How to Improve Operational Efficiency and Competitive Intelligence in E-Commerce
Studies show that COVID-19 has changed buying habits permanently. Shoppers are more likely to purchase from local brands, prefer contactless payments, and choose online shopping over going to a physical store for a wider range of categories than before. As proof, global retail website traffic in March amounted to 14.3 billion visits, with Amazon.com being the top online seller.
Naturally, the online shopping market is becoming oversaturated with newcomers, which is making the competition more fierce than ever before. Retailers now have to juggle not only the growing online demand, delivery and logistics services, but also the increasing number of competitors vying for their customers. It’s particularly difficult in online retail, where the speed of decision making is crucial.
All of this calls for immediate measures to optimize top priority business areas, become faster and smarter in pricing decisions (as the price of a product remains the most important factor for shoppers when making purchases), and cut costs wherever possible. To succeed, retailers need to be in the know of what their competitors are doing and learn to react to their actions as fast and smart as possible — all of this to provide the best customer experience while also saving money.
Luckily, along with all the challenges COVID-19 has brought about, it has also intensified online retailers’ hunger for innovation and pushed tech companies to re-think and improve their offerings. Struck by the crisis, advanced e-tailers have started investing in next-gen technological solutions to reduce costs, optimize operations, make quicker and smarter decisions, and eventually become the winners in the new reality.
Wiggle, a world-renowned retailer selling cycling equipment online, is a good example of an innovation-minded company that uses technology to boost performance. In line with the requirements of the current e-commerce market, Wiggle has been seeking to reprice twice as fast, switch to more transparent, yet complex pricing rules, and increase its competitive coverage. As a way to reach these goals, the company’s management has decided to switch to smart market-based pricing enabled by a retail price optimization company.
In a matter of months, Wiggle has succeeded in cutting repricing time by 50 percent across five regions and currencies, significantly increasing its competitive coverage (doubling it in the U.K.), switching to more complex pricing rules while also making the logic behind every pricing decision for every item at any time available to many more team members than ever before.
Commenting on the benefits of market-based price optimization, David Elder, group head of international and pricing for Wiggle CRC Group, stated the following: “Competera offers solutions to an immediate need, as well as our long-term plans. It makes our pricing process more transparent and coherent.”
Elder further explained: “Previously it was hard to see how rules worked, but now the logic is transparent, and we can collaborate with other teams, like buyers and merchandisers, who also use the system. Today, a total of 80 professionals are benefiting from the platform.”
Andrew Mulvenna is managing director, Americas and EMEA sales at Competera, a retail price optimization company.
Related story: COVID-19: Retail Innovation Gets Crucial for Survival
Andrew Mulvenna is Managing Director, Americas & EMEA Sales at Competera, a retail price optimization company.
After 8 years as co-founder & building Brightpearl, Andrew spent 3 years investing in AI startups as a VC, before returning to his operational roots to build a high growth AI startup Competera. Andrew has a BSc in Artificial Intelligence.