When you visit a hardware store to buy paint and you see a low-cost brand, what would you do? The chances are high that you would opt for the brand which has proven quality over the cheap counterpart.

According to a study by IBM, more than 72 per cent of consumers are more concerned with the quality of products they buy rather than price.

The notion of choosing quality over pricing has been embedded in our minds throughout our formative years. However, in the current corporate environment, that same notion is like fitting a square peg in a round hole. Brands and especially startups are established just to generate revenues at a faster rate. Even if some choose the quality during the initial years, down the line it all boils down to working at the highest possible margins.

For a larger part of the decade, in order to entice consumers into adopting e-commerce, brands have been showering them with discounts. This had led to thinking among consumers that

  • Everything should be on sale now.
  • You can get everything for less.
  • They need the business, so see if we can negotiate the price downward.

People have started to just focus on the price, rather than thinking about the quality. The cheapest price surely attracts a lot of attention than a high-quality one. In order to ensure that online businesses do not lose business, they have started to compromise on their quality to bring cheaper products to the market.

Why do brands nowadays focus more on pricing than quality?

In the current age of consumerism, creating a high-quality product tends to be expensive and time-consuming. It further results in inflated prices, which is less attractive to the average customer. On the other hand, lower quality or inferior products tend to be far profitable and offer attractive pricing to the consumers.

When it comes to eCommerce, there has been a long going debate concerning quality and pricing. As the consumer cannot foresee the quality of a product before making the purchase, the only metric in front of them is price.

Another aspect is counterfeit products, where non-branded product looking identical to branded product is sold at cheaper rates. Over a short period, this would mean better margins, but it comes at a huge cost to customers’ trust.

Even the big brands have paid the price of wrong pricing!

The eCommerce market in India has been growing at a phenomenal rate with numerous startups mushrooming. eBay has been in this sector for a long time. However, in order to compete with the competition and bring down its prices, it had to bring down the quality of its service. In the initial days, it did bring good business to the company, but over time people started to associate the brand with low-quality products. This proved to be detrimental for the brand and it lost a big chunk of the market.

Quality Items Actually Cause Consumers to Spend Less

Most of the time, if they opt for quality items, they will pay less overall. Consider this; consumer A is buying low-cost bag that costs $10, while consumer B buys a quality bag, which costs $15. Initially, consumer A does pay a lot less, but when that low-cost bag runs down within a short period of time, the customer will have to make another purchase. However, the quality bag will go on to serve the purpose. So in the end quality items do tend to cost consumers lesser.

Going with quality actually means less hassle

Other than money, a noticeable issue related to choosing price over quality is the hassle of replacing the product. How annoying is it to have to replace something on a regular basis? It is tiring, especially if something breaks right after the warranty has expired. This is why quality is always paramount and one should not compromise just because of price.

How to ensure that your consumer understands the importance of quality over price

Considering the fact that the bulk of the consumers still focuses on pricing when buying a product, most of the businesses tend to bring the quality down in products in order to offer economical pricing.

This must change!

The best way forward is to educate the consumers on the importance of quality and why they should not base their decision just on pricing.

Why is it that German cars enjoy a substantial premium over their Japanese or American peers?

Why do Apple devices cost a lot compared to other devices?

It is because they have focused on quality and not compromised to ensure economical pricing. The bottom line is that quality will always trump pricing.

If nothing else works, incorporate pricing strategies.

One of the biggest hurdles in front of businesses in the current time is to change the perspective of the consumer. The fact of the matter is that it does not happen overnight. However, it does not mean that you overlook the importance of quality. If nothing else works you can always use pricing strategies. Let us look at some of the examples.

Price Anchoring – It is one of the most widely used pricing strategies across the globe. As the name goes, price anchoring means placing a high-value item alongside the item you want to sell to make it value for money. For example, the best way to sell a $300 watch is to put it next to $1500 watch.

Reframe product value – Most of the consumers know how much value they are receiving from $75/month subscription than $900 yearly subscription, even though they cost practically the same.

Trivialize the cost – Studies have shown that when people were asked to buy a product from two websites; one priced at “$10” and the other showing it as “Just $10”, the consumer chose the latter. In fact, the sales are expected to rise up to 20% if such a strategy is used.

End it with 9 Rule – This strategy has been in use for a long period where brands specifically price their product ending with 9. Product prices ending with nine generally tend to outperform prices ending with other digits.


The fact of the matter is that sacrificing quality for bringing down prices may grant you a few short-term profits, but in the end, you will end up losing repeat customers. On the other hand, favouring quality over price will increase your brand’s reputation and increase product loyalty among the consumers. This will definitely be beneficial in the end.