Customized Dynamic Pricing When Customers Develop a Habit or Satiation

Wen Chen, Ying He, Saurabh Bansal

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We study a dynamic pricing problem in which a firm chooses prices over multiple periods when consumers are state dependent; that is, they develop a habit or satiation from their past consumption. We first derive an intertemporal demand function to capture how demand in one period depends on the price in that period and consumption in previous periods through habit or satiation. Subsequently, we formulate the optimal price setting problem for a firm over a multiperiod horizon. We establish that this problem is jointly concave in prices and then characterize the temporal trends in the optimal prices. These trends in optimal prices are a net outcome of two opposite effects: (i) the progressive buildup of habit or satiation from consumption, and (ii) the progressive deterioration of the habit or satiation developed in prior periods. Based on the relative strengths of these two effects, the optimal prices follow a penetration policy (prices increase over time), a skimming policy (prices decrease over time), a skimming-penetration policy (U-shaped prices), or a penetration-skimming policy (inverse U-shaped prices). Subsequently, we provide several extensions including bounds on prices and optimal profit and nonstationary state dependence. Numerical studies show that ignoring habit and satiation effects in customers can be significantly costly for a firm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2158-2174
Number of pages17
JournalOperations Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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