Tag Archives: Algorithmic pricing

A contribution to the empirics of algorithmic pricing

An Empirical Analysis of Algorithmic Pricing on Amazon Marketplace

Abstract

The rise of e-commerce has unlocked practical applications for algorithmic pricing (also called dynamic pricing algorithms), where sellers set prices using computer algorithms. Travel websites and large, well known e-retailers have already adopted algorithmic pricing strategies, but the tools and techniques are now available to small-scale sellers as well. While algorithmic pricing can make merchants more competitive, it also creates new challenges. Examples have emerged of cases where competing pieces of algorithmic pricing software interacted in unexpected ways and produced unpredictable prices, as well as cases where algorithms were intentionally designed to implement price fixing. Unfortunately, the public currently lack comprehensive knowledge about the prevalence and behavior of algorithmic pricing algorithms in-the-wild. In this study, we develop a methodology for detecting algorithmic pricing, and use it empirically to analyze their prevalence and behavior on Amazon Marketplace. We gather four months of data covering all merchants selling any of 1,641 best-seller products. Using this dataset, we are able to uncover the algorithmic pricing strategies adopted by over 500 sellers. We explore the characteristics of these sellers and characterize the impact of these strategies on the dynamics of the marketplace.”

You can download the paper here

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