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Tl; dr;

  • Demand and value balance: Pricing research aims to find the price that maximizes profits while maintaining customer satisfaction, striking a balance between demand and perceived value.
  • Pricing strategy alignment: It should reflect cost, customer value perception, and competitive positioning to ensure market success.
  • Market segmentation and elasticity: Segmenting the market and understanding price elasticity are vital for setting prices that cater to specific customer groups and optimizing revenue.
  • Online surveys for data collection: Online surveys are effective for gathering quantitative and qualitative data on customers' willingness to pay, providing insights into the optimal price point.
  • Price experimentation and analytics: Conducting pricing experiments like A/B and multivariate testing, coupled with advanced analytics, is crucial for predicting customer behavior and refining price points for maximum profitability.
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Table of contents

If the price is right, you might unlock the secret to your business's success—but how do you find that magic number?

Whether you're a startup entrepreneur or a seasoned business strategist, the quest for the perfect price can seem like a high-stakes game of guesswork. But it doesn't have to be. Pricing research is a sophisticated blend of science and intuition designed to align your pricing strategy with the sweet spot of customer value and demand.

Dive into the world of pricing research with us, and discover how leveraging online surveys and price experimentation can lead to data-driven decisions that power up your profits. Read on!

Foundations of pricing research

Pricing research is a critical aspect of your marketing strategy that involves gathering and analyzing data to determine the optimal price point for your products or services. The objective is to achieve a balance where your price maximizes both profitability and customer satisfaction.

Purpose of pricing research:

  • Understand demand: Evaluate your customers' sensitivity to price changes.
  • Analyze competition: Study competitor pricing to position your offerings competitively in the market.
  • Optimize profits: Identify the optimal price that maximizes your profit margins without deterring customers.

Key methods:

  • Surveys and questionnaires: Collect data on customers' willingness to pay.
  • Price experiments: Test different prices and record the impact on sales.
  • Conjoint analysis: Determine the value customers place on various attributes of your product.

Data collection:

  • Primary data: Data collected directly from potential customers.
  • Secondary data: Data that has already been gathered, such as industry reports.


  • Costs: Take into account production, distribution, and marketing costs.
  • Value proposition: Your pricing approach should reflect the value your product delivers.
  • Market trends: Stay informed about economic conditions and industry trends that may influence pricing decisions.

By conducting sound pricing research, you can avoid undercharging for your product or service, which could leave revenue on the table, or overcharging, which might result in lost market share. It's about finding the sweet spot where your business objectives meet customer satisfaction.

Pricing strategies

Selecting a good pricing strategy is crucial for your product's market success. It must reflect your costs, market position, and customer value perception.

Cost-based pricing

You determine prices primarily by adding a markup to the cost of producing or acquiring your product. This approach ensures coverage of costs and a consistent profit margin.


  • Product cost: $20
  • Markup (50%): $10
  • Total price: $30

Value-based pricing

You set prices based on the perceived value to the customer rather than costs. This strategy can yield higher profit margins if your customers believe your product offers superior value.


  • Quality
  • Brand reputation
  • Customer experience

Competition-based pricing

You benchmark your prices against competitors, adapting to the market standard. This can be an aggressive strategy to penetrate a market or a defensive one to maintain market share.


  • Lowering prices to undercut competitors
  • Matching prices to meet industry standards
  • Premium pricing if your product offers distinct advantages

Market analysis

When you conduct pricing research, your market analysis directly impacts how you set prices and position your product. This section will cover the vital components of market segmentation and demand estimation.

Market segmentation

Market segmentation involves breaking down a broad market into specific subgroups to better understand consumer needs and preferences.

You should consider creating segments based on the following:

  • demographics (age, gender, income),
  • geographic location (region, city size),
  • psychographics (lifestyle, values),
  • behavior (usage rates, brand loyalty).

Segmenting your market allows for more targeted pricing strategies, as you can tailor prices to each segment's perceived value and affordability.

Demand estimation

Demand estimation quantifies the potential sales of a product or service in a particular market segment. It helps determine the right price point to maximize revenue.

To estimate demand effectively, you should examine historical sales data, analyze competitors’ pricing, and consider the elasticity of demand—how responsive the quantity demanded is to a price change.

This analysis could be represented in a table format for clarity:

An example of demand estimation

By interpreting this data, you can identify your expected price points that balance desired sales volume with profitability goals.

Price elasticity

Price elasticity is a crucial concept in pricing research, which measures how a change in price affects the quantity demanded of a product or service. Understanding this can help you set prices that maximize profits without alienating customers.

Elasticity of demand

The elasticity of demand is a measure that indicates the percentage change in the quantity demanded of a good or service in reaction to a one percent change in its price.

If the quantity demanded changes significantly, the demand is termed as elastic. Conversely, if the demand changes little, it is called inelastic.

  • Elastic demand: If your product's price elasticity is greater than 1 (|E_d| > 1), a price decrease will lead to a proportionally larger increase in the quantity demanded.
  • Inelastic demand: When price elasticity is less than 1 (|E_d| < 1), a price change will result in a smaller proportional change in quantity demanded.

Cross-price elasticity

The term Cross-price elasticity refers to the responsiveness of the quantity demanded for one product in relation to the price change of another product. This measure is vital in determining the relationship between products - whether they are substitutes or complements to each other.

  • Substitutes: If the cross-price elasticity is positive, it suggests that the products are substitutes. For example, if the price of coffee increases, you might buy more tea.
  • Complements: A negative cross-price elasticity indicates that products are complements. An increase in the price of printers may lead to a decrease in demand for ink cartridges.

Pricing Models

In pricing research, understanding various pricing models is crucial to selecting the right approach for your products or services. Each model has distinct advantages and methodologies that cater to different business objectives and market demands.

Dynamic pricing

Dynamic pricing is a flexible strategy where your prices are adjusted in real-time based on market demand, competition, and other external factors. This approach is commonly seen in travel, hospitality, and e-commerce industries.

  • Advantages:
  • Maximizes profit by adapting to market changes.
  • Allows for competitive positioning.
  • Methodology:
  • Prices are set algorithmically, often influenced by factors such as time of purchase, inventory levels, and competitor pricing.

Example: To manage demand effectively, a hotel may increase room rates during peak tourist seasons and lower them during off-peak times.

Tiered pricing

Tiered pricing involves offering your product or service at different price points, with each tier offering a graduated set of features or quantities. This model is popular in SaaS marketing strategies and subscription-based businesses.

  • Advantages:
  • Caters to different customer needs and budgets.
  • Encourages customers to upgrade for more features.
  • Methodology:
  • Establish clear tiers with set prices based on the value provided at each level.

Example: A SaaS company may offer a basic package for solo users, a professional package with added features for small teams, and an enterprise package with extensive features and support for large organizations.

Qualitative pricing research

Qualitative pricing research provides in-depth insights into customer perceptions and the value they place on products or services. This approach delves into the why behind customer decisions, giving you a richer understanding of your pricing landscape.

Focus groups

In Focus groups, you bring together a small, diverse set of individuals to discuss their views on pricing. You gain qualitative insights by observing interactions within the group. Key areas include:

  • Discussion dynamics: The way participants influence each other can reveal new perspectives on the value and pricing of a product.
  • Deep dive: Trained moderators can probe further on specific topics to uncover more nuanced feelings and opinions about your pricing strategy.


With surveys, you collect open-ended responses on pricing from a broader audience. This method allows for more personal, direct feedback. Important aspects are:

  • Diverse sampling: Ensuring a wide range of participants can help you understand varying perspectives on your pricing.
  • Rich data collection: Open-ended questions encourage detailed responses that shed light on the emotional and psychological factors driving purchase decisions.

Quantitative pricing research

In quantitative pricing research, you focus on numerical data to determine optimal pricing for products or services. You’ll typically employ statistical analysis and mathematical modeling.

Conjoint analysis

Conjoint analysis allows you to understand consumer preferences and simulate market scenarios. By presenting respondents with a variety of product features and prices, you collect data on their purchasing decisions. This lets you gauge consumers' value on different product attributes, including price.

Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter

The Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter (PSM) is a technique used to identify a range of acceptable pricing. You ask consumers four key questions concerning product prices:

  1. At what price would the product be so expensive that you would not consider it?
  2. At what price is the product expensive, but would you still consider it?
  3. At what price is the product so cheap that you would question its quality?
  4. At what price is the product a bargain?

By analyzing the responses, you can determine an optimal price range from the overlap of these price points.

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Pricing experiments

In the realm of pricing research, conducting experiments such as A/B testing and multivariate testing is instrumental in understanding customer behavior and optimizing price points.

A/B testing

When you conduct A/B testing, you essentially compare two variations of a price to see which one performs better. You expose group A to price point one and group B to price point two, keeping all other variables constant. Here's a simple structure for A/B testing:

  • Objective: Define what you want to achieve (e.g., increase in sales, higher conversion rate).
  • Variables: Determine the prices you are testing (e.g., Price A: $50, Price B: $60).
  • Duration: Set a time period for the test (e.g., two weeks).
  • Population: Split your sample audience randomly and equally.
  • Analysis: After the test, analyze conversion rates, revenue, and other relevant metrics.

Multivariate testing

Multivariate testing allows you to test multiple pricing strategies simultaneously. It gives you a more complex understanding of how different price points interact with other variables. Here's how to approach a multivariate test:

  1. Variables: Identify all variables you want to test, including different price levels and features.
  2. Design: Create a test plan that combines these variables in various ways.
  3. Sample Size: Ensure the sample size is large enough to capture meaningful data for all variations.
  4. Testing Tools: Use capable software to serve these variations to different segments.
  5. Results: Measure the impact of each variation on your KPIs, looking for the highest-performing combination.

Collecting and analyzing data from these pricing experiments is crucial to optimizing your pricing strategy to align with what your customers are willing to pay.

Pricing analytics

Pricing Analytics empowers you to determine the best pricing strategy using data-driven insights. Recognizing patterns in customer behavior and market trends is essential for establishing profitable pricing strategies.

Price optimization

To achieve ideal Price Optimization, you need to consider various factors affecting pricing decisions. For example, competitor prices, costs, and customer demand play fundamental roles. You can leverage tools to determine the elasticity of demand for different price points, represented as follows:

  • Elastic: A small change in price causes a large change in demand.
  • Inelastic: Demand does not change significantly with a price change.

An ideal pricing model may look like this:

An example of ideal pricing model

Here, setting the price at $12 yields the highest revenue with a demand of 90 units.

Revenue management

Revenue Management focuses on understanding and anticipating consumer behavior to sell the right product to the right customer at the right time for the right price. Critical to this process is segmentation. Different customer segments may value your product differently.

A clear-cut approach involves:

  1. Segmenting your market according to willingness to pay.
  2. Targeting each segment with tailored pricing.

Consider an airline example:

Segment Price Seats Early bird $200 50 Average booker $300 100 Last-minute $500 20

This tiered strategy tries to maximize revenue by capturing surplus from various segments, thereby increasing overall profitability.

Tools for pricing studies

When conducting pricing research, you may find an array of software and tools tailored to streamline the process. These tools can vary widely in functionality, from gathering market data to helping you set the optimal price for your products or services.

Types of Pricing Tools

  • Data analysis tools: These facilitate large-scale data examination to uncover pricing trends and consumer behavior.
  • Survey tools: For example Survicate is useful for conducting pricing research with online surveys.
  • Competitive pricing trackers: Monitor your competitor prices and market position in real-time.
  • Price optimization software: Uses algorithms to recommend prices based on demand, competition, and market conditions.
  • Customer willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimators: Help in determining the price point at which a customer is most likely to purchase.

Key Features to Look For

  • Real-time Data: Essential for keeping up with rapidly changing market conditions.
  • Customization: Allows you to tailor the tool to your business's specific needs.
  • Integrative capabilities: Seamlessly works with other systems you already use.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Ensures you can navigate the tool efficiently.

Investing in the right pricing software equips you with the insights and efficiency needed for strategic pricing decisions. Your choice should align with your business objectives, size, and the complexity of the pricing challenges you face.

Conduct pricing research with Survicate

As we've explored, the delicate art of pricing research lies in finding the equilibrium where customer satisfaction meets maximum profitability. It's a strategic process that demands a thorough understanding of how your pricing aligns with the perceived value, costs, and competitive landscape. Market segmentation and grasping the nuances of price elasticity are more than just buzzwords; they are essential practices that can make or break your revenue goals.

Enter Survicate, a survey software that streamlines the collection of valuable customer data through intuitive online surveys. With Survicate, you can tap into customer insights to inform your pricing strategy, using features that allow for easy segmentation and analysis. The platform's ability to integrate with your current tools and systems makes it an invaluable ally in conducting sophisticated pricing experiments that yield actionable intelligence.

With Survicate's powerful suite of survey capabilities, you're well-equipped to embark on this journey. Why not see for yourself the difference that informed, data-driven pricing decisions can make? Take advantage of Survicate and sign up for a 10-day free trial, which grants you full access to all the Business Plan features, and start optimizing your pricing strategy today.

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