Pricing has long played a significant role in a retailer’s success, but with the industry continuing to undergo an omnichannel transformation the decisions retailers make about pricing will separate winners from losers.
Why is that? Omnichannel success is all about delivering a seamless customer experience and understandably much emphasis has been placed on supply chain efficiencies and the integration of physical and digital. Overlooked to a large degree has been the role of pricing, but this situation has quickly changed as retailers have awoken to the reality that an improper pricing strategy can undermine what might be an otherwise well executed omnichannel plan.
In today’s price transparent world, pricing forms the cornerstone of omnichannel success. The channel mix is changing rapidly, with 65% of shoppers researching online and purchasing offline (ROBO), and 40% of customers purchasing online after seeing the product in-store, according to Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group. Shoppers live in an omnichannel world – even if retailers aren’t there yet.
Today’s shoppers know instantly when a retailer is under-priced and when a retailer is over-priced. Retailers who don’t have the same visibility are asking for trouble. For example, a retailer lacking pricing visibility is likely failing to convert on some products, and giving away precious margin on others. Not only that, but an inconsistent pricing strategy fails to reinforce a retailer’s brand image and associated value proposition, jeopardizing hard-earned customer loyalty in the process. These issues highlight the importance of having trusted competitive price intelligence across channels.
Let’s start with a look at in-store. In the “old days” (read pre-Internet), shoppers had to drive from store to store to compare prices. Then came the web and e-commerce, mobile devices with always-on access to comparison prices, and a severe economic downturn that seems to have permanently instilled a deal-seeking mentality in shoppers. Today, retailers need new tools to compete in this price transparent environment and win customer trust and loyalty. That’s what we do at 360pi, and in our work with some leading companies we have uncovered five keys to achieving effective omnichannel pricing. They include: