How to Enhance Assortment Discovery Using Market Price Intelligence

enhance-assortment-using-market-price-intelligence

Have you ever felt left out of something? Like a group of people are in on a joke or went to an awesome event and you completely missed out? It’s a terrible feeling, especially when people always talk about how much fun it was. This feeling has led to the acronym known as FOMO, or “fear of missing out.”

As an online retailer, you can sometimes miss out on hot trends that are sweeping consumers off of their feet. Perhaps your sales have dropped and you look to your competitors’ assortment to realize their top selling products are ones that you don’t carry. This is a classic FOMO example, and assortment intelligence can prevent it.

fomo
Scanning competitor assortment on a daily basis can make sure you’re totally in the know, and put FOMO at bay. However, FOMO isn’t totally applicable in every situation. In the case of online retail, it’s possible that the most popular product in a competitor’s assortment doesn’t actually work for your own.

A gap analysis is a great way to help you see how your assortment stacks up against the competition. If you aren’t familiar, just think of it as a Venn diagram of your assortment against your competitor’s. You can see where you’re unique, where your products overlap, and where your competitors’ assortment is unique from yours. A simple gap analysis does leave information like product cost and price out of the loop, which is incredibly important to understand before you decide to sell that item yourself.

If you’re comparing your top 100 products against retailers like Amazon, you should know that you probably can’t afford to offer the same prices as Amazon. Implementing price intelligence in your assortment strategy is crucial to make sure you’re adding popular products that fit your brand and your business goals.

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Wouldn’t it be great if you knew the dangers of an investment before taking the risk? Price intelligence makes that possible, acting as a warning sign of a potentially bad investment. It lets you see the going market rate for the products before you invest the time and money to add them to your assortment. By anticipating how much it’s going to sell for, you can run scenario analyses with expected costs to see which products are better or worse for your assortment.

But it’s more than just avoiding bad items. Using competitive price intelligence can point you in the direction of new, high margin items instead of simply advising against bad picks. Because if you can compete and uphold a high margin, then you’ve just found yourself a new top selling item.

What’s the point of adding a product to your assortment if you can’t price it competitively? Competitive pricing is an absolute necessity to succeed in eCommerce, because everyone is cutting prices left and right. If your competitors are selling it at a price that is way below what you’re comfortable with, then reconsider purchasing that product to resell, unless you’re offering additional value that competitors can’t easily replicate.

Sure, you can still make some money if margins are slim, but it puts a ton of unnecessary pressure on you and your business. If you aren’t able to sell enough in a reasonable amount of time, you’ll most likely end up stuck selling them at a loss. When products are moving terribly slowly, they’re taking up precious space in your warehouse. It’s a lose-lose situation retailers should avoid.

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On the flip side, if you discover an item that you can definitely price competitively, then you’ve hit a small goldmine for your business. Not only are you then carrying a top rated item, but you’re earning a lot of profit as well. High margins and high sales numbers leads to a successful business. When you incorporate pricing intelligence into your assortment discovery, you trim the unnecessary items out of your assortment and are left with a lean, mean assortment machine.
Sometimes missing out is for the best. It’s ok to say no to popular items, especially if they’re only going to have a negative impact on you and your business. Incorporating competitive pricing into your assortment strategy is incredibly important, and it’s only possible when you have pricing intelligence. Use it to make good decisions, and avoid a sticky situation you won’t be able to get out of.

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Arie Shpanya

Arie is the COO, Executive Chairman, and Co-Founder of Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers and brands. He has extensive experience in business development with a focus on eCommerce (eBay and Amazon), and is a guest blogger on Econsultancy, VentureBeat, and more.