Now Is the Time to Reassess Your Omnichannel Pricing Strategy

By Anastasia Laska, VP of Partner Alliances EMEA at Revionics, an Aptos Company

In March 2020, amid Covid-19 case numbers rising rapidly, the first lockdowns began. Now, one year later, with vaccination programmes under way, we look ahead to brighter days and hope for a sense of normalcy.

But for the retail industry, what constitutes ‘normal’ moving forward?

Indisputably, one of the greatest alterations from normal retailing, or more accurately, retailing pre-March 2020, was consumers’ accelerated adoption of e-commerce. Whether out of necessity or preference, consumers flocked online in droves.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that online sales grew by 46% in 2020, compared to the previous year. In December 2020 alone, e-commerce sales grew by 61.4%, compared to the previous December, and accounted for 29.6% of sales.

Recognising this understandable yet cataclysmic shift in consumer behaviour, and with the belief that some traffic and sales will assuredly move back to the high street as lockdowns lift (but not all), retailers are more focused than ever on optimising their omnichannel strategies.

Whilst as an industry we’ve talked about omnichannel for years, the reality is that many retailers are still struggling to satisfy consumers’ omnichannel expectations – particularly in a way that is profitable for their business.

A key consideration of this, of course, is retailers’ omnichannel pricing strategies.

Should your pricing strategy look different online vs in-store? 

One of the foremost challenges retailers grapple with in terms of omnichannel profitability is defining an intelligent and data-driven pricing strategy across its various sales channels.

As a result, an increasing number of retailers are turning to AI-powered technologies to support their omnichannel pricing efforts. The main point of using a data-driven approach to omnichannel pricing is to move away from a completely gut-feel decision on whether to have same or different prices in store and online.

The first step of implementing an AI-driven price optimisation solution would be to analyse and measure price sensitivity of consumers in each channel, by category and brand. The retailer does not have to “blindly” implement the results of the analysis, but at least – whatever the final strategic pricing decision will be – the decision would be made with the fact-based knowledge of consumers’ preferences and expectations.

Pricing technology can also reduce operational complexity and offer increased levels of automation, once the pricing strategy has been defined.

Build a pricing structure for retail’s new normal

Driving traffic to the right channels and converting sales at the right price will require dynamic strategies and technology for the fast-paced retail marketplace. Retailers should consider all the possibilities and constantly re-evaluate their pricing strategies in light of their evolving business needs and customer behaviours and preferences.

There is no better time for retailers to define a pricing structure for retail’s new normal – a strategy built on the analytical tools and data that will make them successful no matter what uncertainty and change lie ahead.

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