In the latest in our series where IT leaders provide their take on the purchasing process, Amos Peleg, CEO and cofounder of Upstream Commerce shares his tips for those looking to buy price optimisation solutions.
MyC. What do retailers need to consider before they start looking for pricing optimisation solutions, to determine their requirements?
AP. You need the right tools to make your data truly actionable and drive the most value for your organisation. Start strategising early on how you will use your price optimisation, repricing and prescriptive solutions. Take into account your brand, your overall market positioning, your business targets, and your growth plans.
Be aware that once the data is available to you, you will discover that it entails more than you thought. You'll want to use the data for enhancing the outcome of daily tasks performed by your staff, optimising pricing and promotions, analysing product lifecycle and optimising product mix.
MyC. What kinds of questions should buyers ask themselves?
AP. Consider: "Do I have a clear adoption plan for my dynamic pricing and price optimisation solution?" And "Do I have the key people on board, from stakeholders to an involved project manager who support this plan, and who have 'early adopter' mindsets?"
MyC. How can buyers convince the CFO that investment in this kind of technology is a wise decision? How can you get buy-in?
AP. We provide you with sample statistics on your own company's performance versus that of your competitors so you can see the effects first-hand. We provide you with benchmark statistics on how much our clients have benefited from using our services. We show you how using our solutions will improve sales and margin, help increase the bottom line, and how you will receive maximum return on your investment.
MyC. Are there any particular challenges in the pricing optimisation solution market that buyers need to be aware of?
AP. We have gone from general price intelligence gathering (which many vendors offer) to sophisticated predictive analytics, rapid repricing, and price optimisation specialties on a high level. As omnichannel and pure online retailers embrace advanced technologies, IT capabilities have also grown and become more sophisticated. It's no longer a question of gathering intelligence about your competitors, but to focus on employing maximum capabilities of predictive pricing and price optimisation for your pricing and repricing purposes.
MyC. Once practitioners are at the solution selection stage, what advice can you share to help buyers find the most appropriate vendor for their needs?
AP. Find a price optimisation vendor that shows a track record of success helping vendors improve their bottom line using that vendor's solutions. Find a vendor who will provide you with the actual details of the data YOU need for your specific purposes and help you fine-tune your strategy to derive the correct execution plan from it.
Find and select a vendor that will help you make the most effective usage of your competitive data, who will help drive full adoption of market-aware analytics in your organisation in the shortest time, and help you communicate your organisation's needs to them so they can provide you with maximum service and support.
Select a vendor with whom you feel comfortable and confident; consider that the relationship will be a two-way street where the vendor listens (and learns) from your needs; be sure that the vendor offers non-pareil customer support and quality control; and, most importantly, select a vendor who can modify and adapt their solutions for you as your specific needs grow and change.
About Neil Davey
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.