Dynamic pricing under demand uncertainty in the presence of strategic consumers
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We study the effect of strategic consumer behavior on pricing, inventory decisions, and inventory release policies of a monopoly retailer selling a single product over two periods facing uncertain demand. We consider the following three-stage two-period dynamic pricing game. In the first stage the retailer sets his inventory level and inventory release policy; in the second stage the retailer faces uncertain demand that consists of both myopic and strategic consumers. The former type of consumers purchase the good if their valuations exceed the posted price, while the latter type of consumers consider future realizations of prices, and hence their future surplus, before deciding when to purchase the good; in the third stage, the retailer releases its remaining inventory according to the release policy chosen in the first stage. Game theory is employed to model strategic decisions in this setting. Each of the strategies available to the players in this setting (the consumers and the retailer) are solved backward to yield the subgame perfect Nash equilibrium, which allows us to derive the equilibrium pricing policies. This work provides three primary contributions to the fields of dynamic pricing and revenue management. First, if, in the third stage, inventory is released to clear the market, then the presence of strategic consumers may be beneficial for the retailer. Second, we find the optimal inventory release strategy when retailers have capacity limitation. Lastly, we numerically demonstrate the retailer's optimal decisions of both inventory level and the inventory release strategy. We find that market clearance mechanism and intermediate supply strategy may emerge as the retailers optimal choice.