Modern retail is more competitive than ever before. When faced with so many obstacles – i.e. ever-changing price points, product assortments and variations, promotions, offers and deals – how does your business stay relevant and competitive?
Businesses are in need of advanced intelligence in order to keep up with their competitors and not fall behind. Competitive retail intelligence solutions that utilise Artificial Intelligence can offer businesses actionable insights on crucial market trends as well as how their pricing and product strategies compare to their competitors. With this intelligence, e-retailers can make informed decisions regarding their online strategy, product promotion and product pricing in order to attract and retain customers.
Competitive intelligence tools are an integral part of achieving success in retail. Find out about the benefits you can derive from using them below
Price is the key motivator that drives sales in retail. We are in an age where customers can explore multiple options and compare prices at the click of a button, and that means that if a customer finds your product on a competitor site for cheaper they are likely to go with that option. What’s more, it is estimated that 80% of first-time customers in any business will shop around before making a purchase. Therefore, it is more important than ever to know exactly how your competitors are pricing their products.
When pricing your products, ask yourself these questions:
- What are the cost prices of your products?
- How low are you willing to price your products?
- Who are your main competitors, and are you willing to price lower than them?
Once you have clearly defined answers to these questions you will know your parameters when it comes to competing with other retailers. Now comes the hard bit – monitoring the constantly changing price variations (increases and decreases) within the online retail ecosystem.
There are millions of price changes every day in the online world. Amazon is a prime example of intense price variations: the eCommerce giant has been known to alter the price of over 12% of their products at least once a day.
In order to keep abreast of all the price fluctuations in your market, you need to leverage a price intelligence tool that is powered by Artificial Intelligence. What these advanced technologies can do is aggregate data from hundreds of merchants and look at a number of factors including pricing, shipping costs, stock levels, reviews, ratings and offers.
The data can be refreshed at any time, meaning you receive up-to-date data that translates into real-time actionable insights. With knowledge on exactly how your competitors are pricing their products at any given time, you can ensure that your entire catalogue is optimised to either match their prices or undercut them.
Getting your pricing right is key to your eCommerce success, and with a pricing intelligence tool on-hand you will never lose out to another business.
Product Assortment Intelligence
Online consumers know what they want, and if they can’t get it on your website they will get it from your competitor. In order for any business (eCommerce or otherwise) to succeed, they must fulfil the needs of their target audience, and this includes offering them the products that they desire. Putting an “out of stock” sign on a coveted product on your website will not put you in the good graces of your customers. Worse, if the product is not listed at all, it won’t take too long for them to switch tabs to your competitor websites.
Although you cannot control your competitors’ product assortment and availability, you can monitor them through retail intelligence tools. AI-enabled product assortment intelligence can highlight gaps in your product assortment that could be costing you sales.
With this intelligence, you can compare the items that you stock and that your competitors don’t, and vice versa. You can then alter your product assortment strategies, capitalise on trends and gaps and plan promotions ahead of time. (This is especially crucial in the lead up to busy shopping periods, such as Black Friday and Christmas.)
For example, product assortment intelligence may capture that a specific style of women’s coat is trending. It can identify which of your competitors have a product match at what price point. With this information, you can optimise your own website and digital strategy so that your own version of the trending product is front and centre, and that you’re selling it at a competitive price.
With product assortment intelligence, you no longer need to guess the unpredictable trends surrounding your products. You can find out about them as they happen and act quickly to increase sales.
Another tool your business should leverage to reach eCommerce success is advanced promotional insights.
With the online marketplace becoming so saturated, competition between retailers is at a fever pitch. There is now so much choice for consumers that has become harder than ever before to attract customers, especially loyal ones.
Staying knowledgeable about all brand promotions, sales, discounts and offers is impossible without the assistance of an AI-enabled intelligence solution. Promotional insights can analyse and monitor the promotions of hundreds of e-retailers so that businesses can see what their competitors are promoting, for how long, and at what capacity.
This intelligence can help to combat the challenge surrounding customer retention. By leveraging this intelligence and combining it with variations in sales volumes, e-retailers can run smarter, data-driven promotions that effectively drive greater sales relative to your competitors.
Any insights you can glean into your competitors’ online retail strategy is beneficial to your own eCommerce approach, but conducting basic level competitor analysis is no longer feasible, and is not sufficiently accurate.
The online retail world has hundreds of moving parts that are constantly shifting, and businesses need advanced solutions to keep up the pace. With so much competition and so many intricate details, facts and figures to consider in your eCommerce endeavours, can you really afford not to harness the power of competitive intelligence tools?