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Shoptalk Recap on Intelligent Pricing and Merchandising

360pi speaks to the key takeaways from the Intelligent Pricing and Merchandising session at Shoptalk.

As you may know, Shoptalk took place May 16-18 in Las Vegas. It was the first of what will become an annual conference, put on by Anil Aggarwal and Jonathan Weiner, the team behind Money 20/20, and assisted in large part by SVP and Head of Content, Zia Daniell Wigder. There were reportedly 3,000 plus attendees for this inaugural edition of Shoptalk, and based on my experience at the event, I would expect the organizers to make good on their promise to double attendance at next year’s event, already scheduled for March, as word gets out.

One of the main draws of Shoptalk was the number of senior, CxO level-attendees from high profile retailers and industry solution providers, along with the quality of the content. When I heard about the show and saw who would be attending, I immediately had our team sign us up to attend, and we were not disappointed. Billed as the next generation commerce event, the content program was unparalleled. HBC’s CEO Jerry Storch kicked off the 3-day event with a rallying cry of, “The Stores Fight Back”. Mary Beth Laughton, Senior VP Digital for Sephora, shared that 75% of in-store purchases are mobile influenced. And, Levi Strauss’ Senior Director Wholesale Commerce, Rico Arrastia, forewarned manufacturers that even if they’re not dealing with marketplace vendors directly today, they should expect to see their brand there and take steps to protect it. Plus, there was lots of debate about the relative effectiveness of different retail tactics and strategies including the endless aisle and dynamic pricing.

I was honored to be invited to participate on the Intelligent Pricing and Merchandising panel, part of Shoptalk’s Measurement, Analytics, and Insights track, and I shared in a post prior to the panel much of my 360pi’s perspective on this topic. The session itself was well attended and featured many key takeaways including:

  • The distinction between intelligent pricing (always the right thing to do) vs dynamic pricing (only in certain cases, commodity products, etc.).
  • Dynamic pricing can lead to a breakdown of trust and is best suited for transactional relationships.
  • Amazon is not always the lowest price; they are increasingly pricing intelligently through leaving commodity categories to marketplace vendors and/or using private label in those categories, and increasing usage of private label across selected categories, including electronics and apparel.
  • Amazon still enjoys the perception of being the price leader with the majority of shoppers, driving repeat purchases. However, if this perception is compromised, it’s questionable if/what shopper loyalty Amazon will have.
  • Choosing the right product is becoming an increasingly critical decision, followed by ensuring that you have the right price for that product. Shoppers are smart and informed, and retailers have to understand the value of their brand and offering, and price accordingly – which definitely does not always mean lowest price.
  • There has been an increasing wave of insolvencies and negative results from large, established big box retailers. Retailers and D2C Brands that want to survive will use next generation solutions, such as 360pi, to help them select the right assortment, and price it right.

To learn more about dynamic pricing and whether or not it’s right for you, I encourage you to read our latest whitepaper.

What are your thoughts about Intelligent Pricing and Merchandising?

About the Author
Alexander is the CEO of 360pi and is a serial web entrepreneur who has led two other Internet SaaS companies to profitability. Prior to that, he used data analytics to optimize profits for retailers as a strategic management consultant at Bain & Company, where he identified and developed programs to serve the top 10% of a retailer's customers that represented 50% of its profits. Alexander brings over 20 years of entrepreneurial, strategic and operational experience to 360pi, with an MBA from INSEAD and a BASc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.