What is Economy Pricing? (E-commerce Focus)


The secret to success often lies in the price tag. Economy pricing isn’t just a number on a sticker; it’s a siren call to the thrifty, a strategic beacon in the vast sea of online shopping. This savvy pricing strategy turns the ordinary into the irresistible by making affordability its centerpiece.

What is Economy Pricing?

Imagine walking into a virtual store where the shelves are lined with products that promise the same quality as the leading brands but at a price that seems almost too good to be true. This is the essence of economy pricing: a pricing strategy that hinges on the appeal of simplicity and savings. It’s a competitive gambit, where the draw of lower prices is designed to capture a market segment that holds the purse strings a little tighter.

Attracting Cost-Conscious Consumers

Economy pricing leads with a compelling proposition—why pay more when you can get what you need for less? It is here, in the art of offering just what’s necessary at a price that undercuts fancier alternatives, that economy pricing finds its rhythm. By focusing on the value-conscious shopper, brands and retailers wield a tool that is as much about psychology as it is about economics.

Discover the layers of economy pricing to reveal how it powers businesses and delights bargain hunters in the world of e-commerce.

Understanding Economy Pricing

At its core, economy pricing is a strategy that businesses employ to make generic and commodity goods appealing by setting lower prices than those of competitors. The philosophy is simple: offer the bare minimum price to entice customers who prioritize cost over other factors such as brand recognition or added features. This strategy is not confined to small businesses; even large retailers leverage it to introduce store-brand products that promise the same utility as name brands at a fraction of the cost.

The Mechanics Behind It

The mechanism that drives economy pricing is economies of scale. By selling a larger volume of products, businesses can distribute the production costs across more units, enabling them to reduce the price per item. This volume-based pricing requires careful planning—setting the price too low could mean a loss on each sale, while setting it too high could drive away the very customers the strategy aims to attract.

Benefits of Economy Pricing

There are several benefits related to economy pricing strategies:

1/ Increased Brand Awareness: By offering products at a lower cost, businesses can reach a wider audience, thereby increasing brand visibility.

  • Example: Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand is a prime example of economy pricing used to increase brand awareness. By selling a wide range of products under the Kirkland Signature label at lower prices, Costco not only offers value to its customers but also enhances the visibility and reputation of its private label, ultimately boosting Costco’s brand awareness as a whole.

2/ Competitive Edge: In a market where price is a battleground, having the lowest price can give a business a significant advantage.

  • Example: In the retail landscape, private label brands epitomize the “competitive edge” aspect of economy pricing. Retailers offer products under their own brands at prices lower than those of national brands, attracting price-sensitive customers. For instance, a supermarket chain might sell its brand of cereal for $2.99, while the well-known national brand retails for $4.50. This significant price gap encourages customers to opt for the store brand, thus enhancing the supermarket’s competitiveness in the market.

3/ Market Penetration: Economy pricing can be an effective tool for entering new markets or introducing new product lines.

  • Example: Streaming giants like Netflix and Disney+ attract new users with penetration pricing, offering a low initial subscription rate, while showcasing exclusive content. After this period, the price reverts to standard rates, banking on users’ acquired habit and content satisfaction to retain them. This approach has propelled Netflix to a dominant market share and Disney was able to quickly catch-up.

While economy pricing has its benefits, it’s not without challenges. Profit margins are slim, necessitating a high volume of sales to sustain profitability. Additionally, in the e-commerce field, where international transactions are common, businesses must factor in additional costs such as shipping, tariffs, and other region-specific expenses.

International E-Commerce

The global nature of e-commerce means that economy pricing strategies must be adapted to cater to international consumers. This involves a delicate balance of maintaining low prices while accounting for the extra costs associated with cross-border sales. Businesses must be savvy about these additional expenses to ensure that their economy pricing remains sustainable on a global scale.

Implementing Economy Pricing


To successfully implement economy pricing, e-commerce businesses should conduct thorough market research to determine the most competitive price point. They must also analyze their cost structure to ensure they can maintain profitability at low prices. Furthermore, they should invest in efficient operations and supply chain management to keep overhead costs to a minimum.

A big help in implementing such pricing strategies is the use of a price intelligence tool such as Netrivals. These sophisticated tolls scan the market, analyze competitor pricing, and provide invaluable insights that allow businesses to adjust their prices dynamically. By leveraging the power of Netrivals, businesses can confidently position their products at the sweet spot of economy pricing, ensuring they hit the mark of affordability without sacrificing profitability. With such technology at their disposal, e-commerce players can stay one step ahead in the price point puzzle, catering efficiently to the cost-aware consumer.

Adrian Gmelch

Adrian Gmelch is a tech and e-commerce enthusiast. He initially worked for an international PR agency in Paris for large tech companies before joining Lengow's international field marketing & content team.

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