The ROI on Comprehensive Price Intelligence
Price transparency has been — and continues to be — a disrupting influence in retail. It grants smartphone-wielding and web-based consumers the ability to instantaneously discover the best price available for almost any product at any time. Comparison shopping apps and websites conjure up for consumers the lowest cost available across traditional brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce sites within seconds.
A Trend Becomes the Norm
According to comScore, 87.4 million Americans currently own a smartphone, with two-thirds shopping from their mobile device and 48 percent doing so because it’s easy to compare prices and find the best deal.
Retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online, have no choice but to court these price detectives. Consider the following:
- Before the 2011 holiday season, Wal-Mart wooed shoppers with a price-matching program, pledging to match any competitor's price at the time of purchase, as well as any purchase made at Wal-Mart before Dec 25.
- On Dec. 10, Amazon revived interest in its Price Check app by offering shoppers a discount on any item they found at a competitor’s store or website for a lower price. Its goal? Turn brick-and-mortar stores into Amazon’s showroom.
- On Dec. 13, American Express announced that card members using the free RedLaser shopping app could scan a barcode to see the best price as well as the cost if purchased at the credit card’s online store with American Express reward points — which the shopper can conveniently do (if eligible for points) via their smartphone.
These price-shopping tools can take a big bite out of a retailer’s sales and profits if the retailer isn’t set up to intelligently and thoughtfully compete.
Fighting Back Intelligently
The old formula to establish prices no longer works. Ad hoc price monitoring is ineffective. Case in point: Gazaro monitored online prices over last year's Black Friday weekend and found that many product prices changed on an hourly basis. Proactively reacting to such fluctuations is beyond most retailers’ reach. They simply don't have the capabilities and technology to deliver effective solutions and implement an overarching plan for price sustainability.
The most cost-effective solution is an external comprehensive price intelligence service which continuously examines prices in order to identify niches and opportunities to increase conversions and sales. A price intelligence service monitors, aggregates and analyzes data in near real time for millions of products across multiple channels and competitors of all sizes. It also promotes insight-driven pricing decisions and an optimized product mix across channels.