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Are You Priced (Just Right) for Holiday Success?

360pi highlights some intriguing insights gathered from major retailers last year and how that can be used to price successfully this holiday season.

As we near the close of summer and students head back to their classrooms, retailers are already heads down preparing for the upcoming holiday season. With a little over 130+ days until December 25 and a little over 100 days until Black Friday, retailers have already begun working round-the-clock on holiday advertising campaigns, seasonal hires and, of course, their technology strategies. In 2014, competitive pricing is sure to again take center stage as the retail environment becomes more challenging than ever with increased ecommerce penetration and associated price transparency.

Earlier this year, 360pi wrapped up its Amazon Holiday Insights report series, taking a close look at the most interesting and surprising findings on retailer pricing strategies observed during the 2013 holiday season. We specifically took an inside look at pricing for Amazon’s own product assortment in select categories relative to other retailers, and noticed some interesting takeaways:

  • Black Friday myth: 360pi confirmed that Black Friday mega deals are becoming a thing of the past. Four out of seven major multichannel mass merchants actually raised their prices for the sampled assortment on Black Friday and in the days following.
  • Amazon frequent price changes: Amazon made at least 3 million daily price changes in November including changing prices on almost of a third of their sampled assortment on Black Friday alone.
  • Online vs. multichannel retailers:  Primarily online retailers (with the exception of Amazon) were, in most cases, less price-competitive than multichannel retailers over the holiday weekend.
  • Amazon was not always the lowest price: While Amazon had the lowest average price across all monitored categories on Black Friday, they were the actual price leader on only 48% to 88% of items in their own assortment, depending on the category.

360pi also determined in the report that well-executed dynamic pricing strategies, such as those deployed by Amazon and Overstock, led to higher sales during 2013 holiday season as opposed to all-season discounting and other strategies.

What does this mean for retailers entering the “Point of No Return” holiday shopping zone? What sort of pricing strategies should they start putting in place, right now?

On Thursday, August 21 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET, Jenn Markey, vice president of marketing for 360pi will join Paula Rosenblum, managing partner for Retail Systems Research for a webcast that will provide practical pricing guidance for retailers to help maximize both top and bottom lines this holiday season. Tips to include:

  • The appropriate level of price dynamism including time-of-week and time-of-day insights across categories;
  • Effective price strategies heading into Black Friday – whether to discount, raise prices or “hold-the-line” during this critical period;
  • Proven pricing tactics on all-important Black Friday including if and when discounting becomes counter-productive; and
  • Effective price strategies Cyber Monday and beyond to maximize sell-through and avoid markdowns.

Click here to register for the webinar. We hope you make plans to join us!

About the Author
360pi delivers next generation commerce analytics to retail and brand innovators helping them make sense of retail and shopper big data to realize a winning product-price position across channels and create a consistent shopper experience. 360pi’s customer base accounts for over $US300 billion in annual product sales and includes Ace Hardware, Build.com, Overstock.com, and Walgreens, along with several Fortune 500 consumer products companies. Ultimately, 360pi customers use the company’s product and pricing intelligence to make smarter decisions faster, driving increased revenues and margins across all channels.