In a previous blog post, we talked about how having a handle on product intelligence is essential to surviving in the changing marketplace. A key component of product intelligence is price intelligence. E-commerce platforms totally changed the game when it came to pricing. Since they were not limited by physical price tags anymore, retailers adopted a more dynamic and fluid approach to pricing, changing it based on fluctuations not just in demand and supply, but also in consumer profile, seasons, brand loyalty, etc.
Variables change drastically when it comes to pricing products online. Pricing has to change based on demographics of shoppers, competitors, and supply chain logistics, among other factors. There is no absolute formula that can be used for dynamic online pricing. It all depends on how prices are monitored and analyzed across the web. Price monitoring plays out very differently for the shopper as opposed to the retailer.
When an individual has to buy something, s/he monitors prices across different e-commerce sites manually before making their purchase decision. When a consumer is ready to complete the transaction, they want to know they are getting the best deal possible. So companies need to make sure that they are offering the most competitive price they possibly can. Here’s where it can get tricky for pricing analysts, category managers, and the like.
Big retailers have the bandwidth and resources to monitor prices constantly and even alter them several times a day. But even today, there are merchants, brands, and retailers who manually scour prices for their own and their competitors’ products. By the time they prepare the pricing report, the information is stale and not up-to-date. Any pricing decision based on such a report will not be accurate and hence not deliver the required results. Dynamic pricing implies the need for real-time data.
We are entering the world of pervasive commerce, where every interaction with a consumer in the physical world or on the web is an opportunity to inform, educate, and buy or sell products. In this scenario, companies need to be innovative and synchronize strategies across the infinite channels that they use to reach out to a consumer.
Hence, besides price intelligence, they also need easy access to competitive insight, product assortment and availability, and promotions. This way, they can have a comprehensive overview of the ecosystem that they exist in, and make well-informed decisions to grow their brand and revenue.
At Indix, we have built a robust product intelligence platform that offers comprehensive product information including assortment, pricing, MAP violations, availability, channels, and promotions. With our growing product catalog (currently at more than 200 million products), companies can also use our API to build product-aware apps and websites, and deliver the right product at the right time to the right person.