Monthly Archives: December 2020

Digital Commerce Continues to Grow

More than any single factor, the pandemic has impacted virtually all industries, but it has most impacted how consumers shop. Prior to 2020, consumers may have shopped online for many different products and services, but since mid-2020 buying habits have changed significantly. Consumers now feel more comfortable buying what were once in-person purchases such as cars, food, and medical or health care needs.

A recent survey by McKinsey & Co. highlighted that since the pandemic began, three out of four people have tried new shopping and delivery methods. More than half of the consumers surveyed intend to continue to use curbside pickup or delivery services after the pandemic ends. Roughly 70% of those consumers intend to keep buying online. Among the changes are increases in online streaming, grocery delivery, restaurant curbside pickup and delivery, and store curbside pickup. Consumers are going online not just for shopping; they now go online for medical appointments, fitness classes, tutoring, and more.

While these changes are good for digital commerce providers, they are not so good for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. This year will likely see a record of store closings, bankruptcies, and liquidations. And, retailers have had to shift how they deliver services, including more online experiences such as digital events, contactless payment methods, virtual online services, and curbside pickup.

Overall, ecommerce in the U.S. rose to 16.1% from 10.8% a year ago. New shopping habits also extend to a decline in cash and an increase in credit and debit card use.

To quote Bob Dylan, “the times they are a changing.”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. As class begins, poll students about their shopping.
  2. What are the last three websites they visited? Did they buy anything? Why or why not?
  3. How have their shopping habits changed this year?
  4. Do they have new online shopping habits?
  5. Will they keep these new habits once the pandemic is contained?
  6. Show video about how pandemic has changed shopping habits: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-future-of-retail-how-will-the-pandemic-change-how-we-shop/526ADB88-F6D1-4B77-AA97-BAA323496D4D.html

Source:  Wall Street Journal

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How Much is it Worth? $1.9 million!

Determining the right price for a product or service is complicated. Marketers need to first determine the strategy that is best for meeting the objectives. Does the organization want to establish a beach-head and gain market share (at a low price), or does it want to reach the elite purchasers (at a higher price)?

Pricing strategies include demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented approaches. Within these various approaches are price models that include skimming, penetration, luxury, bundling, price-lining, return-on-investment, and more. But finally, and perhaps most importantly, do not discount the strong appeal used with psychological pricing.

All these strategies are interesting, but how does one apply them to a unique product such as a champion racing pigeon? In many instances, the correct price is the price that someone will pay for the item. This is different than what the item might be worth in general – it is what the item is worth to that one particular buyer.

Take pets as an example. How much are people willing to pay for a pet? Or consider an animal that brings prestige, and perhaps even monetary gains, to a buyer – animals such as thoroughbred horses, or racing pigeons – that bring prestige and monetary gains to owners. What are they worth?

Recently, ‘New Kim’, a champion racing pigeon, recently fetched the amount of $1.9 million, breaking sales records for such a bird! Two bidders (operating under the names of ‘Super Duper’ and ‘Hitman’) drove up the purchase price to the record amount, surpassing the $1.6 million spent last year on another champion racing pigeon named ‘Armando’. The same Chinese owner is thought to have bought both pigeons.

How much are you willing to pay?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. As class begins, poll students about pets and pricing. Ask who has a pet and how much they paid. Ask other students if they were going to buy an animal, how much would they consider spending?
  2. Show a video about the Belgian pigeon: https://youtu.be/kNmk5Jw5rbY
  3. Discuss pricing strategies (e.g., demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, competition-oriented, etc.).
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a different price approach and determine a SMART objective for the approach.
  5. Next, have students use their selected price model to determine prices for the ordinary products (e.g., milk, gas, eggs, etc.), shopping products (such as clothing.), and luxury items (such as Louis Vuitton handbags), and rare (such as racing pigeons).

Source:  Associated Press; other news sources

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LG’s New Rollable TV costs $87,000

It’s finally here and it is incredible! Last year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG Electronics showcased an innovative, rollable screen TV. Now, the TV is in production and will be available next year in South Korea for the price of…. (Insert drum roll)… $87,000!

Did that price surprise you? Yeah, we thought so.

The screen is 65-inches and is built around a flexible OLED panel that uses self-lighting pixel technology and dimming control to delivery an amazing picture. Since the screen is flexible, it can retract partially or fully into its base, adapting to different aspect ratios. When fully retracted, no screen shows.

The base does come in four different colors, plus the aluminum base can be inscribed with words of wisdom (such as “you paid what for this?!”). The base also includes a sound bar for premium listening.

Regardless of price, the rollable TV is truly revolutionary. Instead of owners setting up a large black screen that always is in place, even when off, LG’s unit liberates the TV from the wall.

Ready for a new TV?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Pricing is a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  2. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  3. Show a video of LG’s rollable $87,000 TV: https://www.impomag.com/home/video/21199409/lg-reveals-jawdropping-price-on-rollable-tv?lt.lid=5f90574cfed1277042925d3d&lt.ack=ryRUDA6PD&lt.usr=71617211&utm_source=IMPO_10212020&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=124311&utm_term=643230
  4. For specifications, view the news release from LG: http://www.lgnewsroom.com/2020/10/commercial-launch-of-lgs-long-awaited-rollable-oled-tv-marks-turning-point-in-tv-history/
  5. For LG’s rollable TV, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  6. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  7. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.

Source: CNET, Engadget, IMPO Insider, The Verge, other news sources

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