What Is Average Selling Price (ASP)?

The term average selling price (ASP) refers to the price at which a certain class of good or service is typically sold. The average selling price is affected by the type of product and the product life cycle. The ASP is the average selling price of the product across multiple distribution channels, across a product category within a company, or even across the market as a whole.

Key Takeaways

  • The term average selling price refers to the price at which a certain class of good or service is typically sold.
  • ASPs can serve as a benchmark for entities who want to set a price for their product or service.
  • Computers, cameras, televisions, and jewelry tend to have higher ASPs, while books and DVDs have a low average selling price.
  • Average selling price is affected by the type of product and the product life cycle.
  • Average selling price is usually reported during quarterly financial results.

Understanding Average Selling Price (ASP)

The average selling price is the price for a product or service in various markets, and is normally used in the retail and technology industries. The established ASP for a particular good can act as a benchmark price, helping other manufacturers, producers, or retailers set the prices for their own products.

Marketers who try to set a price for a product must also consider where they want their product to be positioned. If they want their product image to be part of a high-quality choice, they have to set a higher ASP.

Products like computers, cameras, televisions, and jewelry tend to have higher average selling prices while products like books and DVDs will have a low average selling price. When a product is the latter part of its product life cycle, the market is most likely saturated with competitors, therefore, driving down the ASP.

In order to calculate the ASP, divide the total revenue earned from the product by the total number of units sold. This average selling price is usually reported during quarterly financial results and can be considered as accurate as possible given regulation on fraudulent reporting.

Special Considerations

The smartphone market is a big industry which uses average selling prices. In the smartphone market, the average selling price indicates how much money a handset manufacturer is receiving on average for the phones that it sells.

In the smartphone market, advertised selling prices can differ drastically from average selling prices.

For product-driven companies like Apple, calculations for average selling price provide pivotal information about its financial performance and, by extension, the performance of its stock price. In fact, there's a clear relationship between Apple's iPhone ASP and its stock price movements.

The iPhone's ASP matters even more when considering how each device drives overall profitability for Apple. Apple consolidates its operations under a single profit-and-loss statement (P&L), meaning investors can't tell how costs, such as marketing and research and development (R&D) are spread among the company's various products.

Since the iPhone has the highest gross margin in Apple's device family, the device generates the lion's share of Apple's profits. That makes the iPhone crucial in determining Apple's overall financial performance each quarter.

Examples of Average Selling Price

The term average selling price has a place in the housing market. When the average selling price of a home within a particular region rises, this may be a signal of a booming market. Conversely, when the average price drops, so does the perception of the market in that particular area.

Some industries use ASP in a slightly different way. The hospitality industry—especially hotels and other lodging companies—commonly refers to it as the average room or average daily rate. These average rates tend to be higher during peak seasons, while rates normally drop when travel seems to be low or during off-seasons.