Tiered Pricing Strategy: What is the Tiered Pricing Method?

Joanna Okedara
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    Imagine you've recently launched a wholesale charcuterie board subscription box. Implementing a tiered pricing model here would be strategic. You can create different subscription business plans, each tier offering a unique combination of items. 

    For instance, the first tier could include specialty cheese, a selection of wholesale meats, and a few wholesale snacks. As you move up the tiers, you can enhance the offerings. 

    The second tier might maintain the initial items but also include a bottle of wine. Going further, a third tier could encompass all previous offerings and perhaps additional gourmet accompaniments or exclusive selections.

    Key Takeaway: One of the many reasons businesses opt for a tiered pricing model is to cater to diverse customer preferences and financial capacities. Customers can go for a tier that best aligns with their budget and desired level of service or product offerings. 

    Now, tiered pricing isn't exclusive to just businesses that run subscription-based models. If you have a wholesale business, a B2B business, or an eCommerce business, then you can take advantage of the tiered pricing model.

    However, you must have carried out a thorough product pricing analysis to know if this model will suit your business. So, what exactly is tiered pricing? Can it work for your business? 

    Let's find out!


    Tiered Pricing Meaning

    Tiered pricing is a method of pricing products or services where the wholesale vs. retail price of the said products or service is set based on the features, benefits, or level of service offered. Most businesses offer 2-tier pricing and others offer 3-tier pricing.

    The number of product tiers offered is usually based on the types of features or benefits available. For instance, say you own a bakery business that sells wholesale candies and cookies online.

    You can offer three pricing tiers: "Morning Delights," "Classic Choices," and "Indulgent Treats." In the "Morning Delights" tier, you offer the basics - a choice of croissants or a simple bagel, accompanied by a cup of cold brew coffee. This tier is ideal for the early risers who just need a quick bite to kickstart their day.

    Stepping up to the "Classic Choices" tier, customers can pick from a wider range of pastries - perhaps a fruit-filled Danish or a freshly baked muffin, and they get specialty coffee or tea pairings of their choice. It's for those looking for a more satisfying and personalized breakfast experience.

    Now, for customers who crave the ultimate indulgence, you present the "Indulgent Treats" tier. Here, they can choose from an assortment of premium pastries like decadent cream-filled donuts or gourmet cinnamon rolls. This top tier includes a premium specialty coffee or a specialty latte, making it a luxurious breakfast treat.

    ​Tiered pricing is a powerful tool for a business to drive revenue and enhance profitability. It's like offering customers a menu with options, each catering to different tastes and preferences. As a business owner, you're essentially saying, "Here are our offerings, tailored to fit what you value most."

    Let’s look at some of the benefits of tiered pricing.

    6 Benefits of Tiered Pricing

    Here are some benefits of tiered pricing models:

    1. Increased Revenue and Profitability: Tiered pricing allows businesses to capture a broader range of customers by catering to different price sensitivities and preferences. Offering multiple tiers can help businesses maximize revenue by appealing to a larger customer base, including those willing to pay more for additional features or services.
    2. Upselling and Cross-selling Opportunities: Tiered pricing encourages customers to start with a lower-priced tier and then upgrade as they see the value in additional features. This facilitates upselling and cross-selling opportunities, boosting overall eCommerce sales and revenue.
    3. Sustainable Growth and Scalability: As a business expands, it can introduce new tiers or modify existing ones to accommodate a growing customer base or changing market dynamics. This scalability ensures the pricing strategy remains effective in driving revenue as the business evolves.
    4. Optimized Value Proposition: Each tier is designed to offer a specific value proposition (USP). Customers can opt for the tier that provides the most relevant benefits to them. This helps in showcasing the value of each tier and justifies the associated pricing.
    5. Market Segmentation and Targeting: Tiered pricing enables businesses to effectively segment their market and target different customer segments. It allows businesses to tailor offerings to distinct customer needs, ensuring they can reach a diverse range of customers with varying preferences and budgets.
    6. Customer Retention and Loyalty: Offering multiple tiers allows businesses to retain customers within their ecosystem as their needs evolve. Customers can easily upgrade to a higher tier as their requirements grow, promoting loyalty and a long-term relationship with the brand.

    Tiered Pricing Model

    Here are some common types of tiered pricing models:

    • Volume-Based Pricing: In this model, customers are offered different pricing tiers based on the quantity or volume of products or services they purchase. The more they buy, the lower the unit cost. This encourages customers to purchase in larger quantities and is commonly used in wholesale and retail industries. For instance, a wholesale distributor of fresh wholesale produce offers tiered pricing for restaurant businesses based on the volume of fruits and wholesale microgreens ordered. The more they order, the lower the price per kilogram.
    • Subscription-Based Pricing: Subscription tiers are common where customers pay different subscription fees for access to varying levels of content or additional benefits. For example, a coffee roastery offers a coffee bag subscription box where customers can choose from different tiers for regular coffee bean wholesale deliveries - weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly - each with its unique discounts and extras.
    • Freemium Pricing: In a freemium-tiered model, businesses offer a basic version of their product or service for free and provide additional premium features in higher-priced tiers. This is often seen in mobile apps and online ordering software.
    • Time-Based Pricing: This model offers different pricing tiers based on the duration of the subscription or usage. For instance, a restaurant POS software subscription might have monthly, quarterly, and annual pricing tiers, with discounts for longer commitments.
    • Customer Segment-Based Pricing: In this model, pricing tiers are tailored to specific customer segments. Businesses may offer discounted pricing to students, non-profits, or other target demographics while maintaining standard pricing for others.
    • Bundled Pricing: Multiple products or services are bundled together into different tiers. Each tier offers a combination of bundled items at varying price points. For instance, wholesale restaurant supplies distributors can offer bundled pricing for bulk quantities of wholesale spiceswholesale cooking oil, organic herbs, wholesale flour, and wholesale pasta.
    • Tiered Support Plans: In industries like customer support or IT services, businesses offer tiered pricing for support plans. Higher-priced tiers receive faster response times, dedicated support staff, or more extensive coverage.
    • Membership-Based Pricing: Businesses may offer membership tiers with different pricing and benefits. These benefits could include exclusive access to events, discounts, or premium services.

    Tiered Pricing Template

    Tier 1


    • Feature 1
    • Feature 2

    Tier 2


    • Feature 1
    • Feature 2
    • Feature 3

    Tier 3


    • Feature 1
    • Feature 2
    • Feature 3
    • Feature 4

    How To Calculate Tiered Pricing

    So, how do you calculate tiered pricing? Let’s see!

    • Identify Costs and Expenses: The initial step is to identify and calculate all the costs associated with producing or providing your product or service. This includes direct costs such as materials, labor, manufacturing, as well as indirect costs like utilities, eCommerce marketing, and administrative expenses. A thorough understanding of your cost structure is fundamental to setting prices that cover these expenses.
    • Determine Desired Profit Margins: Establish the profit margins you aim to achieve for each tier. Profit margins represent the percentage of revenue that contributes to profit after covering all costs. Different tiers may have different target profit margins based on your business goals, market positioning, and the perceived value of each tier.
    • Analyze Market and Competition: Conduct a comprehensive analysis of your target market and competitive landscape. Evaluate the prices of similar products or services offered by competitors, especially within the same tier. Understanding how your pricing compares to competitors helps in positioning your tiers competitively while maintaining profitability.
    • Understand Customer Preferences and Value: Analyze customer preferences and their perception of value for the features and benefits offered in each tier. Customer surveys, focus groups, or historical sales data can provide insights into what customers are willing to pay for specific offerings. Align your pricing with the perceived value to attract and retain customers.
    • Assign Features or Benefits to Tiers: Allocate specific features, functionalities, or benefits to each pricing tier. Clearly define what distinguishes each tier from the others. Ensure that higher-tier offerings justify the price difference by providing additional value that appeals to the target customer segment for that tier.
    • Calculate Tier Prices Based on Costs and Margin: Calculate the price for each tier by factoring in the costs and desired profit margin. For instance, add the cost per unit to the desired profit margin percentage to determine the price of each item in a tier. Repeat this calculation for all components of the tiered offering to arrive at the final tier price.

    Tiered Pricing Formula

    Tier Price = Cost per Unit + (Cost per Unit × Profit Margin)


    • Tier Price: The price for a specific tier.
    • Cost per Unit: The cost associated with producing or providing one unit of the product or service.
    • Profit Margin: The desired profit margin for the specific tier, expressed as a decimal.

    For example, if the cost per unit for Tier 1 is $10 and the desired profit margin is 20% (or 0.20), the tier price would be calculated as follows:

    {Tier 1 Price} = $10 + ($10 × 0.20) = $12
    Tier Pricing Calculator

    Tier Pricing Calculator

    Tier Prices:

      Frequently Asked Questions About Tiered Pricing Strategy

      Let’s answer a few questions about the tiered pricing model:

      What are Tiered Pricing Conditions?

      Tiered pricing conditions refer to the rules or criteria that determine which tier a customer falls into. These conditions could be based on factors like usage volume, frequency of use, geographic location, subscription type, or any other relevant parameters specific to the product or service being offered.

      What is Tiered Per User Pricing?

      Tiered per-user pricing is a pricing model commonly used in software-as-a-service (SaaS) or subscription-based services. It involves different pricing tiers based on the number of users or seats needed. Each tier offers a set of features and the price increases with the number of users allowed or the level of features provided.


      What is a Two-Tier Pricing Strategy?

      In a two-tier pricing strategy, the product or service is structured into two distinct tiers. The first tier typically offers a basic version or a limited set of features at a lower price, targeting cost-sensitive or entry-level customers. The second or higher tier includes more advanced features or a premium version at a higher price, targeting customers willing to pay more for enhanced functionalities.

      What are the 4 Pricing Strategies?

      The four pricing strategies are:

      • Penetration Pricing
      • Cost-Based Pricing
      • Price Skimming
      • Value-Based Pricing
      • Dynamic Pricing
      • Bundle Pricing
      • Psychological Pricing
      • Competitive Pricing
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