Coming Soon To A Store Near You: Real-Time Pricing

It’s a well-known fact that travel pricing flexes, often increasing according to season, demand and time of purchase. With a surge of interest in real-time ‘e-tickets’ in bricks-and-mortar stores, is the high street now following suit?

M&S reportedly looked at reducing the cost of its sandwiches to capitalise on the morning rush, only to have the price go up in the afternoon, while Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco have tried, or are trying out, electronic pricing in their stores.

What does this look like for the future? Well, e-tickets could be widespread on the high street, and not just limited to the supermarkets. Shops where you have a loyalty card or online account, who know your purchase or even browser history, may make guaranteed purchases that bit more pricey – or conversely, encourage you to part with your cash by offering tailored discounts. Will the ability to change millions of prices remotely and within seconds, shops can be more savvy with their pricing, too – responding to changes in the market as they happen, being more competitive for the consumer, and potentially cutting food waste.

Interestingly, the UK seems slower on the uptake of this new technology than the US and other parts of Europe. This makes it uncertain when we’ll start to see this tech punctuate the high street – though it’s worth stating it’s definitely more a case of ‘when’, than ‘if’.

Image credit: Alex Liivet on Flickr.