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Temporal product bundling with myopic and strategic consumers: Manifestations and relative effectiveness

Ashutosh Prasad (), R. Venkatesh () and Vijay Mahajan ()
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Ashutosh Prasad: The University of Texas at Dallas
R. Venkatesh: University of Pittsburgh
Vijay Mahajan: The University of Texas at Austin

Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), 2017, vol. 15, issue 4, 341-368

Abstract: Abstract Bundling in this era of eCommerce and high technology is a potent and widespread selling tool. The literature has focused on three static bundling strategies under which the products are sold separately (pure components or PC) or only in a bundled form (pure bundling or PB) or both (mixed bundling or MB). In a generalization, and motivated by real world examples, this paper examines the relative effectiveness of temporal bundling. We consider a firm that sells to a market of myopic and strategic consumers, and a selling season consisting of two stages. We compare four strategies – PC-PC (i.e., pure components in each of two stages), PB-PB, PB-PC and PC-PB – relative to MB. Our results show that PB-PB maximizes profits under low marginal costs; PC-PC prevails under high marginal costs given a large proportion of myopic consumers; and PB-PC is profit maximizing under moderate marginal costs when most consumers are strategic. These temporal strategies dominate MB except when the market is comprised entirely of strategic consumers. Finally, while temporal mixed bundling – MB-MB – is weakly superior to other temporal strategies, the latter are much easier to implement, as shown by real-world uses, and suffice to capture most of the profits. Related interesting pricing implications are discussed. Three extensions to the main model are also proposed.

Keywords: Pricing; Bundling; Inter-temporal pricing; Analytical modeling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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