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More Than Half of Retail Businesses are Using Inflation to Price Gouge


More Than Half of Retail Businesses are Using Inflation to Price Gouge

As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation has surged in recent months affecting both retailers and consumers gearing up for the holidays.

In November, surveyed 1,000 retail owners and executives to discover how inflation is impacting profitability, pricing, and discount offers this shopping season.

Our findings revealed that more than half of retail businesses are using inflation to drive up prices higher than what’s necessary to offset increased costs.

Key Findings

-56% of retail businesses say inflation has given them the ability to raise prices beyond what’s required to offset higher costs

-Over half of retailers have increased prices by 20% or more on average

-52% of businesses are offering fewer or no discounts this holiday season

-Shrinking discounts and increasing price of complementary products are most popular ways businesses are driving up prices

56% of retail businesses have increased profits beyond inflation to boost profitability

When asked how recent inflation has impacted profitability, 56% of retail businesses responded that inflation gave them the ability to raise prices beyond offsetting costs.

Large enterprises (LEs) were more likely than small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to say they were using inflation to more than offset costs at a rate of 63% compared to 52% of SMBs and 55% of SMEs.

“What’s interesting about our findings is that more than half of respondents say that while they used inflation as a reason for price increases, they expect higher profits as a result,” says’s small business expert, Dennis Consorte.

“In other words, businesses are inflating already inflated prices in order to turn a bigger profit amid people’s fears over uncertain times.”

Automobile, e-commerce, and electronics industries most likely to hike prices

Our survey revealed that the automobile, e-commerce, and electronics and appliances industries were most likely to be capitalizing on inflation.

Of the businesses we surveyed who belonged to the automobile industry, 72% indicated they raised prices to more than offset costs. Sixty-five percent of e-commerce and 62% of electronics and appliances businesses also admitted to price gouging.

Over half of retailers have increased prices by 20% or more

Eighty-five percent of businesses have increased prices, and 55% of retailers have increased prices by 20% or more on average.

Of those who have increased prices, 28% of large enterprises increased prices 50% or more, compared to 6% of SMEs and 12% of SMBs.

When asked why they have increased prices, 66% of businesses cited rising inflation, 69% supply chain issues, and 57% increased demand.

52% of businesses are offering fewer or zero discounts this holiday season

This holiday season, 38% of businesses will offer fewer discounts than last year, and 14% will not offer any at all.

Smaller businesses are offering fewer discounts this holiday season compared to larger enterprises. Fifty-seven percent of SMBs and 56% of SMEs say they plan to offer fewer or no discounts, compared to 36% of LEs.

It comes as no surprise to Consorte that many small businesses are offering fewer discounts this year.

“Many small businesses are still recovering from lockdowns and other COVID mandates. With the Omicron variant upon us and inflation at a 30-year high, decision-makers feel uncertain about future revenue. For them, fewer discounts could be seen as a way to keep the doors open through the holiday season.”

Clothing and accessories (74%), electronics and appliances (66%), and furniture and home furnishings (57%) are the industries that are most likely to be offering fewer discounts this holiday season.

Businesses are increasing price of complementary products, shrinking discounts

Among businesses that have increased prices, 55% shrank discounts, and 48% increased the price of complementary products.

Furniture and home furnishings (51%), health and personal care (50%), clothing and accessories (50%), and electronics and appliances (45%) are the industries that are most likely to have shrunk discounts.

The industries most likely to have raised the price of complementary products include automobile (61%), building material, gardening equipment, and supplies (46%), electronics and appliances (45%), and health and personal care (43%).

Businesses are also using pricing tactics such as shrinkflation, increased surcharges, and bundling to drive up prices.

“We’re still in a period of fear and uncertainty about the economy and legislative responses to COVID-19. We can expect unusual pricing tactics for as long as this continues. Some merchants will continue to raise prices out of fear, while others will take advantage of their customers’ fears to realize higher profit margins. When the Zeitgeist of our time returns to baseline, so too will merchants in their pricing methodologies,” says Consorte.


All data found within this report was derived from a survey commissioned by and conducted online by survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,000 U.S. retail business owners and executives were surveyed. Appropriate respondents were found via a screening question. To qualify for the survey, each respondent had to own a retail business or be an employed executive at a retail business. This survey was conducted on November 18, 2021. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities. For full survey results, please email

This article originally appeared here. Republished with permission. 

e-Commerce: Last mile delivery india profit 8fig amazon logistics

7 Little Things to Improve an eCommerce Business

An eCommerce business is more dependent upon the goodwill of its clientele than brick-and-mortar stores. It is very simple really. In an average real-world store, once a customer walks in they are more likely to purchase something. After all, they have made the effort of reaching the store and checking the products. Few people walk out of a physical store empty-handed. However, the same does not apply to an eCommerce outlet since they can simply close the link and go to another site.

Here is what you can do to make sure that this doesn’t happen frequently.

1. Downtime is off time

One of the best things about an eCommerce site is that it’s always available,  24/7. Now that more and more people are logging on to the net to buy products, you can take advantage of it by selling your wares even when you are fast asleep. However, that won’t happen if unfortunately, your site crashes repeatedly. If the site is offline, it is likely that your target audience won’t wait and simply move on to another site.

2. Slow sites don’t get many customers

The average attention span of an online buyer is around 3-4 seconds. If the site doesn’t open fast enough, it is likely your customers will simply move on in search of other options. And why not? After all, there are millions of other online eCommerce outlets out there. If you want your customer to stay with you, make sure your site is as fast as possible.

3. Make sure the CTA is always accessible

Why should your customers come to you instead of your competitors? It is because of your CTA. This is basically the ‘call to action’ that attracts people into the web marketing tunnel. If this call to action is not available or accessible, you will lose out on a lot of customers. Your shopping cart should also be easy to see so that the customer knows how to buy the product.

4. Get rid of slow-selling products

In every store, there are products that sell fast and those that don’t. Concentrate on the former and eliminate the latter entirely from your store. They will stop your cash flows and over the course of time, bring down your business. Of course, you don’t have to throw them away. You can offer them at a real sale (as opposed to one where retailers inflate prices and then cut them down to give an impression that they are on sale). Once the customers see that you are offering a brief opportunity to add real value to their lives, they will buy your slow-moving products and help you clean your shelves. This way, you will also be able to get your cash flows moving.

5. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

The number of people shopping with their smartphones has increased dramatically in recent months, and there is no sign that the trend will be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using this mode within the last six months! This means a site that is not mobile-friendly will lose all of that vast potential market. It is absolutely imperative that your site should be mobile-friendly so it can be easy to see even on a small screen. Apart from that, you should also work on your SEO (search engine optimization) techniques so your site will show up on organic searches on the search engines.

6. Add a live chat option

Live chats will help to gently nudge your customers towards the purchase decision by answering all of their questions. It is a great way to boost your conversion rates and keep your target market happy. Even if they don’t buy the product, the speed and excellence of your response will make them come again. At the very least, they will bookmark your site.

7. Consider using residential proxies

Using residential proxies for market research will give you great insight into the buying habits of your target audience. At the same time, they will allow you to remain incognito.

If you are really interested in increasing your sales and improving your eCommerce business, you must make sure there is no downtime or latency on your site. You should also use residential proxies to help you with your market research with regard to your target audience.


Prep for the Holiday Season with Top E-commerce Strategies

The most wonderful time of the year…is here. You already know that the holiday shopping season is the most critical period for retailers, both online and brick and mortar. How your business does during the last quarter of the year determines where things land for your bottom line.

This year, though, brand and e-commerce marketing managers are facing another wild ride, with uncertainty created by shifting trends. The pandemic brought on a surge in online buying, and many buyers are likely to continue to buy online. In fact, according to September 2021 survey data, consumers are planning a 50/50 split between online and brick-and-mortar buying. The retail giants—Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart—are already capitalizing on convenience to hold onto their share of wallet.


There are other factors, though, to consider. Shopping trends are changing fast. News of supply chain pressures and worldwide shipping delays has spurred many shoppers to buy early or shift their buying behavior — 83% of shoppers intend to start before Thanksgiving this year, in a departure from the norm. In such an unpredictable market at such a high-stakes time of year, business intelligence has never mattered more. This is where the performance analytics platform Line Item can be the lifeline e-commerce marketers need right now to ensure they make the most of the holiday season.As we head into the heart of the 2021 holiday season, here are a few strategies to prepare and protect your digital shelf for the upcoming holidays.

Focus on organic search ranking. Whether they’re buying online or in person, many shoppers start their research online—on a smartphone or a tablet. This is why it’s essential to monitor and improve your online search ranking. Watch where you’re showing up, too. Moving from page 2 to page 1—and even into the top 10 listings—can significantly boost your sales. Improving your organic search ranking depends on visibility into what’s working—or not—for your brand. This is where Line Item can help, with detailed insight into what changes you could make to content, product descriptions, or imagery to affect your ranking in organic search results.

Analyze your paid search strategy. Shoppers are pressed for time, and you have only seconds to capture attention when it comes to search results. The holiday season is the time to invest in a robust paid search strategy, but you’ll want to be sure you understand what product attributes drive value. This is where Line Item can give you valuable campaign-level and product attribute insights. With them, you can better understand what’s driving the market and what your competitors are doing, so you can sharpen your edge and see ROI from a page-1 slot.Ensure your product detail pages are complete. This is a biggie. Incomplete or inconsistent product detail pages can harm you, whether we’re talking about Amazon listings or your own website. Across your e-commerce portfolio, all product detail pages should be complete, correct, and compelling. Line Item can help with this to make sure you aren’t overlooking clear areas or gaps that prevent you from meeting category bestseller benchmark standards.

Evaluate your SEO strategy and campaigns. During this volatile time of year, whims and demand drive the market in unpredictable ways. And that’s during a typical season, which 2021 is anything but. It’s essential to drill down to campaign elements, including CPCs, to ensure you have a read on how changing demand, sudden interest, or seasonality might be driving spend. E-analytics insight from Line Item can help you ensure your campaigns are profitable and that your overall marketing spend ultimately drives return on investment.

Watch out-of-stocks closely. Maintaining optimal inventory is key to profitability. When a customer is ready to buy and your product is out of stock, you lose the sale—and maybe the customer, too. Line Item helps you determine if out-of-stocks are hurting your revenue.

Track pricing. Many retailers are introducing new pricing strategies to drive sales this holiday season. Buy Now Pay Later is one of these, and it can appeal to segments like Gen Z and the unbanked, both of which are more price sensitive. The major retailers have already rolled out BNPL options; some have been in play since 2019. BNPL can affect pricing, so it’s important to monitor this. With Line Item, you can verify item pricing, selling price, and list price across platforms, ensuring that products are priced correctly even with new options like BNPL, and you can easily monitor third-party and competitor activity to protect your brand and products.

Of course, there are other strategies to consider, too—best practices like:

-Ensuring your checkout process is as easy as possible

-Providing access to customer service with tools like live chat, and with quick responses

-Creating engaging content, like gift guides

-Using targeting and segmentation to create personalized email campaigns

-Boosting sales with savvy retargeting

Using updated visuals and copy for featured holiday campaigns, and to ensure your site and product pages have that holiday look and feel, and more

This holiday season may be full of surprises, but your performance shouldn’t be one of them. The right insight can make or break your brand this holiday season, and business intelligence can give you what you need, when you need it. This is where Line Item really stands out as a single platform with insight into shopping trends and behavior, and what your competitors are doing—so you can finish 2021 in the black.


Is a Seasonal Business a Timely Fit for You? 4 Ways to Make it Work.

An ever-changing economy creates new opportunities for entrepreneurs, even during these rocky times that COVID-19 has caused.

Whether people are looking for a better work-life balance, a new job after having lost one, or an extra source of income, opening a seasonal business is one strategy that fits those goals, says Chris Buitron, president of Mosquito Authority® (

“Many people are taking this route as a reliable way to generate income,” Buitron says, “because although the economy is changing dramatically in some ways, seasonal businesses still fulfill annual consumer needs.”

“The benefits for a seasonal business owner are attractive: more freedom, both in running a business and having the ability to take a few months off; the satisfaction of providing a service or product to which customers stay loyal; lower overhead costs than a year-round business; a solid second income; or, if done right, a sufficient income by itself.”

Buitron offers these tips on how to run a seasonal business successfully:

Carefully construct your business model. Since you won’t be open year-round, it’s important to account for downtime in your cash flow. “If the seasonal business is your main or only source of income, you’ll need to put in extra work during the season in order to make it through your off-season,” Buitron says. “Make sure you have access to credit and plan your budget very specifically. It’s a bonus if you can find ways to diversify income streams for your seasonal business in the off-season. Determine the other needs of your customers and how you can fulfill them.”

Evaluate the past season and plan accordingly for the next season. “Analyze your successes and shortcomings from the previous season,” Buitron says. “Seek customer feedback to assist your evaluation. Overall, determine why some things worked and others didn’t. The analysis will help you build a solid plan for the next season. Look at areas such as staffing, inventory, and other expenses. Did you have enough employees and how did they perform? Which products or services weren’t successful? Should you introduce new ones? Would it be cheaper, in the long run, to buy your equipment rather than lease it?”

Connect with the public year-round to build your brand. Social media allows a seasonal business owner to build their business, their authority, and strengthen their place in the community. “Your target audience is just as accessible in the offseason,” Buitron says. “You can reach out to them and offer exclusive pricing, or create a rewards program. Publish blogs and post updates on the sites your customers follow. Give them content that can educate them beyond the reach of your business’ services. Showing you care about their lives and the community helps them remember you.”

Attend networking events and workshops. The off-season is the time for self-improvement that leads to business improvement. “Learning and networking opportunities help you and your business grow,” Buitron says. “Local business events, trade shows and conferences are great ways to gain new partnerships and skills.”

“A seasonal business comes with an array of unique demands,” Buitron says. “But with the right combination of good business practices and the passion to make it a way to enhance others’ lives, it can be a profitable and enjoyable experience for the seasonal business owner.”


Chris Buitron is president of Mosquito Authority® (, a nationwide leader in mosquito control with franchises serving communities across the U.S. and Canada. Buitron has an extensive background in franchise industries. He was chief marketing officer for Senior Helpers, vice president of marketing for Direct Energy (home services division), and director of marketing for Sunoco Inc., where he supported the company’s 4,700 franchised and company-owned rental facilities across 23 states (over $15B in annual revenues).