A system for pricing the sales distribution from blockbusters to the long tail
Koçaş, Cenk and Akkan, Can (2016) A system for pricing the sales distribution from blockbusters to the long tail. Decision Support Systems, 89 . pp. 56-65. ISSN 0167-9236 (Print) 1873-5797 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2016.06.008
The long tail of retailing has been both a challenge and an opportunity for online retailers. This article provides guidelines for enhanced decision making strategies in pricing dependent on popularity, cross-sales quantity and reservation prices. Our model shows that if customer willingness to pay, or reservation price, is higher for less popular items in a category, a unique optimal price path exists which requires deep discounts on popular items. However, if the reservation price is lower for less popular items, the optimal price path is conditional on the profitability of cross-selling and the potential loss from the business of loyal customers. Analyzing data on books, songs and movies from Amazon.com, we provide empirical support for our model findings. An analysis of the same set of movies available both as instant videos and DVDs allow us control for unobserved product characteristics and yields contradictory price paths along the sales rank distribution with increasing prices for DVDs and decreasing prices for streaming movies, as predicted by our model.
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