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In Sales & Marketing Last updated: August 23, 2023
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If you’re a marketer or product manager tasked with setting the right price for a new or upgraded product, you must learn what the willingness to pay is.

Few aspects hold as much significance in the realm of business as the proper pricing💵 of your products and services. If your pricing is set too low, you risk sacrificing potential revenue that could otherwise be allocated toward team expansion, refining your offerings, and overall business growth. Contrarily, if your prices are set too high, you run the risk of deterring potential customers and directing them toward your competitors.

Whether you find yourself in the role of a professional tasked with devising your company’s pricing strategy or you’re an entrepreneur poised to launch a new product or service, it’s compulsory to grasp the extent to which your customers are willing to invest. 

Here, I present an overview of the concept of willingness to pay, so you can price your products or services the right way.  

What is Willingness to Pay (WTP)?

What Is Willingness To Pay (WTP)

Suppose you must buy a new PC or accounting software for your business. You might think about how much money you’re willing to spend on it. That’s what product managers and market economists call “Willingness to Pay” or WTP. 

It’s like figuring out the maximum amount of money you’re ready to pay in exchange for a product or service. For example, you really want a PC. You might be okay with spending $200 for it, but if someone asks you to pay $300, you might say no because it’s too expensive. So, your willingness to pay for that PC is $200.

Economists define this as consumer psychology, where the buyer thinks of a price beyond which they will leave the store or online shop, saying the product was too costly. Another perspective on willingness to pay is the price tag🏷️ of a product or service at which the buyer will feel indifferent about having their money or spending it on the product or service.  

Businesses always put effort into researching the current willingness to pay for a product or service in the market, so they price their offerings exactly at the point where the buyer wouldn’t mind purchasing. It’s a tough job for marketers and product managers to identify a median price range where the business and customers are both happy. 

Also read: Best Price Optimization Systems for Businesses

Factors that Decide it

Deciding Factors of WTP

The customer’s willingness to pay for a product or service isn’t a static value. It changes frequently and depends on these deciding factors: 

  1. Extrinsic differences in your customer population like education, gender, age, employment, region, etc. For example, the WTP values for the audience from developed countries like the US, UK, Germany, etc., are more than developing countries in Asia and Africa. That’s the main reason why online businesses and marketing agencies consider audiences from these regions as their target customer group.
  2. Intrinsic differences in the audience also control the rise and fall of WTP. However, intrinsic factors are difficult to cultivate. You must run targeted surveys to understand these factors.
  3. Customers don’t just consider a cheaper product or service. They also consider the brand name, reviews, ratings, utility, look, legality, durability, etc.
  4. When the requirement for the product or service is urgent, the willingness to pay also rises. According to this 2020 report from McKnights, Personal protective equipment prices for N95 masks, isolation gowns, etc., rose a thousand folds than the pre-Covid-19 levels.
  5. The supply of a certain product in the market also plays a key role in influencing the WTP. For example, GPU prices plummeted from 2020 to 2021 due to supply shortages, parallelly increased WTP for such products.

Furthermore, if your competitor is able to establish a notion that your products or services are outdated, your customers may not be willing to pay a premium price.  

Also read: How to Calculate Break-Even Point       

Product Pricing Economics

Find below why your business or product manager needs to perform WTP analysis for a new or upgraded product or service offering:

  • It helps in setting the right price for a product by aligning it with what customers are willing to pay.
  • It also ensures that the product is priced in a way that generates the maximum possible revenue for the business. 
  • WTP analysis prevents overpricing of products. Overpricing could deter customers, and underpricing could lead to missed revenue.
  • You can also position your offerings competitively in the market by considering the value proposition, production cost, brand value, etc.
  • WTP analysis reveals intrinsic and extrinsic factors that drive buying and not-buying decisions from customers.
  • It also allows you to dynamically change product or service pricing when the demand increases.
  • It helps in creating a positive customer experience and opinion about your brand by pricing products or services in a value-based way.
  • You can stay attractive to the customer and also make a profit by using the willingness to pay techniques to price a product.     


There are many ways to figure out customer willingness to pay for a product. However, the standard practices are as mentioned below: 

#1. The Willingness To Pay Formula

The general formula for willingness to pay is:

WTP = V / Q


WTP: willingness to pay

V: value or utility that the individual derives from the product/service/resource

Q: quantity of the product/service/resource

In other words, the willingness to pay is the maximum amount of money a person is willing to give up in exchange for a specific quantity of a good or service. It’s always based on the value they perceive from it.

#2. Market Intelligence

Market Intelligence

Getting pricing intelligence from the competitors is another way to calculate willingness to pay. You can use price tracking tools to monitor your product and its competitors on a specific marketplace like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc. 

Now, if the product’s market is highly saturated and your offering doesn’t bring any novel features, you need to match your price to the competitors’. Contrarily, if you’re a fast mover in the market for a product niche, then you can set a higher price until there is competition.    

#3. Auctions

Auctions are a method to estimate Willingness to Pay (WTP) by observing bids in competitive environments. English auctions reveal WTP through the highest bid, while Vickrey auctions use the second-highest bid as the payment benchmark. 

Participants’ bids reflect their valuation of items, helping infer their maximum WTP. Strategic behavior and imperfect information can affect accuracy. Combining auction data with other competitor research aids in better consumer valuation understanding.

#4. Studying Your Customers

This is the best way to tailor your products and services pricing according to the different leads, customers, and audiences visiting your mobile app or website. If the customer is coming from a developing country, you can incentivize them to buy by giving discounts.

Contrarily, if the customer comes from a developed country, you can offer additional services that add value to your offerings. So, they wouldn’t hesitate to pay a premium price.

You can research your audience by collecting demographic data, click habits, browsing habits, choices for quality, preferences for quantity, attraction towards discount coupons, and so on.   

#5. Competitor Price Intelligence

Competitor price discovery involves assessing rivals’ pricing strategies. You can use data from such research to deduce customer Willingness to Pay (WTP). By analyzing how customers respond to competitors’ offerings, you can infer your own product’s perceived value. You can also monitor price changes, promotions, and sales events and see how customers are reacting to those to determine the upper and lower limits of WTP. 

#6. Surveys and Polls

Surveys and Polls

Surveys and polls are tools to calculate WTP by directly asking questions to your target audience. Through structured questionnaires, you can gather data on how much respondents are willing to spend on a product or service. 

By presenting various price points and analyzing participants’ willingness to buy, you can estimate an optimal price point. These methods provide insights into diverse customer segments, though responses might differ from actual behavior due to hypothetical scenarios. 

You can’t simply rely on survey data to set the right price for your products or services. Instead, you must club such data with other methods to calculate willingness to pay to get a fair value. 


Find below the techniques to analyze data collected from the willingness to pay research drives:

#1. Conjoint Analysis

YouTube video

The conjoint analysis measures consumer preferences for WTP by presenting various product attributes in combinations. By assessing participants’ selections, it uncovers the relative importance of each attribute and calculates their willingness to pay. This aids in product optimization and pricing strategy development.

Also read: Conjoint Analysis 101: What, Types, Working [+4 Tools]

#2. Gabor-Granger Pricing Method

Gabor-Granger Pricing Method

The Gabor-Granger method quantifies price sensitivity. It includes asking potential customers about their willingness to buy a product at different price points. Analyzing the data reveals the price point where demand becomes significant, helping businesses set optimal prices to maximize revenue and profit.

#3. Van Westendorp Pricing Model

Van Westendorp Pricing Model

This model determines price acceptability thresholds by asking participants four pricing questions. From their answers, it derives key metrics like the “acceptable price range.” The WTP technique provides insights into customer perceptions of high and low pricing, aiding in informed pricing decisions.

#4. Discrete Choice Analysis

The discrete choice technique is a simulation of real-world purchasing decisions. Here, you present the participants with multiple product options. By analyzing choices, you can unveil the preferences and price sensitivities of each participant. This technique assists in forecasting market shares and optimizing product attributes and pricing strategies.

How to Increase WTP

Here’s how you can create a killer strategy to enhance customer willingness to pay value for your market segment: 

#1. Brand Image

Brand Image

Building a strong brand image is crucial for increasing WTP. A reputable brand is often associated with quality, reliability, and trustworthiness. If you consistently deliver on brand promises, maintain a unique identity, and engage in effective branding and marketing campaigns, you can enhance WTP. 

#2. High-Quality Products and Services

Investing in high-quality products and services is a direct way of boosting willingness to pay. When customers recognize that they’re getting superior value, they become more inclined to pay premium prices. You can also focus on product durability, performance, and exceptional customer experiences to justify higher price tags.

#3. Offering What Customers Prefer

Understanding customer preferences and tailoring your offerings to match them can significantly increase the WTP of your target audience. Conduct market research to identify trends, gather feedback, and adapt your products and services accordingly. By aligning with customer desires, you create a sense of exclusivity and cater directly to their needs.

#4. Researching for Reference Prices

If you’ve been underpricing a product in the market, you wouldn’t know it unless you perform extensive market research for reference prices. You must use online tools and competitor analysis software to discover the product pricing of others. The concept is similarly applicable to overpricing of products and losing customers’ trust.  

#5. Market Trend: Supply and Demand

You must analyze supply and demand trends in the market to capitalize on points when demand exceeds supply. Then, you can raise the price bar. When the prices drop across the marketplaces, you can reduce the costs too. 

#6. Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic Pricing

Implementing dynamic pricing strategies can increase WTP by capitalizing on specific situations. Factors like time of day, season, customer demographics, and even inventory levels can influence pricing. 

This strategy maximizes revenue by making the pricing of products and service fluid. You shouldn’t perceive that all the customers are willing to pay the same price. Some could pay more, and some could pay less. It’s up to you to dynamically present pricing to targeted customers.  

#6. Work With Influencers

You can increase your brand’s visibility and credibility by using influence marketing. Influencers who align with your brand values can effectively convey the benefits of your products or services. Their endorsement can justify higher prices in the eyes of their followers.

Also read: Shopify Collabs—Everything You Need to Know as a Merchant/Creator


You can actually get to know your market and its audience by performing a willingness-to-pay analysis. Furthermore, you can acquire more leads, convert leads easily to customers when the pricing is justified, and retain the customers for ages.

To create the right WTO strategy, the article will help you from start to finish.

Next up, the best platforms to start selling online.

  • Tamal Das
    Tamal is a freelance writer at Geekflare. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies and business management. Now, he’s a professional freelance content… read more
  • Joy R Bhamre

    Joy R Bhamre is a Google certified Digital Marketing Specialist, Content Writer & Editor as well as a Cambridge-certified English Language Trainer with over 14 years of corporate experience.

    She is an English Literature… read more

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