yellow robots welding cars in a production line

 

The dust has settled from NRF and you are likely shuffling through notes and business cards trying to figure out what insights are worth pursuing and what people you should be engaging as you seek to further the pressing agendas within your retail organization.

A show like NRF can be overwhelming and it is certainly a daunting task to try and sift through the endless noise to focus on the few things that might move the needle for you now.  For us, we keep our focus on retail pricing and promotion.  And this year, as always, these topics found some space in everyone’s conversation.

As an example, RSR Research recently published “Retail Pricing 2017: The Dawn of Personalized Prices.”  A summary was posted here in the Convention Daily that was distributed among attendees and exhibitors.  The research does a good job of summarizing the challenges that retailers face regarding pricing as well the perils and opportunities that come with attempts at presenting customers with personalized pricing.

While personalized pricing has been around in some form or fashion through things like grocery loyalty programs we might finally have the data quality and accessibility to expand the concept further.  Of course, all of this should be done with caution as consumers can be very sensitive to the perception of price discrimination, especially in categories where consistent and honest prices are the expectation.

Forrester also presented the results of a Revionics sponsored shopper study focused on uncovering shopper preferences around pricing and promotional offers.  It questioned commonly accepted practices like poorly executed promotions with statements like “52% of the weekly or monthly promotions they (retailers) offer go to customers who would happily have paid full price”

Finally, and most importantly, we had several meaningful conversations with customers, prospects, and consultants regarding the pricing challenges that they are currently confronting. Most have done solid foundational work in this area but are looking for partners or solutions that can help them account for larger data sets and more extensive use of attributes. Not only that but they are looking for support in the form store-level forecasting and flexible rules engine management that can accommodate increasingly complicated requirements generated from the business. 

Price optimization and management continues to be a core component for retail strategy.  Technology advances and new competitive threats make this a necessary and exciting time to be partnering with retailers as they seek to maintain a profitable and meaningful relationship with the customers of their products. Stay posted.  Clear Demand will be continuing its “Fundamentals of Retail Science” series as well as launching another series that will be focused more on the science and details driving the latest innovations in retail pricing and promotions.