Digital Price Tags


Jan Chipchase spotted over at his blog the usage of digital pricing tags in a supermarket in Tokyo. As he noted, there are many possibilities enabled by this new pricing information:

Why? The ability to dynamically change prices based on contexts such as time of day, customers in proximity, levels of stock, or the weather that you experienced five minutes ago creates so many opportunities. Small sign. Big implications.

Of course there’s also additional other conveniences like electronically updating your price, which means your staff won’t have to manually switch tags; or maybe prices of all chains of megamarts are fed back to a central server in real time, to make sure the there are no errant pricing in franchisees; or perhaps they mega ‘cheapest here or else’ marts can upload prices in real time to a social website for comparison.

But, if you have the power to dynamically change price, would you? Would the feeling of certainty and constancy be more important than the perceptively fluctuating or shifting price, which tends to lead to insecurities? Would the customers think they’re getting gouged when they have to pay a higher price responding to a certain context (even though they could’ve chose to think the other way – they got the discounts on other days)?

Food for thought…

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