Efficient Pricing of Geomarketing Internet Services

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Efficient Pricing of Geomarketing Internet Services: European vs. American Approach Alenka Krek Institute for Geoinformation, Technical University Vienna Gusshausstrasse 27-29/127, A-1040 Vienna krek@geoinfo.tuwien.ac.at

Abstract Geomarketing information is information which enables the user to take better and faster decisions about marketing and sales activities. The main source of information are geographic, demographic, and statistic data. These data are usually collected and maintained by several institutions and come in a variety of forms and formats. The final integrators acquire datasets, sort, filter and organize them, and offer in advance defined analyses. In this paper we focus on geomarketing services offered on the Internet where usually no physical good is exchanged. The subject of trade is geomarketing information the user is able to extract from the datasets. The main issue is how to set a Pareto efficient price for geomarketing information. The situation is Pareto efficient when the sum of user’s and service provider’s surplus is maximized. We investigate nonlinear pricing strategies and their efficiency to serve mass markets and attract users with different willingness to pay. Nonlinear pricing is used in a broader sense to include the practice of selling the same information product on various vertical markets at prices that are not in proportion to the differences in marginal cost. The market research for the GISMO project (Krek et al. 2000) showed that the US market differs substantially from the European. It has characteristics of a commodity market, where providers offer very similar or equal products at similar prices. This is feasible only if the prices for raw datasets, which represent the main barrier to enter the market, are low or zero. Competition among service providers drives prices down and enables them to successfully serve a mass market. The European approach is mostly determined by the high prices of datasets and restrictions on the copyright forced by the National Mapping Agencies. This prevents further production and creation of information products and serves only a narrow group of users with high willingness to pay. We list the most important conditions for Pareto efficient nonlinear pricing of geoinformation services.

1 Introduction Price is a very important element of trade. It can only be discussed in relation to what is offered, how much value the potential user attaches to the product and how much he is willing to pay for it. A geomarketing service in this paper serves as an example for a geoinformation service in general where a Geoinformation product is traded. A Geoinformation product is defined as a specific piece of geoinformation which provides an answer to a particular user’s question. The provider of a geoinformation service has to select the medium of delivery and the price for the service.

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We concentrate on geomarketing services provided online through the Internet. The service is mostly done automatically, and not by a human. Usually no physical good is exchanged. Gathering information about the product, placing the order, and payment is done over electronic network. In the sections 5 and 6 we analyze different pricing strategies for geographic information and their Pareto efficiency. The s ituation is called to be Pareto efficient when the user’s and service provider’s surplus is maximized. We review marginal cost and nonlinear pricing and explain in which cases they conform to the Pareto efficiency. Setting a price equal to marginal cost is not economically viable since such a price does not cover fixed cost. Some examples of nonlinear pricing, such as quantity discounts, term-volume commitments, and list of price options satisfy the Pareto efficiency requirement if certain conditions are satisfied. We conclude with the list of the most important conditions for the Pareto efficient pricing of geomarketing service. They can be applied to geoinformation...
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