Initial markup

Initial markup is a term used in retail and ecommerce businesses to describe the price increase from the cost of a product to the final selling price. It is the first step in determining the final price of a product and can have a significant impact on the overall profitability of a business.

The purpose of this concept is to cover the costs of the business, including overhead expenses such as rent, utilities, and salaries, as well as the cost of goods sold (COGS). In addition to covering these costs, businesses also use it to make a profit. The amount of markup a business chooses to add will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of product, the target market, and the competition.

Initial markup can be calculated as a percentage of the cost of goods sold. For example, if a business has a COGS of $100 and a markup of 50%, the initial selling price would be $150 ($100 + $50). This price will then be adjusted based on other factors such as promotions, discounts, and market trends.

In ecommerce and retail businesses, initial markup is a critical component of pricing strategy. It helps businesses determine the minimum selling price required to cover costs and make a profit. Businesses must carefully consider the initial markup they choose as it will impact the perceived value of their products and the overall profitability of their business.

Six ways initial markup can impact pricing: 

  1. Determining retail price: Businesses can  determine the retail price of a product, by adding the markup percentage to the cost of the product.

  2. Setting profit margins: Businesses can set their profit margins, by determining the percentage of markup they want to achieve on each product.

  3. Managing costs: Businesses can manage costs by adjusting the markup percentage to ensure they are covering their costs and making a profit.

  4. Adjusting prices: Businesses can adjust the initial markup percentage to reflect changes in costs and market conditions.

  5. Comparing prices: Businesses can use the markup percentage as a way to compare prices with competitors and ensure they are competitive in the market.

  6. Product lines: Businesses can use different markup percentages for different product lines depending on the costs and competition in that particular market.


Initial markup is the increase in price from the cost of goods sold to the final selling price in ecommerce and retail businesses. It is used to cover costs and make a profit and is a critical component of pricing strategy. The amount of initial markup chosen can impact the perceived value of a product and the overall profitability of a business.