Price Points by Omnia Retail

Here you can read more about Omnichannel Retail, Direct-to-Consumer Strategies and Retail Trends. Learn about the Implementation of Dynamic Pricing and Pricing Strategies.

How we collect vital data for our customers (Part 2)

In recent years, data has surpassed oil in being the most valuable commodity on Earth. In just the four years between 2016 - 2020, the data market in the US grew in value from €129 billion to €211 billion. In a...

In recent years, data has surpassed oil in being the most valuable commodity on Earth. In just the four years between 2016 - 2020, the data market in the US grew in value from €129 billion to €211 billion. In a nutshell, data is how we understand something on an intricate level without bias and subjectivity, and within the world of e-commerce and retail, it is the cog in the machine that’s indispensable. In this four-part series, Omnia shares the process a potential customer will enter into once they decide to choose our pricing software solutions. In early August, we shared part one, which included the technical pre-requirements a customer needs to begin their pricing journey. Today, we are delving into how we collect data as one of the initial and most vital parts of the process. Where does the data come from? Speaking to David Gengenbach, a developer at Omnia, and Berend van Niekerk, Omnia’s Head of Product, it is impressive to see how much time and attention goes into getting detailed - and most importantly, correct - data for the pricing strategies of customers. There are two types of data that provides everything needed to reprice an entire online store or marketplace: Internal data and market data. Internal data Internal data includes information that comes directly from the customer. “Everything from sales data, purchase prices, stock data, performance measures, information on champion and non-champion products, new and old products, categories, seasonal products… it’s important to provide as much information as possible,” says Berend. Insights from Google Analytics and additional plugins can also be used to understand where traffic is going and which products are most popular. If your online store is using Shopify, Magento, Shopware, Plentymarkets or JTL, you can make use of our "Pricemonitor plugins" which you can find in the respective app store. The plugin allows you to connect easily to our database, without having to involve your IT department. After the initial data is connected to Omnia, the customer has the ability to modify all information within the tool. They can clean the data, change the formatting and add additional logic and calculations to the data. In this way the user can do the required modifications, without having to bother their IT department. “There’s less hassle for the customer this way,” says Berend. External data Market data, or external data, comes in two categories, according to Berend: "Data from marketplaces and comparison websites, like Google or Amazon, and data that is directly collected from competitors' websites." Typically our customers use a combination of both. The data from marketplaces and comparison websites will provide a good view of all competitors selling the product, where data that is scraped directly from your competitors will ensure you the most up-to-date and complete overview of your main competitors. The data from marketplaces and comparison websites includes highest and lowest pieces, reviews, delivery times and many other features. How do we ensure data quality? Vetting data is also part of the scraping and collection process. David, who specialises in competitor data, shares that there are four aspects to data quality: Finding the right competitor prices by ensuring that the competitor prices are for the exact same product as you are selling. For example, if we were checking the prices on Google Shopping for the iPhone 13, we would not consider the prices for second hand iPhones, where many websites advertise on Google. These prices would not be included. Within those prices, making sure that we identify any outliers. For example, perhaps Google grouped the products incorrectly and there is a very high or low price in the grouping. The timeliness of the data: Making sure that we update the prices on a particular schedule, so that we collect any price updates quickly. Data quantity plays a role too. If we conduct a product search, and there are 10% less products today compared to yesterday, we need to investigate what may be causing that. Superior pricing strategies are informed by our data Within the retail and e-commerce landscape, there is no successful web shop or marketplace without a comprehensive dynamic pricing strategy. And, in turn, there is no complete dynamic pricing strategy without data. However, it is up to the customer how much of their internal data they are willing to give. The more data we have, the more we can create a profitable and competitive pricing strategy for each customer. Stay posted for our next part of the series on what customers can do with this data.

What e-commerce players need to begin their pricing software journey (Part 1)

When the concept of retail first began in ancient Greece in 800 BC with traders selling goods and food at markets, merchants needed to keep track of their stock in a similar way retailers do so today. It began with...

When the concept of retail first began in ancient Greece in 800 BC with traders selling goods and food at markets, merchants needed to keep track of their stock in a similar way retailers do so today. It began with writing things down with a simple book and some ink. A couple thousand years later, that book turned into spreadsheets and tables; and a few decades after that, spreadsheets turned to software and digital systems. As a software creator and provider, it is awe-inspiring to see how far systems and processes that support retailers have come since the days of paper and quills. In a four-part series, we will dive into an overview of both the technical requirements and learnings for retailers and brands looking at investing in pricing software. We will also cover some of the processes our teams drive, from data scraping, sharing potential pricing strategies to the onboarding process. Let’s start at the beginning The basis for many larger e-commerce businesses is an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) like Oracle, SAP, or Microsoft Dynamics 365. In some cases, a Product Information Management Systems (PIM) and Shopsystem like Shopify are added to this set up. Smaller and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially those that started online first, might only have a Shop-system like Shopify, which can fulfil all the essential tasks in the e-commerce context that an ERP-system does. As the e-commerce market is characterised by high volatility, any online stores, striving to keep up with today’s competitiveness, cannot possibly track vital data like stock volumes, sales orders, supply chains or inventory by hand. Tim Avemarie-Scharmann, Omnia’s Head of Knowledge & Scalability says, “While my cheese trader Helmut at the farmers market might be fine using Excel for most of his calculations and data flows, modern businesses, especially in e-commerce, need to integrate advanced systems that perform specific tasks automatically. This applies to your price setting as well, while Helmut can sell his cheese at 4.99€ per 100g, sometimes taking a peek at the prices from a competitor retailer will likely find themselves a much bigger market, and in some cases identifying hundreds of competitors.” Where dynamic pricing fits in When it comes to new technology and its usage, one of the first questions in people's minds is, “Is it trustworthy?” And, if you transfer this to implementing dynamic pricing software within your business, the question most people have is: “Can I trust those automatically calculated prices?” In representing the overall setup of your business and the integration of a dynamic pricing system, we think of it as a star-shaped figure, where the segments could represent the different external software services a brand is using, and the core of the star is the leading ERP/Shop system or a combination of both. Marketing, logistics, shipping, payment and pricing are just some of the additional services one has to integrate into your data flows. Even though a brand or retailer outsources the application of pricing rules to Omnia, the retailer will be in full control of the prices, as the ERP or Shop system is still at the core of your overall set-up. In a nutshell, the dynamic pricing system will receive input from your Shop/ERP system that is the signal for calculating a new price for a product. The calculation of the new price is based on the parameters that are defined with our Customer Success and Consultancy team, based on the markets and competitors monitored and pricing strategies implemented. Thereafter, the dynamic pricing system will import the new prices back to the Shop/ERP system. This way, the retailer is always in control of their price calculation. How accessible is this data? A big part of the technical implementation is establishing a connection between Omnia and the customers' Shop- or ERP-system. While in some cases a one-time, manual upload of a product list is sufficient, for example, if a brand wants to track a stable set of products in the market, some setups do require more flexibility and automation. That is the case for most retailers, where the conditions of selling can change at any time. For this, you need at least one daily data transfer, so all systems are synchronised. This can be done via simple https-feeds or by exchanging data via FTP-servers. Most Shopsystems used in e-commerce provide the option to export data via feeds and do not require coding skills. Additionally, you need to synchronise the export and import of data via the feeds with other internal processes. For example, when the new prices are calculated at 8am in the morning, you don't want them to be in your systems at only 6pm. For users of Shop- and ERP-systems such as Shopify, Shopware, Plentymarkets, JTL, Magento, we provide plugins, which make the data transfer part much easier. The plugins are designed especially for the case of transferring pricing data to-and-from our Dynamic Pricing Portal, and have pre built-in features that allow a retailer to import price updates only for products where the recommended price actually changed or to only import the price updates for certain product groups, for example, those where you have checked the results and want to make the newly-calculated price recommendation live. These cases can be covered by transferring pricing data via feeds, but with the plugins, they are easier to set up for SMEs who may not have a dedicated pricing department like larger enterprises do. Data security Especially for larger enterprises, but essentially for all of Omnia’s customers, the question “How trustworthy is the software?” does not only relate to the aspect of how to be in control of the price calculation process which we described above, but also how data is stored and processed. For this, we are currently in the process of becoming ISO 27001 certified and aim to be ready by the end of 2022. This certification ensures that we take many precautionary measures, so that all of Omnia’s users receive the highest quality standard when it comes to security and data protection. A guided process This may sound overwhelming or time-consuming for a business who is first learning about the importance of pricing software, but the opposite couldn’t be more true. Omnia’s Customer Success team are involved at every stage of the process, providing knowledge, expertise and guidance during a structured on-boarding process. As this article is the first part of a four-part series, stay posted to our next chapter on how we collect competitor and customer data. Read now Part 2: How we collect vital data for our customers

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