Seminar: Dynamic Pricing with Online Reviews


Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
                    The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Title:  Dynamic Pricing with Online Reviews

Speaker: Prof. Dongwook SHIN

                Business School



Abstract: We investigate how the presence of product reviews can help inform a dynamic-pricing monopolist. A salient feature of our problem is that the customers' willingness-to-pay, and hence the demand function, evolves over time in conjunction with the dynamics of the average rating generated by online reviews. The monopolist strives to maximize its total expected revenue over a finite horizon by adjusting prices in response to the evolving review dynamics. To formulate the problem in tractable form, we study a fluid model which serves as a good approximation of the system dynamics when the volume of sales is large. This formulation lends itself to key structural insights, which are leveraged to design a well-performing dynamic pricing policy for the underlying revenue maximization problem. The proposed policy admits a closed-form expression for price and its performance is near-optimal in a suitable asymptotic sense. We illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed policy via simulation and counterfactual analysis in an online marketplace.

Bio: Dongwook SHIN is an assistant professor at HKUST Business School. He received his Ph.D. degree in Decision, Risk, and Operations division at the Graduate School of Business from Columbia University. His research interests include, but not limited to: revenue management and social learning with applications in e-commerce; sequential decision making in operations research context; and business and sports analytics.


Friday, March 27, 2020 - 16:30