that can lead your business to success. Here are some key advantages:

1. Market alignment and competitive edge

This approach ensures price matching with your business market standards, helping you stay relevant in a competitive landscape.

By setting prices close to those of your competitors, you position your business in direct competition, allowing you to capture a market share that might otherwise go to competitors. This strategy is particularly effective in markets with similar products or services, where price is a major differentiating factor.

2. Increased sales and market share

If your pricing strategy involves setting prices lower than your competitors, this can lead to increased sales volumes.

A lower price can attract price-sensitive customers and those looking for value, boosting your market share. This is a good approach to use to penetrate a new market or increase the market share in an existing one.

3. Flexibility and responsiveness to market price

Competitor pricing gives you the flexibility to adjust to market changes quickly. This agility is crucial in responding to competitor price changes, consumer trends, economic shifts.

In a dynamic market, where consumer preferences and economic conditions can change rapidly, such responsiveness is invaluable.

4. Enhanced customer perception

Pricing your products or services in line with competitors, especially with superior quality or service, can enhance customer perception of your brand. It signals to customers that they are receiving good value, which can improve brand loyalty and customer retention.

Implementing a competitive pricing strategy requires thorough market research and analysis. This process provides valuable insights into your competitors, market trends, and customer preferences, enabling more informed business decisions beyond just pricing.

How to set up a successful competitor pricing strategy

A successful competitive pricing strategy hinges on several key components, each playing a critical role in ensuring that your pricing matches the market and supports your business goals. Here are the essential elements and where to start:

Comprehensive market research: Understanding your market is the first and most crucial step. This involves analysing market trends, customer demographics, purchasing behaviours, and economic factors.

Dive into customer surveys, conduct one-to-one interviews and use advanced data analytics tools to gather insights into your target audiences’ preferences, pain points and purchasing patterns.

This means paying close attention to local trends, cultural nuances, and regional economic conditions. Effective market research helps identify the right price points that appeal to your target audience while keeping you competitive.


Thorough competitive pricing analysis: Knowing your competitors is as important as understanding your customers. This includes monitoring competitors' pricing strategies, promotional tactics, product offerings, and market positioning.

It's not just about matching or undercutting prices but understanding why competitors have priced their products in a certain way. This insight allows you to position your pricing strategically around your competitors.


Cost analysis and management: A successful pricing strategy must also consider the cost of goods sold, operational costs, and desired profit margins. It's crucial to clearly understand your cost structure to ensure that your competitive pricing is sustainable and profitable.


Dynamic pricing capabilities: The ability to quickly adjust prices in response to market changes is vital to a competitive pricing strategy. This requires having systems in place for real-time market monitoring and price adjustment.


Value proposition alignment: Your pricing strategy should reflect your product's or service's value proposition. If you offer a premium product, you should set a premium price for that perception, even if it means pricing higher than some competitors.

Conversely, if your value proposition is cost-effectiveness or affordability, your pricing should reflect that.


Customer feedback and engagement: Regularly soliciting and analysing customer feedback can provide insights into how your pricing is perceived.

In a market like the United Kingdom's, with its diverse consumer base, understanding varying customer responses to your pricing can guide adjustments and improvements.


Legal and ethical considerations: Ensuring compliance with pricing regulations and ethical standards is non-negotiable! This includes adhering to fair pricing practices and avoiding price fixing or deceptive pricing tactics.


Make sure you research your country’s laws around pricing promotions. Practices like predatory pricing or collusion can lead to legal repercussions and damage a business's reputation.

Incorporating these components into your pricing strategy helps set competitive prices and ensures that your approach is comprehensive, market-informed, and aligned with your overall business objectives.

Upgrade your business strategy with Epos Now POS systems

The smart choice for speedy service and market success.

Find out more

5 disadvantages of competitive pricing strategies

While competitive pricing can be an effective strategy, it's not without its challenges and pitfalls. Understanding these is crucial for any business looking to adopt this approach.

Race to the bottom: One of the biggest risks of competitive pricing is the potential for a price war, where businesses continuously undercut each other's prices.

This can lead to a 'race to the bottom,' where prices become so low that they are unsustainable, eroding profit margins and potentially the quality of the offerings.


Overemphasis on price: Focusing too heavily on competitor prices can sometimes lead to neglecting other important aspects like product quality, customer service, and brand development.

This overemphasis on price might win some customers in the short term but can harm the business's long-term reputation and viability.


Misreading market signals: Misinterpreting competitors’ pricing strategies or market trends can lead to misguided pricing decisions.

For instance, a competitor's price reduction could be a temporary promotional tactic rather than a permanent change, and matching it could unnecessarily lower your profits.


Neglecting cost structure: Businesses sometimes set prices purely based on competitors without adequately considering their own cost structure.

This can result in selling products at a loss or with minimal profit, especially if the business's costs are higher than those of the competitors.


Customer perception issues: Constantly changing prices to match competitors can confuse customers and potentially damage their trust. It can also lead to a perception of lower quality or value, especially if the price is significantly lower than competitors.

How can you avoid these pitfalls?

It’s important to maintain a balanced approach that considers competitor pricing but also factors in your own business costs, value proposition, and long-term strategic goals.

A well-rounded view that prioritises sustainable pricing and overall business health is key to successful competitive pricing. Take the time to truly understand market changes to make informed choices rather than reactionary ones.

Tools and resources to polish your competitive pricing strategy

Let’s look into what types of tools you need for your business if you want to start a competitive pricing strategy:

Pricing analytics software: Advanced software solutions offer real-time insights into market prices, competitor strategies, and consumer trends. They use machine learning algorithms to analyse large datasets, making it easier to understand the competitive landscape and adjust prices accordingly.

TOP TIP: Discover our powerful POS systems! Designed for businesses, our systems sync with POS software integrations that analyse your financial data and help you make informed decisions.

Market research platforms: Platforms specialising in market research provide valuable data on industry trends, consumer behaviour, and pricing benchmarks.

Competitor price tracking tools: These tools continuously monitor competitors’ pricing and alert you to changes. This ongoing surveillance is essential for maintaining a competitive edge.

Customer feedback tools: Surveys and feedback platforms help gauge customer reactions to your pricing, offering insights into how your prices are perceived relative to competitors.

Cost analysis software: To ensure profitability, cost analysis tools help track and manage your own cost structures, enabling you to align your pricing strategy with your business’s financial health.

Our final thoughts

In conclusion, mastering competitive pricing is a multifaceted endeavour that requires a lot of resources: a blend of market insight, strategic planning, and the right tools! 

But by understanding your market, analysing competitors, considering your costs, and staying adaptable, you can create a pricing strategy that not only competes effectively but also sustains and grows your business. 

Remember, the goal is not to react instantly to match or undercut competitors, but to find the price point that resonates with your customers and aligns with your brand's value. With the right approach, competitive pricing can be a powerful tool in your business arsenal, driving success in today's dynamic market.

Ready to supercharge your business? Fill out our form to discover more about Epos Now's innovative services and products.

By submitting your details you agree to our terms and conditions & privacy policy.