Significance of pricing and product-line strategies

Significance of pricing and product-line strategies

July 30, 20181 min read

In new research, Ramnath Chellappa, associate professor of information systems & operations management, and coauthor Amit Mehra (U Texas) investigate the business practice of IT “versioning,” whereby a company creates different models of a product in order to charge varying prices for each one. Much research takes into account economies of scale and a company’s marginal costs—the price of making an additional unit of a product. However, Chellappa and Mehra note that companies also need to consider consumer usage costs when they decide to create various versions of the same IT product. But for IT products and services, the “costs” are not monetary. The pair note the “time commitment and physical effort” to use IT products or services. They use the example of mobile devices: “One cannot enjoy these information goods without them consuming resources such as memory and processing power.” They determine that “this consumption-related disutility” is critical to feature bundling and consumer segmentation. The researchers create a model to test the consumer cost impact, using a “digital goods firm with a unique production cost structure and agents—consumers who face resource constraints in consuming these goods.” Given the usage costs, they determine that individuals may not necessarily prefer products with more features to lower-quality items. The pair concludes “marginal cost and consumers’ usage costs have the same impact on versioning strategy.”


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  • Ramnath K Chellappa
    Ramnath K Chellappa Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management; Associate Dean & Academic Director, MS in Business Analytics

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