Penetration Pricing: How to Use It to Grow Your Business


Penetration pricing is an incredibly captivating business tool and arguably the most powerful way to boost your growth. It is a strategy commonly deployed by businesses of all sizes, from smaller traditional companies to modern tech giants, and has something of an elusive mystery that isn’t always easy to truly perfect, despite the simple nature of it. This blog post is here to help you better understand the nuances of penetration pricing, so you can make use of it to help level up your business!

We’ll be taking you through the basics of penetration pricing: how it works, how it helps you grow, and the different strategies you can employ to supercharge your sales. We’ll then discuss the potential pitfalls you should watch out for, as well as some tips to maximize the impact of your effort.

Get ready to dive into the depths of penetration pricing and come out with a whole new understanding of how to maximize your business’s potential!

Quick Definition

Penetration pricing, sometimes known as a ‘loss leader’, is a marketing strategy where businesses set an initial low price for their products or services in order to entice customers into making a purchase. The goal of penetration pricing is to gain a larger market share quickly, despite selling the product at a lower profit margin.

Penetration Pricing Definition

Penetration pricing is a pricing strategy used by businesses to attract customers and gain market share. It involves selling goods or services at a deeply discounted price to quickly increase the company’s market share and achieve greater economies of scale. While penetration pricing can be an effective tactic for businesses looking to break into new markets, there is also some debate over whether it is an ethical approach in the long run.

To understand penetration pricing, it is important to have a grasp on the concept of economies of scale. Simply put, economies of scale occur when a company experiences significant cost savings from increased production volume. This allows the business to lower its prices and thereby increase the number of products sold, resulting in greater overall profits for the company.

The goal behind penetration pricing is to use deep discounts to quickly attract customers to a product or service and establish loyalty with those customers, usually in order to gain a larger overall market share than competitors. Companies that are successful at penetration pricing often use this strategy as a short-term tactic while they strive to become more cost-efficient and introduce more sustainable pricing models down the line. But at the same time, critics point out that relying too heavily on deep discounts can erode brand value and create an expectation among consumers that products should always be deeply discounted—which can be hard for companies to break away from once they’ve reached economies of scale.

Debate exists over whether penetration pricing strategies like deep discounts are beneficial in the long run or overly aggressive tactics that ultimately hurt companies and their customers alike. Reasonable minds may disagree on this topic, but there are plenty of examples of penetration pricing being used successfully by large companies such as Walmart, Apple, and Amazon.

Ultimately, knowing when and how to use penetration pricing is key for any business looking to break into new markets. The next section will explore when businesses should consider deploying this potentially powerful tactic.

When Should You Use Penetration Pricing?

When used strategically, penetration pricing can be an effective tool for driving customer acquisition, market share growth, and business success. However, this long-term strategy requires careful consideration before it is implemented. There are a number of factors that must be understood before deciding to use penetration pricing, including the overall effectiveness of the pricing method and its potential risks.

On the one hand, penetration pricing is typically used as an introductory strategy designed to draw customers away from competitors, who may be charging higher prices for similar goods or services. It is usually meant as a way to ‘break into’ the market and secure a long-term competitive advantage. The lower price point can also give businesses a short-term boost in sales volume and customer loyalty if executed correctly.

There is, however, a flip side. The first thing to be aware of is that using penetration pricing too aggressively can lead to negative effects on the company’s bottom line. If the initial lower cost does not attract enough new customers or trigger sufficient repeat purchases to make up for the decrease in revenue per unit sale, profits can suffer as a result. It is also important to consider your customer demographics and how well they align with the intended goals of penetration pricing; if the target customer does not respond favorably to discounts and promotional deals, then implementing this kind of pricing strategy might not be effective.

These considerations aside, it is clear that there can be many advantages associated with the correct use of penetration pricing. But companies should weigh both its immediate benefits and potential risks before launching this type of long-term strategy within their industry.

With that said, it’s time to explore another key benefit of penetration pricing: its potential as a business development tool. In the next section, we will look at how businesses have leveraged penetration pricing as part of their growth strategies in order to maximize customer acquisition and increase customer loyalty over time.

  • A 2018 survey of US companies found that over 70% use some type of penetration pricing to stimulate demand.
  • A 2010 International Journal of Business & Management study of Scandinavian businesses found that 83% of the businesses used penetration pricing with discounts ranging from 20% to 60%.
  • According to a 2011 study published in The Journal of Business Research, the impact of penetration pricing on consumer loyalty was found to be highly significant.

Benefits Of Penetration Pricing

The primary benefit of penetration pricing is its ability to increase market share. By offering an entry-level price that is significantly lower than comparable products, companies can gain more buyers in a shorter period of time. This in turn creates customer loyalty and builds brand recognition, leading to higher profits down the line. Additionally, discounting strategies such as penetration pricing help draw attention away from the competition and towards a particular product.

However, there are potential risks associated with penetration pricing strategies. For instance, by setting a low initial price, companies risk alienating loyal customers who purchased their product before it was discounted. Additionally, this approach requires an increased investment in marketing and advertising in order to create consumer awareness of the low prices being offered. Finally, when discounting a product too frequently, companies may inadvertently train consumers to wait for discounts before buying a product, which can make it difficult to turn a profit.

Despite these potential risks, penetration pricing can yield long-term rewards for businesses looking to increase market share and drive profits. In the following section, we will discuss the risks associated with penetration pricing so that you can make an informed decision about what strategy is best for your business.

Main Points To Remember

Penetration pricing is a strategy used to increase market share by offering an entry-level price that is significantly lower than comparable products. It can lead to customer loyalty and greater brand recognition which can drive profits in the long run. However, there are potential risks associated with penetration pricing such as alienating loyal customers, increased marketing costs, and the risk of consumer expectation of discounts for all products. In order to maximize the benefits of penetration pricing, businesses should be aware of the associated risks and make an informed decision before implementing this strategy.

Risk Of Penetration Pricing

When it comes to penetration pricing, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and cautions associated with using it. One major risk of using this type of pricing strategy is that rival businesses may lower their prices in order to compete. If other businesses compete aggressively, they can potentially remove any price advantage you have created by leveraging a penetration pricing strategy. Additionally, reducing prices can also lead to perceptions of low quality associated with the product or service being offered.

Another risk associated with penetration pricing is that customers may become too accustomed to the discounted prices and unwilling to pay full price for the same product or service once the promotional period is over. This can ultimately lead to lower margins for a business if the promotional period needs to be prolonged further in order to maintain sales volume.

The debate surrounding these risks arises from whether setting lower introductory prices limits competition or encourages higher demand from customers that otherwise would not purchase the product or service at all. From an economic standpoint, it is clear that differentiated pricing strategies reduce competition by making it more difficult for competitors to enter markets, yet there is documented evidence that penetration pricing increases competition by opening up new markets for entry.

On the other hand, demand generation can be expanded by using penetrative pricing in order to reach new customers, and preferences are altered which can generate higher levels of brand loyalty. Therefore, even though risks must be considered when employing penetration pricing strategies, there remains a potential upside available when done appropriately.

Now that we have discussed the potential risks associated with penetration pricing let’s move on and explore different penetration pricing strategies in order to maximize business growth.

Penetration Pricing Strategies

Penetration pricing is a popular strategy used to capture market attention and establish market share by quickly lowering prices below the competition. It is often used when introducing a new product or service or during periods of stagnant sales. Penetration pricing can be a powerful tool for businesses, but only when executed correctly. There are several strategies businesses should consider when implementing penetration pricing policies.

The most common approach for penetration pricing is price skimming: offering high initial prices, then slowly lowering them over time to capture more market share. This strategy yields higher returns in the short term as customers are willing to pay higher prices just to get the product early. However, it requires that the company consistently reassess its pricing in order to remain competitive in the long run; otherwise, they risk sacrificing profits in exchange for lower volume.

Another approach is to offer “loss leaders,” which means aggressively shrinking prices past a certain level to quickly acquire customers and foster brand loyalty down the line. During this period of cut-throat pricing, it’s important that businesses are well aware of how much profit they’re willing to forego in order to gain customers, and how far they wish to take those discounts before raising their prices again. While loss leaders can be effective in building long-term customer relationships, there is a risk that some companies may be put off by such cheap deals and opt not to buy from your company ever again.

Finally, there’s also “price packing,” a strategy where multiple related products are bundled together at an attractive package price. This technique can be used both as an entry point into the market and as an ongoing tactic to boost profit margins on related products where markups may have gone down too much with traditional pricing structures. The downside here is that bundles may confuse customers who are looking for specific products without the extra bells and whistles, while adding on extra items may draw attention away from other key product lines within the company’s offering.

Overall, whichever approach a business takes with its penetration pricing strategy, it’s important to remember that compromise will always be necessary if companies aim for large market shares at a reasonable price point. That said, with careful assessment and sound planning ahead of any financial commitment, businesses can gain major advantages from properly leveraging penetration pricing techniques in their operations.

In the next section, we’ll discuss ways businesses can implement discounts into their pricing strategy in order to further grow their business and increase profit margins over time.


When used properly, discounts are a powerful tool to drive customer loyalty, generate revenue, and grow your business. Discounts come in many forms, including coupons, promotional codes, percentage discounts off of the full retail price, and even free shipping or other services. It is important to consider both the benefits of offering discounts as well as any potential drawbacks that could arise from offering them.

Benefits of offering discounts include increased customer loyalty if you offer additional pricing for loyal customers or for those who purchase in bulk. Additionally, offering discounts can attract more customers and create new opportunities for sales. For example, if you have a particularly popular item with a discounted price point, it will lead to more purchases since customers view it as a great value. Finally, discounts can be used to unload excess inventory items or clear out older product lines.

Discounts do have drawbacks that should be considered when implementing any type of pricing strategy. For example, if too many items are discounted or they are discounted too heavily, customers may become conditioned to expect those prices all the time and not be interested in your full-priced options. Additionally, discounts often require more work upfront; this is especially true if you must negotiate prices with external vendors or manufacturers. Lastly, deeply discounted items may negatively affect your overall gross margin over time.

The right discount strategy can attract new customers and help increase sales while also rewarding existing customers for their loyalty and encouraging repeat purchases with special offers. That said, before implementing any kind of discount program it is important to carefully consider how it will fit into your overall pricing strategy. Now that we have discussed discounts and their impact on penetration pricing strategies let’s explore some example scenarios where penetration pricing might be beneficial to grow your business.

Examples Of Penetration Pricing

Penetration pricing is a strategy used by businesses to increase sales and grow their customer base. It involves selling products at either below the normal market price or the cost of production, usually with a short-term goal of gaining new customers and increasing market share. While this strategy can be risky, as it often incurs bigger losses in the short term, businesses that successfully use penetration pricing can build considerable advantages over their competitors in the long run.

Here are some examples of penetration pricing:

1. Price Reductions  Businesses offer temporary discounts on products or services to attract new customers and encourage them to purchase from the business. Examples include discounts for loyalty programs, promotional codes, flash sales, etc.

2. Bundling Products & Services  Businesses enhance product packages with additional services or items to make them more attractive to potential customers. This strategy allows companies to add value while also garnering more exposure and creating stickier customers who may be more inclined to buy again later on.

3. Competitor Pricing – Businesses pair their own prices with those of a direct competitor in an effort to create increased demand and cut out potential losses due to price wars in the future.

While these strategies can all be beneficial in certain circumstances, they are not without risks. Price reductions can erode profit margins if customers begin expecting lower prices, reducing the potential profits that could be realized over the long-term. Bundling products and services can add complexity and confuse customers, who may mistakenly believe they are getting less for their money rather than enhancing their experience with additional value added features or services. Further, entering a “price war” against competitors can potentially draw too much attention and detract from other areas of your business plan, like marketing efforts or targeting specific customer segments (e.g., students).

Therefore it is important for businesses to manage penetration pricing carefully and understand when it’s appropriate vs when there may be better alternative strategies available depending on market conditions and goals of the business.


Penetration pricing is a pricing strategy that can give businesses an edge over the competition by allowing them to gain market share and increase profits quickly. This strategy can be used in any industry and by businesses of any size and structure. The primary goals of penetration pricing are to: attract more customers, build brand recognition, increase market share, and maximize profits in the long-term.

When using this strategy, marketers must consider several issues including customer loyalty, competitors’ prices, total market size, marketing and promotional strategies, location, product availability, margin requirements, and overall budget constraints. Marketers should also be aware that a “one-time” promotion will not provide lasting success—they should use multiple price points to sustain customer interest over time.

The pros and cons of penetration pricing should be considered before utilizing this pricing strategy. On the plus side: it drives consumers to purchase more frequently with greater demands; it attracts more customers due to lower prices; and it allows for longer-term growth with higher profits. However, negative aspects of penetration pricing include: high costs (due to discounted or free items), potential customer backlash due to a change in price points (loss of trust), short-term losses due to fewer sales at full price, and the risk that the competition might respond with its own discounts.

To effectively implement a penetration pricing strategy, marketers must ensure they are taking into account all of the various elements involved in determining their prices. They must also remain cognizant of their competitors’ strategies while maintaining a firm focus on meeting organizational goals—such as increasing market share or improving profits. Understanding both sides of the argument will help marketers better understand when and how they should utilize a penetration pricing strategy for success.


What Challenges Do Businesses Face When Using Penetration Pricing?

Businesses face several challenges when using penetration pricing. First, they must identify the right product/service to use penetration pricing on. It’s important to ensure that the product/service is competitive enough in terms of quality and features to attract customers and generate sales.

Second, businesses must determine the right price point for their product/service to be successful in their particular market. Penetration pricing strategies often involve setting prices lower than the competition, yet high enough that the business can still make a profit. Setting prices too low can lead to a decrease in profits and setting them too high will limit consumer interest.

Finally, businesses must continuously compete with their competitors by offering discounts or other benefits when using penetration pricing. This involves monitoring market prices, researching customer demand, and providing added value to top-up any promotional campaigns that are necessary for sustaining a competitive edge. A poorly planned promotion could result in substantial losses for a business.

How Is Penetration Pricing Used In Marketing Strategies?

Penetration pricing is a popular marketing strategy used by companies to attract more customers. It involves setting a lower price for a product or service in order to entice new customers, gain market share, and increase overall revenue. This strategy is often employed when launching a new product or entering a new market. Companies use penetration pricing to build recognition for their brand and differentiate themselves from competitors.

When applying penetration pricing, it’s important to consider the implications of pricing too low – as sales may not generate enough revenue to sustain the price point while still producing a profit. Additionally, companies must consider how their competitors will react to the new lower price point – as they may have to match the prices in order to remain competitive.

One way penetration pricing can be used effectively is by creating different tiers of pricing options that are almost too good to pass up – For example, offering a discount on bulk purchases or special package deals such as “buy one get one free” could create an incentive for customers to purchase even more than anticipated.

Overall, penetration pricing is an effective way for companies to gain market share and attract new customers. It requires careful consideration of customer demands and competitor responses, but with the right strategy, it can be highly beneficial in growing overall revenue and brand recognition.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Penetration Pricing?

Penetration pricing is an effective and appealing pricing strategy for businesses looking to grow their sales and market share. Implementing this strategy can have several benefits, including:

1. Improved Cash Flow. Lower prices bring in more customers, boost sales, increase the flow of money into the business and enable the business to recover its costs more quickly.

2. Enhanced Market Share. Low prices can attract new customers and encourage existing customers to purchase more products or services, allowing the company to capture additional market share.

3. Increased Brand Awareness. Offering low prices on popular products can create brand recognition, as consumers associate affordable prices with the company’s name. This increased awareness can lead to further growth down the line as consumers look positively upon the brand and recommend it to others.

4. Improved Customer Loyalty. Penetration pricing creates a win-win situation for both businesses and customers. Customers get access to goods or services at lower costs while businesses improve their customer loyalty by providing them with better value for their money spent. This also benefits businesses in the long run, as loyal customers tend to remain loyal for longer periods of time and make repeated purchases with their preferred companies.

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About the author: Oran Yehiel

Oran Yehiel is the founder of Startup Geek, with an MBA specializing in financial management and a background in Deloitte. As a Certified Public Accountant and Digital Marketing Professional, he writes about venture capital, marketing, entrepreneurship, and more, bringing a wealth of experience to businesses seeking growth and success.

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