6 Common Pricing Intelligence Challenges Retailers Face (And How to Overcome Them)

6 Common Pricing Intelligence Challenges Retailers Face (And How to Overcome Them)

29th May, 2024

Shailendra Nagarajan

By Shailendra Nagarajan

When your product pricing is sub-optimal, you leave money on the table. This is especially significant for eCommerce retailers who must contend with their consumers ‘shopping around’ for the best price before making a purchase. All eCommerce retailers experience some amount of cart abandonment. In fact, the average cart abandonment rate is estimated at 70.19%, and the reason is often that customers find a better price elsewhere, whether at other online stores or in traditional brick-and-mortar ones.

If you want to win the business of price-sensitive shoppers, you need a robust pricing strategy to keep up with changing competitor pricing. That’s one reason (among others) that retailers rely heavily on pricing intelligence solutions. With the right pricing intelligence solution, retailers can stay on top of market shifts, manage profit margins, maintain price perception, and of course, price their products competitively.

Unfortunately, adding a new pricing intelligence solution to a retailer’s tech stack is not without its challenges. But the good news is there are ways to overcome them.

In this post, we’ve rounded up six challenges most commonly cited by retailers and proposed strategies to overcome them. So if you’re considering a pricing intelligence solution that can get you closer to your business goals, read on to learn more.

1. Scalability Constraints

As access to the internet has expanded globally, the ratio of brick-and-mortar sales compared with eCommerce continues to narrow. A natural consequence of this is that more shoppers than ever before now browse and buy across diverse web environments, including mobile apps.

This means that retailers need to track pricing across not just websites and physical stores, but also across mobile apps — a sales channel that was largely sidelined before.

Modern pricing intelligence solutions need to consolidate data from:

  • Online storefronts
  • Mobile apps

… and also from delivery channels, which often have different assortments and pricing:

  • Standard home delivery
  • Expedited, same-day home delivery
  • Buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS)
  • Subscription
  • Curbside pickup

In this context, imagine having to track the pricing of millions of SKUs compared against dozens of competitors each day. When new channels and devices are added, many pricing intelligence solutions in the market are unable to handle such data complexity and scale. They’re not built to continually grow and expand to meet changing needs. Even worse, some retailers opt for homegrown DIY systems, which struggle to keep the datasets updated, accurate, and current—activities that require significant cost and human effort.

How DataWeave Bridges This Gap:

What you need is a platform that can track millions of SKUs across dozens of competitors and geographies. No matter where the data is coming from or how vast the demand for the product is, an ideal solution should be able to synthesize huge amounts of complex data and generate meaningful insights.

Your competitors are continually changing their eCommerce setup, whether through subtle changes to their product attribute listings or broader changes to domains or apps. With DataWeave’s pricing intelligence solution designed to scale up as required, you never need to worry about the backend flexing to accommodate changes.

2. Inability to Match Products Without Clear UPC/EAN Identifiers

Another problem with many pricing intelligence solutions is their inability to match products if a UPC/EAN identifier is missing. Often, a competitor will list an identical product on their storefront and omit any clear identifiers. On Amazon, an ASIN might be listed or you might be able to bring in a DPCI from Target.com. However, without clear identifiers across eCommerce platforms, retailers struggle to aggregate every instance of the products, and as a result, are unable to achieve accurate pricing comparisons. They often face this challenge when they work with commoditized web scraping service providers who have very limited expertise or experience in refining the data into meaningful insights.

How DataWeave Bridges This Gap:

If you can’t match UPC/EAN codes, you need a solution that leverages artificial intelligence to match products based on other variables, such as product titles, descriptions, and images. AI, in combination with human expertise, can take on the task at a speed and accuracy that would be unfeasible for humans alone.

Artificial Intelligence is constantly learning and improving. At DataWeave, we accelerate this process by introducing new scenarios and datasets for the product to continually learn from. At the outset, our AI product matching is roughly 80-90% accurate every time. To improve this number to over 95%, we introduce human validation and nuanced judgments. Over the years, this feedback loop has continued to refine its algorithms, resulting in near-perfect data accuracy for retailers.

Our solution uses AI built on more than ten years of data to perform robust product matching for retailers at a massive scale. Using a unified platform with text and image recognition, DataWeave matches products from among hundreds of eCommerce websites and across millions of products.

3. Poor and Inconsistent Data

Retailers often complain that the data within their pricing intelligence solution isn’t accurate, is inconsistent, and may even be comprised of statistical smoothing and gap-plugging smokescreens. The root of this problem often lies in the inability of these tools to consistently track prices across diverse web environments. Poorly designed web scraping infrastructure fail when eCommerce websites change their underlying configuration and structure (which happens periodically). As a result, they don’t have enough data to see the market as a whole, and end up viewing synthetic or small sample-set data.

How DataWeave Bridges This Gap:

At DataWeave, transparency drives our approach to delivering insights. We only present real-world data in our data feeds and dashboards to customers. This is possible only due to the supreme confidence we have in our ability to consistently capture and present accurate data. We achieve this by using a combination of AI and sophisticated web scraping infrastructure developed and enhanced over a decade.

In fact, we are the first in the industry to launch a Data Statistics Dashboard that helps our customers scrutinize match rates, track data freshness, highlight any gaps in the data, and manage product matches independently.

4. Limited Integration Options with Internal Systems

Too often, a retailer will select a pricing intelligence solution that promises exceptional insights but then fails to offer a manageable workflow for day-to-day use. This usually happens because it doesn’t integrate with the retailer’s existing tech stack.

Without a convenient process that connects internal systems, your pricing intelligence solution is just another piece of technology that your team does not use to its full potential. You may require your competitor pricing data to flow into price optimization tools, price management tools, BI tools, ERP systems, or revenue management systems. Without this capability, you’ll see limited ROI and underwhelming results because all the insights in the world are of little use if you can’t consume them easily and put them into action.

How DataWeave Bridges This Gap:

At DataWeave, we understand the importance of being able to integrate external data with your internal tech stack. Our data can be accessed and extracted using plug-and-play APIs, enabling businesses to combine their external and internal data to generate predictive intelligence.

We also have other data feeds ready to be integrated, including FTP and Amazon S3. Our integration experts can work with you to create custom integrations to existing internal pricing platforms. Our ultimate goal here is to seamlessly elevate your pricing intelligence strategy with minimal change management.

5. Limited Custom Analysis Capabilities

Every retailer is unique. There are various geographies, languages, markets, product categories, and pricing strategies that differentiate one retailer from the next. Many retailers find it challenging to derive actionable insights from their pricing intelligence solution because the analysis and customization capabilities are too limited.

For example, some retailers might want to evaluate their competitiveness after applying coupons and promos to selling prices. Others may want to perform a one-time pricing analysis of just list prices across competitors. Some may want to view insights that help them take tactical decisions day-to-day, while others would like a historical view across multiple dimensions to help make strategic long-term pricing decisions.

Without the ability to customize their views or the underlying data, retailers could feel restricted in their ability to drive meaningful impact with their pricing intelligence.

How DataWeave Bridges This Gap:

What you need are foundational dashboards, reports, and visualizations in a web portal that can be tailored to your business needs. Then, you need the expertise and guidance of a team of business analysts who can help you configure custom reports and dashboards.

At DataWeave, we offer bespoke insights for each persona, enabling swift actions on relevant competitive intelligence. These include day-to-day tactical recommendations or inputs for long-term strategies. And because all DataWeave customers get access to our team of expert analysts, it’s simple and straightforward to configure unique reports and dashboards to suit your business.

6. Sloppy Support

No solution, at least not one that undertakes complex work, works optimally with a ‘set it and forget it’ approach. From time-to-time, you need human intervention to ensure your pricing intelligence is working in the way that it needs to for you. Unfortunately, one of the most common challenges retailers face with their pricing intelligence tool is a lack of support.

Unavailable or patchy customer support is a significant challenge that can result in low confidence, delayed resolutions, and even abandoned pricing actions.

How DataWeave Bridges This Gap:

Dataweave’s global team of pricing experts are available around the clock for support and guidance. Not only do we have tech experts and business analysts that you can consult at any point, we also have an exceptional team of customer success professionals to help you overcome any technical and strategic issue you might face.

As one customer puts it, with DataWeave you gain access to: “Excellent customer service, super collaborative staff, user-friendly interface.”

Another verified user from the consumer goods industry had this to say:

“Great platform and customer service! Our client service team is very helpful and always responds to ad-hoc requests in a very timely matter!”

Read more reviews from real DataWeave users on G2: https://www.g2.com/products/dataweave/reviews

Finding The Right Pricing Intelligence Solution

As the competition heats up, retailers need to unlock every available opportunity to gain an edge and capture market share. At DataWeave, our AI-powered pricing intelligence software helps you uncover gaps quickly and build a pricing strategy that is as attractive as it is effective. Our ability to scale, match your products across the entire ecosystem with consistent accuracy, and slide right into your current operations to provide advanced analytics, makes us the preferred choice for many of the world’s leading retailers.

Want to start benefiting from actionable product matching and pricing intelligence? Request a demo today.

- Shailendra Nagarajan
Director, Global Marketing at DataWeave, 29th May, 2024

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