Competing in an increasingly contextual marketplace, where customers are looking for the best product, price, and service requires you to monitor pricing and promotions by competitors in real-time and offer your customers the right product at the right price at the right time through the right channel.
In order to do this, you need to know your product assortment and catalog, identical and similar offerings for those products by your competitors, the most effective selling channels, how products are priced, and how soon products can be delivered. This requires that you have real-time product intelligence comprising of product catalog intelligence, price intelligence, competitive intelligence, market intelligence, and business intelligence. In a future post, we will elaborate on each of these aspects in detail.
Without product intelligence, you might as well be left in the dust either because of behemoths like Amazon who have a significant competitive advantage and have deployed sophisticated algorithms to alter prices millions of times a day, or because of decreases in online sales and margins. According to comScore, online sales through Dec. 22, 2013 increased 10% when it was expected to increase by 14%. One reason for the drop in sales is lower profits due to bargain hunting customers looking for promotions and discounts.
In today’s marketplace, staying competitive, increasing your visibility, and attracting customers require that you have knowledge of your products, assortment, channels, promotions, reviews, pricing and trends. Utilizing software that provides you with useful data on the current state of products online in real-time is one way to ensure that you do not go into extinction.