Holiday 2015: 6 product and pricing predictions

10/23/2015

OTTOWA, Canada — Product and pricing data provider 360pi is out with its take on what retailers and brands can expect this holiday season.



According to 360pi, retailers that offer real-time data, regionalized pricing and exclusive products will shine during the 2015 holiday shopping season. The firm puts more meat on the bone with its six holiday predictions, including:




  1.  Retail winners will connect staff with competitive data and insight: Without a doubt, online data will again be a retailer’s golden ticket to a successful holiday shopping season. By giving customer-facing employees the tools to be informed on their relative competitive position in real-time including pricing and product availability, winning retailers will better connect with shoppers and garner more holiday sales.


  2. So-called “must-win” dates will continue to lose relevance and consumer traction: Over the past few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have devolved to regular holiday shopping days as an extended promotional frenzy has taken hold. This has led consumers to question the actual best time to purchase. 360pi suggests putting discount plans in place long before and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday to capture the greatest share of shoppers’ minds and wallets.  


  3. Targeted and regionalized promotional pricing will grow in importance: Several major retailers have enabled “hyper-local” online pricing and promotional tactics down to the individual ZIP code, often to capitalize on a physical store footprint that offers shoppers immediate gratification. Online product intelligence with zone (or regional) insights into competitive pricing and product availability lets winning retailers offer the “right product” at the “right price” for the local market.


  4. There will be more exclusives and differentiated products: Competition for share of a shopper’s holiday budget will again be fierce in 2015 – how can a retailer stand out among their competitors and win the sale without driving down the price? 360pi predicts that winning retailers will avoid direct head-to-head price battles by offering a unique differentiated assortment including products with different options (i.e. colors, sizes and features), exclusives and private labels. This will allow retailers to recapture not only share, but also margin by avoiding price wars.


  5. The perception of free shipping will matter: Retailers know that many consumers see free shipping as table stakes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean shipping must be free all the time. A recent survey from Pitney Bowes highlighted that 88% of consumers find free shipping with a 5-7 day delivery time more attractive than paying a fee for a 1-2 day delivery guarantee. This holiday season, retailers should implement free shipping options, or at least free shipping via a specified spending benchmark this holiday season, with product intelligence to help define and refine competitive shipping rules.


  6. Winners will capitalize on competitive out-of-stocks: With online and mobile information influencing nearly 70% of all retail transactions this season, online product availability becomes a key factor in the shopper purchase decision. Now more than ever, retailers must consider the influence and impact that online availability has on offline transactions and store foot traffic. Winning retailers and brands will have a solid understanding of current stock positioning and strategically adjust inventory and pricing accordingly.


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